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I am 19 years old and have mild Cerebral Palsy. Can I sure my mother's doctor?

Corona, CA |

My mother was treaed very badly during my birth. The doctor had a meeting the next day and was annoyed at how long the labor was and he had nurses sit on my mother to push me out. This is believed to be the cause of my CP which my parents had noticed when I was about a year old. I've had to endure countless surgeries and therapies and am still not 100% of what I know I could be without this disability. My parents never sued the hospital because they never had the time or money to put into a lawsuit. Now that I'm an adult, I'm seeking justice on my own. What are my chances of winning a case so many years after the fact? Everything I've found is for parents suing on behalf of the child.

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Attorney answers 3


Unfortunately, if the cause of action arose in California, the statute of limitations on your claim has long since run. Generally, your parents would have had to commence an action within 3 years of your sixth birthday. If you were born in another state, you would have to consult that state’s statute of limitations.

However, in the unlikely event the statute has not run because you were born elsewhere, there are still significant impediments to a successful cause of action because of the long passage of time. The specific CA statute follows:

Code of Civil Procedure § 340.5. In an action for injury or death against a health care provider based upon such person's alleged professional negligence, the time for the commencement of action shall be three years after the date of injury or one year after the plaintiff discovers, or through the use of reasonable diligence should have discovered, the injury, whichever occurs first. In no event shall the time for commencement of legal action exceed three years unless tolled for any of the following: (1) upon proof of fraud, (2) intentional concealment, or (3) the presence of a foreign body, which has no therapeutic or diagnostic purpose or effect, in the person of the
injured person. Actions by a minor shall be commenced within three years from the date of the alleged wrongful act except that actions
by a minor under the full age of six years shall be commenced within three years or prior to his eighth birthday whichever provides a longer period. Such time limitation shall be tolled for minors for any period during which parent or guardian and defendant's insurer or health care provider have committed fraud or collusion in the failure to bring an action on behalf of the injured minor for professional negligence.

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It depends on what state you were born in. Some states allow an adult child to bring a birth injury claim if the parents failed to do so, for a period of time after the age of majority. You should consult with a personal injury attorney in the state you were born in, to get specific advice on your claim. Unfortunately, your disability is a common one in birth injury claims. Good luck to you.

I am licensed in California only and my answers on Avvo assume California law. The above answer is for general information only and is based on the information you posted. Every case is fact dependent, so to get a thorough analysis of your situation, you will need to consult face to face with an attorney licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where the incident took place. Do not conclusively rely on any information posted online when deciding what to do about your case. No attorney-client relationship shall be created through the use reading of this response on Avvo. You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information in this response.


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