If you or a loved one has Cerebral Palsy and suspect it may have been caused by medical malpractice, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost income and pain and suffering, among other losses. Our firm is working with experienced Cerebral Palsy lawyers in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, who charge no fee unless you receive a settlement or award. Contact us toll free 24/7 or online for a free (no obligation) case evaluation.
What Is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral Palsy (CP) is an umbrella term used to refer to conditions that involve brain and nervous system damage. 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 under the condition. In many cases, sufferers also have reduced mental ability.
Individuals with Cerebral Palsy have limited ability to move and sometimes have problems with their posture. Often, they are confined to wheelchairs, walkers, or crutches. CP symptoms do not generally get better or worse as time passes.
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What Causes Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral Palsy can be caused several different ways. It can develop before birth or during birth. It can even develop after a child is born because the brain is not fully formed, so it is vulnerable for several months after birth.
Causes of Cerebral Palsy include:
- Infections, like meningitis or encephalitis
- Severe Jaundice
- Breech Births (where the lower part of the body comes out before the head)
- Lack of Oxygen during birth
Other traumatic events after birth, like bleeding in the brain and seizures, may also cause Cerebral Palsy. Signs and symptoms of CP usually appear before a child reaches 3 years of age.
Is Cerebral Palsy Caused By Medical Malpractice?
Cerebral Palsy is sometimes caused by medical malpractice. Decisions made by medical professionals during the pregnancy, at the child’s birth, and afterwards can all affect whether the child will develop CP. Doctors are required by law to perform at a certain standard. If they don’t perform to that standard, and someone suffers an injury because it, the doctor could be held responsible for the injuries. Some common causes of Cerebral Palsy that are linked to medical malpractice are:
- Lack of Oxygen
- Sever Jaundice
- Forceps-assisted delivery
- Unnecessary use of vacuum
- Being caught by the umbilical cord
- Being stuck in the birth canal
- Misdiagnosis of twins or triplets
These birth difficulties may be the doctor’s fault during delivery and can therefore can be found to be medical malpractice.
The two most common medical malpractice related causes of Cerebral Palsy are lack of oxygen and severe jaundice. These can be avoided if the physician conducts proper fetal monitoring during the birth will provide information to the doctor about whether the baby is receiving enough oxygen and whether or not they should conduct a C-Section instead of a traditional birth. Likewise, severe jaundice can be avoided through proper monitoring during the first few weeks after birth.
Three out of four obstetricians report being sued and many of those lawsuits are related to Cerebral Palsy. The Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law released a paper which stated that 60% of medical malpractice insurance paid by obstetricians go to covering lawsuits for alleged birth-related CP. However, only 10% of children with the condition receive any compensation at all from their legal claims.
Cases alleging CP resulting from medical malpractice contain many difficult legal issues. Hiring a skilled Cerebral Palsy lawyer could help ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
What Are The Symptoms Of Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral Palsy causes different levels of symptoms, from mild to severe. Children with mild CP may not require any special assistance, whereas children with severe cerebral palsy could require a wheelchair to move and need lifetime care.
Mild symptoms of Cerebral Palsy include:
- Speech problems
- Swallowing problems
- Hearing loss
- Vision problems
- Dental problems
- Lack of muscle coordination
- Stiff muscles
- Muscle spasms
- Problems with balance
- Exaggerated reflexes
- Walking on toes
- Walking while dragging one leg
- Abnormal muscle tone
Severe symptoms include:
- Partial or whole paralysis
- Serious lack of motor skills
- Mental retardation
The expenses associated with quality, long-term care of children with cerebral palsy can be very high. Pursuing a Cerebral Palsy lawsuit is a valid option for individuals seeking compensation and financial support to help lower the costs associated with this condition.
Is There A Cure For Cerebral Palsy?
There is no cure for Cerebral Palsy, but 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 controlling symptoms. Treatment for CP usually begins as soon as a child has been diagnosed with the condition. The earlier the treatment starts, the better the results for the child.
What Is A Cerebral Palsy Case Worth?
When considering the value of a Cerebral Palsy case, certain factors will be taken into account in order to compensate you. The amount of medical bills that have already been paid and will need to be paid, as well as income that may have been lost due to increased time spent caring for the person with CP, will be examined. Additionally, the pain and suffering experienced by the child will be examined as well as to how the injury has affected the parents.
Potential “future” losses will also be considered. These are losses that will be incurred over the course of time related to care for the sufferer. In rare cases, a judge or a jury will award “punitive” damages. These are awarded when the doctor that committed malpractice was extremely out of line with what a normal doctor would have done.
Examples of successful Cerebral Palsy lawsuits:
- $103 Million to a New York woman that gave premature birth to twins with Cerebral Palsy. The doctor and hospital staff failed to recognize that the mother was in labor and then allowed the mother to deliver the babies normally instead of ordering a C-Section.
- $36.7 Million to a Florida woman, who sought treatment from a medical professional that ended up causing injury to the fetus, resulting in premature birth and CP.
- $21 Million to a Maryland woman that gave birth to a child with CP. The umbilical cord had wrapped around the neck of the baby, but the doctors took several hours to notice it.
Why Contact Us?
If you or a loved suffer from Cerebral Palsy and you think it may have been caused by medical malpractice, you could be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost income and pain and suffering, among other losses. We are working with experienced Cerebral Palsy lawyers in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, who charge no legal fee unless you receive an award or settlement. Contact us toll free 24/7 or online for a free (no obligation) case evaluation.