My child was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. What will be the lifetime cost of care?


Painter Law Firm's frequently asked question (FAQ) series

November 30, 2018

Cerebral palsy is a brain injury that occurs at or before birth. While it’s often diagnosed in the hospital after labor and delivery, sometimes the full extent of cerebral palsy injuries and impairments won’t be known for years to come.

The care needs of each person with cerebral palsy are unique.

When cerebral palsy was caused by medical negligence, pursuing a lawsuit may provide funds to take care of the child’s lifetime of care needs.

One type of care is therapy. From my experience in handling many cerebral palsy cases, I know that medical experts recommend intensive early therapy to maximize the patient potential. Unfortunately, many types of this therapy are not covered by health insurance plans or Medicaid.

Another type of care is frequent physician visits. Cerebral palsy patients also need to be thoroughly and regularly evaluated by various specialists, including, for example, pediatricians and neurologists. They will order brain MRI scans and other tests. The idea is to establish a baseline for patients and then use reassessments to determine what additional interventions are necessary to help them lead the best lives possible.

Perhaps the most expensive care that many cerebral palsy patients require is assistive care. When their children are young, some parents may be able to take care of them without extra help—even though that requires juggling many responsibilities and challenges family finances.

Most of the time, though, families need the extra help of nurses or nurse’s aides who come to the home. This is particularly true as the loved one with cerebral palsy gets older. Some clients have told me that their child got taller and added weight, and they simply couldn’t continue to take care of them on their own without extra help.

When I represent moms and dads of children with cerebral palsy in medical malpractice cases, I like to get a life care planner involved early on. We typically use physician life care planners who can evaluate the patient and make recommendations (with prices) of the care that will likely be needed over a lifetime.

In taking a medical malpractice case to trial, the life care plan report is an important piece of evidence that we use to get our clients the resources they need to fund a lifetime of care made necessary because of negligence.

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Robert Painter is an award-winning medical malpractice attorney at Painter Law Firm PLLC, in Houston, Texas. He is a former hospital administrator who represents patients and family members in medical negligence and wrongful death lawsuits all over Texas.

Robert Painter

Robert Painter is a medical malpractice lawyer at Painter Law Firm PLLC.


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