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Cerebral palsy claims

Cerebral palsy claims are complex and almost always technically difficult. Most are very high value because compensation, where available, needs to fund the lifelong needs of the injured person, including specialist care, support equipment and the adapted accommodation which enables them to achieve their potential and to live a fulfilled life.

A different kind of law firm

Our cerebral palsy solicitors are acknowledged experts in their field, noted for handling often complex cerebral palsy cases like yours with sensitivity, determination and persistence.

What is cerebral palsy?

According to the disability charity Scope, cerebral palsy affects around 1 in every 400 children in the UK. It is a life-long condition that affects a person’s movement, posture and coordination. Some people with cerebral palsy may also have a learning disability.

Can cerebral palsy result from clinical negligence?

Cerebral palsy can be caused by a number of factors such as prematurity, problems during a multiple birth, infection during pregnancy, genetic issues (although this is rare), or lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain. In most instances nothing could have been done to prevent the condition from occurring. However, for a small but significant number of children cerebral palsy will have been avoidable and may have been caused by sub-standard management of the mother's pregnancy, the delivery itself or poor neonatal care. In these cases, where the negligence was caused by doctors or midwives, you may be able to bring a cerebral palsy compensation claim.

As described above, there are many causes of cerebral palsy and identifying what and who is at fault in these scenarios can be extremely complex. Our specialist cerebral palsy lawyers will work with medical experts to investigate your case and pinpoint what should have been done differently.

What to do next

If you think or know your child has developed cerebral palsy due to medical errors, our legal experts are here to advise you on your options. We have a great depth of experience and knowledge relating to the law around cerebral palsy medical negligence claims and the practical challenges you may be facing. Contact us for a free no-obligation chat about your situation.

Call us on 0808 256 8163 or message us using the button below.

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Cerebral palsy experts

Our skilled team of cerebral palsy experts are here when you’re ready

Meet our experts

Kashmir Uppal

Kashmir Uppal


Medical negligence

Award winning medical negligence lawyer Kashmir is tireless in her pursuit of accountability. Contact Kashmir today.

Denise Stephens

Denise Stephens


Medical negligence

Denise is a passionate, highly skilled medical negligence lawyer with a heart of gold. She cares genuinely about getting you justice so tell Denise your story.

Andrea Rusbridge

Andrea Rusbridge


Medical Negligence

Andrea has 30+ years’ experience as a lawyer. She successfully helps families who have endured pain, suffering and financial losses.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the types of cerebral palsy?

    There are four types of cerebral palsy, all of which can develop due to negligence:

    • Spastic: Increased muscle tone, making muscles stiff, tight and difficult to move.
    • Dyskinetic: Tight to loose muscle tone, causing uncontrolled movements and spasms.
    • Ataxic: Problems with balance and coordination, leading to shaky movements.
    • Mixed: A combination of multiple cerebral palsy types, such as spastic-dyskinetic cerebral palsy.

    Cerebral palsy can also affect different sides of the body and different limbs (diplegic, hemiplegic and quadriplegic), depending on which part of the brain has been damaged.  Symptoms usually become noticeable in the first few months of a child’s life, but it can be years before the full effects are known. 

  • How much does it cost to bring a cerebral palsy claim?

    We’re one of the few law firms in the UK who can fund cerebral palsy compensation claims by Legal Aid. This is a government funding scheme that helps people pay legal fees in cases involving serious neurological injuries within eight weeks of a child’s birth.

    If you don’t qualify for Legal Aid, we may still be able to take your case on a no win no fee basis. Combined with ‘After the Event’ insurance, this minimises any financial risk if your claim is unsuccessful.

    We will explain all your funding options and recommend the most suitable route when you get in touch with us for a free consultation. 

  • How will cerebral palsy affect my child?

    Cerebral palsy affects every child differently. Some children have barely noticeable symptoms, while others require almost constant care. Whatever the case, it’s a lifelong condition which can be managed through personalised treatment and equipment; compensation can help meet the cost of bringing up a child or looking after an adult with cerebral palsy.

  • What do you need for a successful claim?

    To build a successful claim, our cerebral palsy solicitors will work to establish two parts: liability and quantum.

    To establish liability, we will investigate what happened to cause or contribute to your child’s condition. This means pinpointing where things should have been done differently based on reasonably expected healthcare standards, then having the other side admit fault or obtaining a judgement from the court.

    To establish the value of the claim (quantum – i.e., the amount of damages you will be awarded for a successful claim) we will gather evidence from various experts in different disciplines. Calculating adequate lifelong compensation demands a great level of experience and expertise, as it must cover all of a child’s future needs to ensure that they are adequately funded throughout their life. We have a proven track record in securing the large compensation sums that cerebral palsy cases often demand.

  • Why make a cerebral palsy compensation claim?

    You might be feeling overwhelmed if thinking about starting legal action, especially when you’re busy supporting your child, but we are here to help you every step of the way.

    The purpose of cerebral palsy compensation is to provide for your child’s lifelong needs. Depending on their condition, that could include, long term care, aids and equipment, communication aids, therapies, medical treatment and home adaptations. This could also include financial support for gratuitous care, which is care provided by loved ones.

    Bringing a claim can benefit you both emotionally and financially. An investigation into the circumstances leading to the injury can provide you with answers as to what happened, and lead to the responsible party being held accountable; many parents find this emotionally helpful. It can also help prevent the same mistakes affecting other people.

  • How long does a cerebral palsy claim take?

    Cerebral palsy claims can be lengthy due to the time it takes to establish the level of disability a child will have in later life. It’s generally difficult to state what their future might look like until they reach the age of seven or above – but each case is different. The length of a claim also depends on whether the defendant disputes liability.

    Whatever the scenario, we will keep you updated every step of the way. Once liability has been admitted, your cerebral palsy solicitor will work to secure interim payments where possible to help pay for any necessary care, home adaptations and equipment whilst your child’s case progresses.

  • How much cerebral palsy compensation could you receive?

    There are no standard compensation figures for dyskinetic cerebral palsy claims, misdiagnosis of cerebral palsy or any other claim type. This is because compensation is specific to each child’s condition and the extent of care they’ll need.

    Cerebral palsy compensation sums tend to be large due to the cost of lifelong care packages, including expenses such as:

    • Professional and/or gratuitous care
    • Treatment and rehabilitation
    • Specialist aids and equipment, such as motorised wheelchairs and eye-gaze technology
    • Home adaptations or more suitable housing
    • Loss of earnings

    As the true extent of a child’s condition may only become apparent when they’re older, it’s important to have experienced legal and medical experts on your side to calculate adequate compensation.

    Our specialist lawyers have worked to secure some of the highest sums awarded in the UK, involving tens of millions.

    We can also advise you on managing and protecting your compensation. Our partner Denise Stephens is appointed as a Deputy by the Court of Protection and looks after many of her clients’ financial interests. This could involve setting up and paying for care and equipment, as well as ensuring your funds are accessible as needed.

  • Are there time limits for making a cerebral palsy medical negligence claim?

    Time limits for cerebral palsy medical negligence claims vary:

    • If you’re claiming on behalf of your child, you have until they reach the age of 18.
    • If you’re aged over 18, have cerebral palsy and have the mental capacity to claim yourself, you have until your 21st birthday to start the claim by issuing court proceedings.
    • If you’re claiming on behalf of your child and they do not have mental capacity to claim themselves, there is no time limit.

    In all cases, however, we recommend contacting our serious injury lawyers as soon as possible – this gives the claim the best chance of success as it makes it easier to gather any evidence.

    Whatever the circumstances, it’s helpful to contact our legal experts as soon as possible. This way you could get early compensation payments to pay for the care you need sooner.

  • Can I change my cerebral palsy solicitors to Shoosmiths?

    If you’ve already contacted a cerebral palsy solicitor but aren’t happy with the service you’re receiving, or lack confidence in their advice, we’ll happily discuss taking over your case. Our legal experts are among the very best at what they do, so you can be certain we’ll help you secure the best possible outcome.

  • Will I have to go to court?

    Most cases are settled without the need to go to court. But if your claim does go through the court process, we will manage that for you and guide, support and advise you throughout.

    The process itself can take some time, however – particularly for medical negligence claims as the cases can be complex and can also be fiercely contested.

    How long it takes to conclude your claims depends on several factors, such as how complex your case is and your individual needs. We can tell you how long we expect it to take as it progresses, but this can change. In general, it can be anything from a few months to a few years.

    If the claim involves a child or a someone without capacity the court will have to approve any settlement.

  • Will my case be reported in newspapers?

    We can apply for an Anonymity Order, which means that your child cannot be named or identified in any press reports.

  • Can Shoosmiths help me with NHS early notification scheme claims?

    Yes, we can. If your child is likely to have serious and permanent brain damage, the NHS Early Notification Scheme will investigate. If this occurs, please contact us so that we can assist you. Speak to a specialist solicitor as soon as you are notified.

  • Can Shoosmiths take my case if the Health and Safety Investigation Branch (HISIB) is involved?

    Yes, we can take your case. You do not have to wait for the HISIB investigation to conclude.

  • Other Shoosmiths experts who can help

    Our Court of Protection team can help manage your compensation award. When your child is ready to go to school, our education law team can support you with EHCP applications.

Who we work with

  • Brain Injury Group
  • Child Brain Injury Trust
  • Headway
  • SIA
  • Back Up
  • Macmillan
  • Danielles Flutterbyes
  • Forces
  • Bens Heroes Trust

Our accreditations

  • Accredited Personal Injury
  • Apil
  • Ama
  • Clinical Negligence
  • Legal 500
  • UK Chambers
  • The Society Of Clinical Injury Lawyers