Litigation Can Be a Lottery for Claimants Suffering with Cerebral Palsy.

Claims involving children born with Cerebral Palsy and other significant birth injuries rarely end in a Court trial – the majority of these cases are either settled prior to getting to a Trial or are unsuccessful before they get to Court.  In the past 7 years, there have been only in the region of 15-20 Court trials for claims for babies born with significant birth injuries, caused by negligence during pregnancy, labour or immediately after birth.  This is a very small percentage given that each year approximately 1,800 children are diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy each year.

Of the cases involving significant birth injuries to babies, which have ended in a Court Trial in the past, the NHS Defendants have more often been successful than the Claimants.  This highlights a need for Claimants to obtain legal advice from solicitors who are proven specialists in dealing with cases involving these types of difficult cases.

Cerebral Palsy cases are difficult for many reasons, not least of all because of the very complex medicine which is involved which often requires evidence from experts in several different areas including midwifery, obstetrics, neuro-radiology and paediatric neurology.   You then add on top of that the complex tests which have to be established in order to succeed – that is identifying the exact act or omission which was negligent, and then also establishing that the specific act or omission caused or materially contributed to the injury, which makes the claims process even more complicated.  But then, we also know that historically NHS Defendants have done better than Claimants in Court. When all of these reasons are added together, it is clear that if you have a baby born with Cerebral Palsy or other significant injury, then you should seek advice from a specialist with the requisite knowledge and experience to guide you through the process.

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