How long will it take in order to recover compensation for cerebral palsy at birth for my daughter?
Unfortunately, there is no fixed time frame in which compensation for cerebral palsy at birth must be paid, so it is not possible to tell you how long it will take for your cerebral palsy compensation claim will take to be resolved.
There are a number of actions which must be taken before cerebral palsy birth injury claims can be initiated, and how long it will take to complete these procedures will depend on the individual circumstances of your case. Once your case is prepared, the time it will take to successfully resolve your claim depends to a large extent on whether liability for cerebral palsy is accepted by the hospital (or the Health Service Executive) or if the case will need to be resolved by litigation through the Irish courts.
In contrast to most claims for personal injury compensation, the Injuries Board does not assess claims for personal injury compensation involving negligence of a medical professional. It will therefore be necessary for you to use a medical negligence solicitor in order to make cerebral palsy birth injury claims, and to ensure that an appropriate level of compensation is claimed to cover potentially a lifetime of medical care for your daughter.
Before compensation amounts can be calculated, a solicitor must establish the facts of the case and prove that a doctor, midwife or obstetrician has – ‘on the balance of probabilities’ – inadvertently caused your daughter’s cerebral palsy. In order to establish negligence, a solicitor must prove – with assistance from medical experts – that your daughter’s cerebral palsy would have been avoided if the delivery room doctors and nurses had reacted more quickly to problems with the delivery or chosen a different course of action, and whether it was reasonable to expect them to have done so under the circumstances.
When negligence has been established and proof of this has been obtained, your solicitor will initiate the claim for compensation for cerebral palsy at birth. It will take a maximum of 111 days before liability for your daughter’s injuries must be accepted or rejected by the hospital/HSE, although you may not have to wait this long for a decision to be made. Thereafter, your solicitor will attempt to negotiate a settlement or proceedings will be issued to have the claim settled through the courts.
If liability is accepted, it should be possible for your solicitor to negotiate an appropriate settlement of compensation for cerebral palsy with the hospital/HSE, and it may be possible for your case to be resolved relatively quickly. When liability is accepted, an application can be made to the courts to have interim payments of compensation released to cover medical care and other essential costs.
Interim payments will help to ensure that you can afford to give your daughter the level of care that cerebral palsy demands. It will also allow you to continue to pursue an appropriate settlement of compensation for cerebral palsy, rather than having to accept a low offer in exchange for the quick payment of compensation.