If you or a loved one has Cerebral Palsy and suspect it may be due to complications during delivery, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering and other losses. Our firm is working with some experienced Cerebral Palsy attorneys in this area and there is no fee until you receive a Cerebral Palsy settlement or award. Feel free to call us toll free 24/7 or contact us online for a free legal consultation.
Three quarters – that is, 75% – of United States obstetricians report being the defendant in a lawsuit, most frequently related to their allegedly causing cerebral palsy (i). The Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law released an article detailing how 60% of malpractice premiums paid by obstetricians go to cover lawsuits for alleged birth-related cerebral palsy (ii). Furthermore, substantially less than half of that money goes to cerebral palsy victims, and less than 10% of children with cerebral palsy receive any compensation at all from their legal claims (ii). Cases alleging cerebral palsy resulting from medical malpractice contain many difficult legal issues, making it essential to find a skilled attorney to help you or your loved one handle their cerebral palsy medical malpractice lawsuit.
What is cerebral palsy?
Cerebral palsy is an umbrella term used to refer to disorders that can involve brain and nervous system functions. Cerebral palsy is a non-progressive disorder, meaning its symptoms do not generally worsen as time passes. Cerebral refers to the brain, meaning the disease affects the brain and brain function. The brain controls motor function and coordination, both of which are damaged by cerebral palsy. This is seen where individuals with cerebral palsy have limited abilities to move, and in some other instances, problems with their posture. There are several categories of cerebral palsy, which refer to the area of the brain which is damaged: spastic, dyskinetic, ataxic, hypotonic, and mixed.
Several different incidents cause cerebral palsy
Cerebral palsy can develop before birth, during birth, or even after a child is born. The brain of the fetus can be damaged in the womb while it is forming. Genetics may also play a role. Another common cause of cerebral palsy is birth difficulties such as: lack of oxygen, forceps-assisted delivery, unnecessary use of vacuum, being caught by the umbilical cord, and being stuck in the birth canal. These birth difficulties may be the doctor’s fault during delivery, and therefore can be found to be medical malpractice.
There are some risk factors for cerebral palsy, including: premature birth, multiple births, low birth weight (less than 2 pounds), and infections and head injuries after birth. Illnesses such as jaundice, bacterial meningitis, and viral encephalitis can cause cerebral palsy. Other traumatic events after birth, including: bleeding in the brain, epileptic seizures, as well as breathing and circulation problems may cause cerebral palsy, too. Signs of cerebral palsy usually appear before a child reaches 3 years of age.
Symptoms of cerebral palsy may vary from mild to severe across patients.
- Lack of muscle coordination
- Stiff muscles
- Muscle spasms
- Problems with balance
- Exaggerated reflexes
- Walking on toes
- Walking while dragging one leg
- Abnormal muscle tone
- Other symptoms…
Common Cerebral Palsy symptoms to look for include:
Cerebral palsy causes different levels of disabilities, from mild to severe. Children with mild cerebral palsy may not require any special assistance, whereas children with severe cerebral palsy may require a wheelchair to move and need lifetime care. The expenses associated with quality, long-term care of children with cerebral palsy necessitate the legal path as an option for individuals seeking compensation and financial support to help lower the costs associated with this condition (iii). Some of the common difficulties caused by cerebral palsy include: mental retardation, seizures, speech problems, swallowing problems, hearing loss, vision problems, and dental problems.
There is no cure for Cerebral Palsy
Although there is no cure for this group of disorders, there are many different treatments available. Treatments are usually specific for each individual and involve several types of therapy, including: physical, occupational, and speech therapy. Medications have had some success in controlling symptoms. Treatment for this group of disorders should begin as soon as a child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy. The earlier the treatment starts, the better for the child.
Medical malpractice can cause cerebral palsy. Medical decisions made during the pregnancy, at the child’s birth, and afterwards can all affect whether the child will develop cerebral palsy. Failure to detect and treat problems can cause cerebral palsy. If successful with a cerebral palsy lawsuit, you can recover medical and treatment expenses, loss of income, partial or permanent disability, and psychological suffering among other related losses.
- (i) Clinical Obstetrics & Gynecology. 2008.
- (ii) Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law. 1989.
- (iii) Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine. 2011.