Claiming Compensation for a Cerebral Palsy Birth Injury

Posted on: 7 mins read
Last updated:
Georgina Emsley

Solicitor, Medical Negligence

Share Article:

You may be entitled to compensation if your child has sustained a Cerebral Palsy injury at birth. Compensation can assist to get the help, care and support that your child may need throughout their life.

What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral Palsy is a lifelong neurological condition that affects a child’s movement and coordination. It is caused by damage to the brain during the delivery of the baby or shortly after birth.

Injury to the brain may occur due to a range of different reasons including:

  • A limited or an interrupted oxygen supply to the baby’s brain
  • A bleed within the baby’s brain
  • A premature or difficult birth process
  • An infection in either the baby or the mother when pregnant
  • Changes in the baby’s genes which affect the development of the baby’s brain
  • Meningitis

Unfortunately in some cases it is not always clear what the exact causes of Cerebral Palsy are.

It is estimated that 1 in 400 babies born in the UK have a type of cerebral palsy with the Office for National Statistics indicating that with a birth rate in England and Wales of around 700,000 per year, there may be as many as 1,700 new cases of cerebral palsy in babies and children each year.

The symptoms of Cerebral Palsy are not usually obvious just after a baby is born but they do normally become noticeable from an early age. Symptoms which indicate that your child may have Cerebral Palsy include:

  • Delays in reaching development milestones
  • Seeming too stiff or too floppy
  • Weak arms or weak legs
  • Fidgety, jerky or clumsy movements
  • Random or uncontrolled movements
  • Walking on their tiptoes
  • Issues swallowing or speaking
  • Vision problems
  • Learning disabilities

There are different levels of severity which means the symptoms of Cerebral Palsy can vary significantly from child to child. In some cases, a child may display fairly minor symptoms, have problems walking or have impaired motor skills but in other cases, a child may be profoundly disabled and require lifelong care.

TrustpilotStarsWe're ratedExcellent

The NHS describes three different categories of Cerebral Palsy:

  • Spastic Cerebral Palsy
  • Athetoid Cerebral Palsy
  • Ataxic Cerebral Palsy

It is possible to have a combination of these categories, which is referred to as Mixed Cerebral Palsy. Spastic Cerebral Palsy affects muscle stiffness or weakness which is caused by damage to the motor cortex of the brain. Athetoid Cerebral Palsy affects the muscle tone which causes involuntary spasms and is caused by damage to specific parts of the brain, namely the basal ganglia and the cerebellum. Ataxic Cerebral Palsy affects balance and coordination which is caused by damage to the brain’s motor control centres during development.

Why Claim Compensation?

Whilst Cerebral Palsy is rarely life-threatening, the impact of the condition on a child and their family can be huge. The condition can heavily impact the quality of life of the child and their family, in addition to putting them under significant long-term financial pressure.

If your child has sustained a brain injury that led to a diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy and you believe it may have been as a result of medical negligence, you may be entitled to compensation and rehabilitation support.

Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for Cerebral Palsy however treatments are available to help people with Cerebral Palsy be as active and independent as possible. Treatments can include:

  • Physiotherapy – this encompasses techniques such as exercise and stretching to help maintain physical ability and hopefully improve movement issues
  • Speech therapy – this may help with speech and communication issues in addition to swallowing difficulties
  • Occupational therapy – for this treatment, a therapist will identify problems that you or your child have in carrying out ordinary everyday tasks and assess this in order to suggest ways or aids which could make these easier for you and your child
  • Medication – this can be prescribed for muscles stiffness and some other difficulties, depending on the nature of these
  • Surgery – in some cases, surgery can be recommended to treat movement or growth problem, however it should be noted that this would not cure Cerebral Palsy and would be focused on improving the quality of life for you and your child

The compensation obtained following a successful medical negligence claim can cover the cost of care and support that your child may need, such as physiotherapy, technology, medication and any home adaptations that need to be made. Our team of experts will instruct experts to assess the needs of your child and the difficulties you may face day to day, to recommend aids and/or treatments which will improve the child’s independence and in turn, quality of life for your child. In addition, compensation will reflect any loss of earnings suffered by the family as a direct result of having to be absent of work due to care requirements or attending hospital appointments, for example.

To make a successful birth injury claim, you will need to demonstrate that the standard of medical care provided fell below an acceptable level and that this directly caused and/or contributed to your child’s birth injury. Our team of expert Medical Negligence Solicitors have considerable experience in this area and can help you establish this before subsequently presenting your case. In presenting your case, our team of Medical Negligence Solicitors will ensure that this is done with a clear focus on the central issues surrounding the injury and the impact that this has had on your child and your family.

Our expert team of qualified Medical Negligence Solicitors have secured significant amounts of compensation in birth injury claims over the years, for example:

Our case studies can be accessed through the links above or additional case studies involving medical negligence can be found here.  

How Long Do I Have to Make a Claim?

If you are making a claim on behalf of your child, you must do so before they reach the age of 18. If a claim isn’t brought by you on your child’s behalf by this date then your child has the right to make a claim themselves, until the age of 21. Failure to commence Court proceedings before your 21st birthday may preclude you from being able to bring the claim due to it becoming statute barred.

It should be noted that there is no time limit on when a claim can be brought if a child lacks the mental capacity to handle their own affairs. Similarly, if you are claiming on behalf of an adult and they lack capacity to litigate and provide instructions, then there is no time limit on when a claim for compensation can be made.

The process of making a medical negligence claim for a Cerebral Palsy birth injury can be complex as a number of independent medical experts will need to consider the medical records and provide opinion on whether the care provided was negligent and whether the injuries sustained were as a result of negligent treatment. Independent opinions will likely be sought from disciplines such as midwifery, obstetric, paediatrics and radiology.

These are not investigations that we want you to be concerned about. Our team of qualified Medical Negligence Solicitors will undertake all the necessary investigations for you, manage day to day conduct of your claim from start to finish and arrange appointments with appropriate medical specialists on your behalf. Our team will regularly provide you with support and clear, straightforward information and advice throughout the process to reassure you and guide you.

If you are looking for a no obligation chat about a possible medical negligence claim arising from a birth injury which caused Cerebral Policy, our friendly and dedicated team is ready and waiting to take your call on 0808 239 6043. Alternatively, you can request a call back and one of our team will contact you as soon as possible.

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article or if you are looking for guidance or support in any matters concerning Cerebral Palsy in either yourself or your child, help is available through the following resources: 

  • The PACE Centre – this resource has a helpful online parent community to allow you to connect with people in a similar situation who care and have insightful resources which can be found at

Scope: Equality For Disabled People – can be contacted by telephone on 0808 800 3333 or by email at [email protected] . Further information is available on their website at


NHS. (2023). "Cerebral Palsy." [Online] Available at: (Accessed: 01/12/2023)

Cerebral Palsy UK. (n.d.). "Cerebral Palsy." [Online] Available at: (Accessed: 01/12/2023)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2023). "Cerebral Palsy: Facts." [Online] Available at: (Accessed: 01/12/2023).

The Pace Centre. (n.d.). "What is Cerebral Palsy?" [Online] Available at: (Accessed: 01/12/2023).

The Pace Centre. (n.d.). "Home." [Online] Available at: (Accessed: 01/12/2023).

Scope. (2023). "Introduction to Cerebral Palsy." [Online] Available at: (01/12/2023)

Cerebral Palsy UK. (n.d.). "Spastic Cerebral Palsy." [Online] Available at: (Accessed: 01/12/2023)

Cerebral Palsy UK. (n.d.). "Ataxic Cerebral Palsy." [Online] Available at: (Accessed: 01/12/2023).

Georgina Emsley

Solicitor, Medical Negligence

Areas of Expertise:
Medical Negligence

Georgina is a Solicitor who works in our Medical Negligence team here at Simpson Millar, based in our Manchester office.

She is a committed and highly reliable Solicitor with a track record of supporting clients through the process of making a claim to achieve the best outcome for them. Georgina has experience working on many high-value cases with a range of circumstances and complexities from start to finish, where she reviews medical records, liaises with experts and gathers evidence in order to negotiate the best possible settlement for her clients.

Get in touch, today!

Fill in the form below to get in touch with one of our dedicated team members, or call our team today on: 0808 239 6043

This data will only be used by Simpson Millar in accordance with our Privacy Policy for processing your query and for no other purpose