How Long Do I Have to File a Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit?

If you are the parent of a child with cerebral palsy, you might be entitled to compensation. When a medical professional, such as a doctor, nurse, or midwife, causes your child to contract cerebral palsy, you can hold them financially accountable through a personal injury lawsuit. Succeeding in a personal injury lawsuit can help you recover the financial means you need to properly care for your child with cerebral palsy. North Carolina imposes a three-year statute of limitations on people seeking to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.

The Costs Associated with Cerebral Palsy

Children with cerebral palsy have extensive medical expenses. They often need medical treatment throughout their lives, specialized equipment, and therapies to help them cope with cerebral palsy. In severe cases, a child might need to receive around-the-clock care or part-time care. When you add up all of these expenses over the child’s lifetime, the costs associated with cerebral palsy can easily exceed one million dollars.

What are the Statutes of Limitations in North Carolina?

In North Carolina, a cerebral palsy lawsuit must be filed in civil court. You will need to file your lawsuit within a specific period of time, three years from the date of injury, or you will lose the ability to file a lawsuit. These time limits are referred to as, statutes of limitations; they prevent someone from bringing a lawsuit past a certain date. States impose statutes of limitations to protect the interests of the defendant and to reduce the number of frivolous claims.

The Sooner You Speak to an Attorney, the Better

The sooner you speak to a Charlotte cerebral palsy lawyer, the better. Evidence in cerebral palsy medical malpractice lawsuits is always much easier to obtain soon after the child’s birth or diagnosis. The longer you wait to discuss your case, the more challenges you will likely face. For example, the longer you wait, the more likely it is that one of the following will occur:

  • Medical records might disappear
  • The evidence becomes less reliable
  • Your credibility might decrease
  • Witnesses move or become difficult to track down
  • The memories of witnesses fade

The most important reason to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible is so that you do not miss your opportunity to file a lawsuit because of the statute of limitations. North Carolina statutes of limitation encourage plaintiffs to file their lawsuits as soon as possible to increase their chances of a successful settlement. North Carolina courts will refuse to hear your legal claim if you do not file within the time period allocated under the statute of limitations.

North Carolina’s Medical Malpractice Statute of Limitation

North Carolina allows victims of medical malpractice three years to file a personal injury lawsuit. The clock starts ticking from the date of the medical error that caused the injury. For example, if a doctor’s negligence caused your child’s brain injury on June 1, 2020, you would have until June 1, 2023, to file your claim.

What Happens When Cerebral Palsy is Not Readily Apparent

Sometimes a child’s cerebral palsy is not readily apparent. For example, doctors could negligently fail to diagnose your child with cerebral palsy until he or she is over the age of three. In this type of situation, you may be permitted more time before your statute of limitations starts running.

In North Carolina, when a child with cerebral palsy dies due to the negligence of medical professionals, the statute of limitations to file a wrongful death action is only two years. Plaintiffs who are mentally challenged, disabled, or very young might be able to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit outside of the statute of limitations, but these situations are very limited. You should contact a lawyer as soon as possible to evaluate your options.

Contact Our Experienced Cerebral Palsy Lawyers Today

If your child has received a cerebral palsy diagnosis, it is important to speak to an attorney as soon as possible. An experienced lawyer can help you determine what the correct statute of limitations is in your unique case. At Arnold & Smith, PLLC we have a successful track record of helping clients succeed in a Charlotte malpractice lawsuit. Contact our law firm as soon as possible to schedule your initial consultation. Call us at 704.370.2828 or fill out our contact form online. Now taking cases throughout North Carolina with offices in Charlotte, Lake Norman, and Union County.

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