Suing for Cerebral Palsy: When Is It Too Late?

Child with Cerebral PalsyThe discovery that your child has cerebral palsy, caused by incompetence and malpractice, can be an extremely distressing time. Cerebral palsy causes lifelong disability and has debilitating effects on your child’s development.

When you discover that your child has problems because of the shortcomings or neglect of the doctor or medical professional in charge, consider hiring an attorney that handles cerebral palsy cases right away.

But how much time do you have to make a claim? As with all medical malpractice cases, the statute of limitations applies, so it is important that you act immediately if you want the offender to be brought to justice.

Earliest Signs of Cerebral Palsy

One of the most common causes of cerebral palsy are injuries sustained during birth. If a baby experiences asphyxiation during birth, the child may experience brain damage, which leads to developmental problems later in life.

While the earliest signs of cerebral palsy manifest as early as one month of age, most symptoms only appear as a person’s nervous system matures. Some parents may notice that their child seems to have developmental delays, such as difficulty walking or talking, and some symptoms of mental retardation.

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In many cases, however, parents will not notice that their child has cerebral palsy until they turn one to three years old.

The Statute of Limitations

The statute of limitations for medical malpractice in Illinois usually ends two years after the injury takes place. It also takes into account that some issues do not manifest right away, which is why the statute extends to up to two years after the discovery of the injury.

There is an exception for cases involving children. You can seek compensation any time before the age of nine until the age of 11. If the injury was not discovered before the child’s 11th birthday, it is still possible to make a claim until the child turns 22. Any time after that, you will lose the right to make a claim.

It is crucial that you make a claim as soon as your child’s cerebral palsy is diagnosed. If you feel that medical malpractice is behind it, contact an attorney before you run out of time.