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How Long Will a Child with Cerebral Palsy Live?

Cerebral palsy caused by a doctor's mistake on inattention can have a devastating impact on a child and the child's family. Lots of insults are added to that injury in cerebral palsy lawsuits.

One cruel argument the doctors often make in these cases is the lifespan of the child is short so that they should not be required to pay as much money. So if you find that I screwed up and denied this child and their family the opportunity of a normal life, I should not have to pay so much because my negligence is going to cause that child to die pretty soon. If I am wrong and he lives longer that is just a cost you are going to have to endure. It is, to put it mildly, a maddening argument.

Life Expectancy for Children with Cerebral Palsy

Life expectancy is reduced in some patients with cerebral palsy. Yet, many children with CP have normal expected life spans. Adults with severe cerebral palsy are living typical life spans all throughout this country. There is also no question that mortality rates in children with cerebral palsy have dropped dramatically in the last 30 years. Defense lawyers like to rely on old studies involving patients that were followed even longer ago. It is also hard to ignore that many of the studies done on cerebral palsy life expectancy are done by doctors who not so coincidentally serve as defense experts in CP cases. So many of these studies seem written for litigation.

The best predictors of mortality were: (1) deficits in cognitive function, (2) limitations on mobility, (3) incontinence, and (4) inability to eat without assistance. The first two are key. Profound intellectual disability and severity of physical impairment had the most pronounced impact on life expectancy.

So if you are looking at ten children and one of those children dies in childhood, it traumatically changes the average life expectancy of that group. Defense lawyers exploit this and grab onto studies that show that CP victims have a shorter lifespan.

Quality of Care Matters

Child During Delivery Settlements and verdicts in cerebral palsy cases are often very large. This defense argument underscores why they need to be as large as they are. Money matters when raising a child with CP. The survival rate increases dramatically in cerebral palsy patients based on the quality of care received.

Many studies confirm that life expectancy is driven in part by the quality of care or living situation. Many victims of CP either bring unsuccessful lawsuits because they cannot prove the doctor's negligence actually caused CP or their birth injury was not caused by negligence at all. So they do not have the resources to provide optimal care. This leads to a shorter lifespan. Just monetary compensation can make a difference in life expectancy.

Hiring a Cerebral Palsy Attorney

Miller & Zois handles catastrophic injury medical malpractice cases under a contingency fee agreement. What does this mean to you? This means we are never asking you for money out of your pocket for legal fees or expenses. The only way we receive an attorneys' fee is if we get money damages for you and your child. If for some reason we lose the case, there are no fees or expenses incurred by you.

Call us today at 800-553-8082 or get a free online consultation. Our lawyers have had a history of success and we will fight for you and your child every single step of the way.

Cerebral Palsy Lawsuits
Client Reviews
They quite literally worked as hard as if not harder than the doctors to save our lives. Terry Waldron
Ron helped me find a clear path that ended with my foot healing and a settlement that was much more than I hope for. Aaron Johnson
Hopefully I won't need it again but if I do, I have definitely found my lawyer for life and I would definitely recommend this office to anyone! Bridget Stevens
The last case I referred to them settled for $1.2 million. John Selinger
I am so grateful that I was lucky to pick Miller & Zois. Maggie Lauer
The entire team from the intake Samantha to the lawyer himself (Ron Miller) has been really approachable. Suzette Allen
The case settled and I got a lot more money than I expected. Ron even fought to reduce how much I owed in medical bills so I could get an even larger settlement. Nchedo Idahosa