Parents of children with cerebral palsy have a lot to learn about their child’s condition and care. Our experienced Louisville birth injury lawyer wants to make things as easy as possible for you as you do everything you can to protect your child’s future. Accordingly, we’ve provided a brief glossary of terms you might hear that may be important to your child’s legal recovery if you're contemplating filing a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Cerebral Palsy Medical Terms That May Be Relevant to a Legal Case
Cerebral palsy isn’t always caused by a mistake made during delivery. However, medical negligence may have caused your child’s cerebral palsy if you hear terms such as:
- Anoxia: an absence of oxygen to organs or tissue which may cause cerebral palsy
- Asphyxia: when oxygen deprivation causes organ failure. This may occur if a child is deprived of oxygen during birth, and it could result in cerebral palsy.
- Aspiration: when a child chokes on something, such as meconium, and is deprived of oxygen. This can result in brain damage and cerebral palsy
- Fetal distress: when a fetus is deprived of oxygen during birth. Like the other forms of oxygen deprivation, this may cause cerebral palsy.
Our staff nurse and experienced Louisville birth injury lawyer can help you understand whether you should consider legal action.
Cerebral Palsy Litigation Terms
If you do pursue legal action because of your child’s cerebral palsy, you may come across the following terms:
- Answer: the defendant’s pleading that is filed in court in response to the plaintiff’s complaint.
- Birth injury: damage that occurs during labor or delivery that could have been prevented if reasonable care had been provided to the mother or child.
- Birth injury lawyer: an attorney who represents parents seeking legal recoveries for children who have suffered birth injuries, such as cerebral palsy.
- Complaint: the pleading filed by the plaintiff to officially begin litigation.
- Contingency fee: a way of paying a personal injury lawyer. Lawyers, such as those at Gray and White Law, are only paid if your case is successful. At Gray and White Law, we call this our No-Fee Policy.
- Damages: the amount that your child may recover for their birth injury. Damages may include compensation for past and future expenses, including, but not limited to, medical costs, assistive medical devices, rehabilitation therapies, lost income, out-of-pocket expenses, physical pain, and emotional suffering.
- Defendant: the person, hospital, or other individual or entity you are suing for your child’s birth injury.
- Discovery: the legal process of finding evidence. Discovery may include but isn’t limited to depositions, interrogatories, and requests for the production of documents.
- Expert witnesses: professionals such as doctors and physical therapists who may provide essential testimony in cerebral palsy cases
- Liability: legal responsibility for paying damages
- Medical malpractice: when a doctor, nurse, hospital, or another healthcare facility or provider is negligent, and that negligence causes injury.
- Motion: a formal request to the judge to take action. The plaintiff or defendant may make a motion.
- Plaintiff: the person bringing the lawsuit.
- Settlement: an agreement reached between the plaintiff and the defendant or the defendant’s insurance company that provides compensation for the injured child.
- Standing: the person(s) who have the legal right to bring a lawsuit. Your child cannot file a cerebral palsy case because your child is still a minor. However, as your child’s parent and guardian, you may file a case for the benefit of your child.
- Statute of limitations: the amount of time you have to file a lawsuit. The statute of limitations is typically one year in Kentucky birth injury cases.
Contact Our Louisville Birth Injury Lawyer for Help With Your Medical Malpratice Case
We invite you to learn more about how all of these terms work together and what the next steps may be in your child’s case. Call us or complete our online contact form today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Louisville birth injury lawyer. Additionally, we encourage you to download a free copy of our guide, Family First: How to Get the Help You Need After a Birth Injury to Your Child Happens in Kentucky.