Parents of children with cerebral palsy often have a range of worries running through their head virtually all the time about how to best take care of their loved one. Our Illinois cerebral palsy attorneys have worked with many families whose children have developed the cognitive condition as a result of errors made during the child’s birth. In our work with these community members we have come to appreciate that families seeking resources to help their child are doing so to ensure their health and well-being now and throughout their future.
On one hand, those with the condition often need close medical care and support virtually around the clock. As everyone knows, medical bills can pile up quickly, and so the costs often reach high amounts quite quickly. In addition, beyond medical care, those with cerebral palsy often flourish most notably when they are surrounded by a strong support team, trained to ensure they are able to learn, grow, and perfect their social skills as much as possible. Receiving proper support in these areas comes at a cost.
It is not easy to find quality caregivers that a family can trust. Trust is an essentially ingredient with it comes to aid workers for all those with special needs. A very real concern of many parents whose children have been hurt by a birth injury is the fear that those hired to help the child will take advantage of their vulnerabilities. Each Chicago injury lawyer at our firm knows that this is a very real concern, because many unscrupulous individuals use the weaknesses of others in order to benefits themselves. Families are well-heeded to keep the risks of abuse in mind when settling upon support services for loved ones who have unique vulnerabilities.
For example, FA News reported this week on a criminal case involving a financial advisor who apparently took advantage of a client who had cerebral palsy. According to the report, the advisor was recently sentenced to four years in prison for stealing more than $1 million from his client. The funds had been set aside in a trust account to support the child who suffered from cerebral palsy. Most of the money in the trust was earned after a medical malpractice settlement awarded the family $3 million to pay for the child’s expenses throughout his life. The funds were then dispersed to the mother and family on a monthly basis, depending on the child’s specific medical needs.
It seems that the family was set to receive about $6,300 per month for a range of services for the child. However, instead of dispensing that amount, the advisor only gave the parents around $1,000 a month. The rest was used for his own purposes-including buying himself a house. This shorting of the family went on for at least a nine year period. Once the financial crimes were uncovered the man was forced to pay the family restitution in an attempt to get back all of the funds that were lost due to his misdeeds.
This case is a stark reminder of the need for all families to be particularly diligent about whom they trust with professional services. This is particularly true when one is deciding upon caregiving for vulnerable family members, like those with cerebral palsy. It is vital to obtain services from one who you feel comfortable and who you believe you can trust.
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