Medical Negligence*

Cerebral Palsy Claims*

Cerebral Palsy claims can be quite complex and be emotionally difficult for the parents. This is why it is important that you speak with a medical negligence solicitor as soon as you can. They will help you determine if you have a case.

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What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral Palsy is a long-lasting disorder that affects muscle tone movement and motor skills. Motor skills are the ability to move in a coordinated and purposeful way. It is one of the most congenital (existing before birth) disorders of childhood. It can also lead to other health issues such as speech, vision and hearing problems. These can extend to learning disabilities in children. There is no cure for cerebral palsy. However treatment, therapy, special equipment and in some cases, surgery can help children who are living with the condition.

Common Types of Cerebral Palsy

In legal terms there are two types of cerebral palsy cases. They are caused by negligence on the part of health professionals and non-negligent cases.


This is the most common form. It affects the body’s ability to relax muscles causing rigidity meaning that control or movement will, therefore, be poor. Often a child will have severe learning difficulties and a reduced life expectancy.


This form has more subtle symptoms often associated with problems with balance, speech and perhaps shaky hand movements.

Common Causes of Injuries

It is worth mentioning that not all cases are due to the negligent management of a mother’s pregnancy, delivery or indeed the neonatal care given to the baby of health professionals. In fact, it is rare for problems/complications during a mother’s labour and delivery to cause Cerebral Palsy .In cases where negligence is not the case, cerebral palsy is caused by congenital malformation of the brain. Many cases are as a result of problems during pregnancy when a foetus brain is either damaged or does not develop normally. This can be due to infections, maternal health problems, a genetic disorder or something else that interferes with normal brain development.

In some cases, Cerebral Palsy is caused by negligence on the part of the doctor, nurse or midwife. There are a number of different mistakes, actions, misjudgements that can be made by the health professional during a mother’s pregnancy, labour and delivery or the baby’s immediate postnatal care that can cause cerebral palsy these can include:

  • Failure of medical personnel to deal competently with an abnormal CGT trace and respond to changes in the baby’s heart rate. CGT is a monitor that tracks the baby’s heart rate and provides an indication of the well-being of the baby.
  • Failure to recognise/treat/respond to a mother’s high blood pressure or toxaemia (this is blood poisoning from a bacterial infection).
  • Misuse of Oxytocin/Syncline used to induce or accelerate labour.
  • Injuries caused during delivery by forceps/vacuum.
  • Injuries caused to the baby due to placental abruption or even incompetently performed resuscitation of a sick newborn.
  • Leaving the baby in the birth canal for too long, leading to a lack of oxygen. This is known as intrapartum asphyxia.
  • Failure to perform caesarean section where necessary.

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Our helpful team

Need Help? Just Ask.

For more information and a confidential discussion on your medical negligence claim, call Elaine Hickey, Head Medical Negligence Solicitor, on +353 1 649 9900 and tell her about your medical malpractice case or reach out via email to and she can call you back.

How do I make a claim?

Once you have gathered all the relevant information in relation to your injury it is then time to move forward with your claim. It is important to use a specialist medical negligence solicitor to help you with this.

  1. Speak with a solicitor

    If you feel that you were not provided with appropriate medical treatment whilst under the care of a medical professional which resulted in injury due to the actions or in-actions of a medical professional, then speaking with a medical negligence solicitor following the injury is imperative. Medical negligence is a complex topic in Irish law. Speak to a medical negligence solicitor when bringing a claim forward. This ensures that no essential steps are missed throughout the legal process. Bringing a claim forward without having spoken to a solicitor can delay your claims procedure. A solicitor can help to determine your birth injury time limit claim.

  2. Obtain medical records

    In order to make a claim, it must be established and proven that the injury sustained was caused by the medical negligence of the doctor or medical staff tasked with either your prenatal care, pregnancy, delivery and/or aftercare. Therefore, after having spoken with you about your case, your solicitor will then request access to your medical records. At this stage, the solicitor will have your medical records assessed by an independent medical expert. This will help determine whether a surgeon or medical staff who treated you had, in fact, administered substandard medical care and if negligence was the cause of the injury and if your injuries/outcome could have been avoided if the appropriate level of medical care had been adhered to.

  3. Letter of Claim

    If the independent medical expert has concluded that medical negligence has occurred, then your solicitor will draft a Letter of Claim to the medical practitioner who treated you. A Letter of Claim will outline the nature of your case and invites the medical practitioner to settle your case. The next steps involved are heavily dependent on your case and response to your Letter of Claim and will determine whether your case will be brought to court or settled outside of court. Your solicitor will be on hand every step of the way to guide you through this process.

At Tracey Solicitors LLP, our dedicated birth and gynaecological injury solicitors have years of experience in helping parents deal with traumatic birth injury claims. We understand the injuries, both physically and emotionally, that you have suffered and have supported and helped many people in similar situations proceed with medical negligence claims in Ireland over the past 30 years.

For more information and a confidential discussion on your birth or gynaecological injury claim, phone 01 649 9900 or email to tell us about your case, where you can speak with a member of our team straight away.

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Case Settlement

If you are to proceed with a Cerebral Palsy claim you may be entitled to claim compensation for the accident and added expenses, you may have incurred. These claims are called damages.

General Damages

General damages are non-financial damages such as pain and suffering and/or physical and emotional injuries following a birth injury.

Special Damages

Special damages are out of pocket expenses incurred as a result of the birth injury, for example, medical bills, added travel costs as a result of the accident (for example, travel to and from the hospital) and future care costs. Learn more about Special Damages. 

What are the Legal Time Limits?

The statute of limitations are the legal time limits on how long you have to make a claim, which can vary depending on the situation. When taking into account how long medical negligence claims take, it is important to remember that medical negligence cases require certain time frames in place within which you can bring a claim. For medical negligence claims it is two years less a day following the date of the incident or two years less a day following the date that a person made the connection that their illness or injuries were a result of medical negligence. Contacting a solicitor to discuss your case will help you in determining how long you have left to make a claim.

Medical Negligence Involving Children

In an unfortunate incident where a child is subject to medical negligence, the process of making a claim differs from that of an adult. A minor may be in a position to bring a claim forward in the first two years following their 18th birthday.

Learn more about Legal Time Limits

About Tracey Solicitors LLP

We draw on more than 35 years of experience in personal injury law to provide you with expert advice and legal services.

We’re here to help you with your claim, and will work with you to ensure you understand every step of your legal journey.

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Our friendly and experienced team are waiting to answer your call. Lines are open Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm.

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