Cerebral palsy is a group of neuromuscular disorders that hamper an individual’s ability to move. It involves some form of abnormal development or damage to the parts of the brain that control movement. While cerebral palsy can lead to a very wide range of health issues – including but not limited to issues with hearing, vision, bone development, breathing, as well as mental challenges and epilepsy – it is most associated with movement and posture issues such as an inability to walk, move the limbs, hold the head upright, and control the mouth.
If any of these symptoms sound familiar or if you have noticed them in your child, you should get in touch with a reputable lawyer to assist with your case. Nine out of 10 cerebral palsy cases develop before birth as a result of some form of an environmental, genetic, or physical anomaly with the child. If any of these factors can be proven to have been preventable, you may be able to seek compensation for your losses. Give us a call at (800) 222-9529. The Birth Injury Lawyers Group assists families stricken by birth injuries to overcome the challenges they face.
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Causes of Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is a permanent condition. It almost always involves some form of brain damage or abnormal brain development. It is the most common motor disability in children in the United States. Once a baby sustains brain damage, the damage itself does not typically worsen with time, and because of this, cerebral palsy is classified as a nonprogressive illness. Some patients can overcome their health issues with care and therapy, but various symptoms can deteriorate with time.
Also, since cerebral palsy is permanent, treatments and care for it are life-long. There is no single cause of it and it usually develops because of multiple factors, but even if your child has a mild form of the disorder, treatments will likely be required every few weeks or months for years on end. The risk factors that can contribute to cerebral palsy are listed below:
- Premature birth
- Low birth weight
- Blood incompatibility with the mother
- Maternal infection
- Maternal obesity
- Maternal mental disorders
- Genetic disorders
- Birth injuries during delivery
Some of these, such as genetic disorders and maternal obesity, are beyond the control of the medical team that delivered your child. As such, it is not likely that anyone can be held accountable for damages that arise as a result of your child having developed cerebral palsy because of those issues. Birth injuries, hypoxia, and maternal blood incompatibility issues are, in fact, things that doctors can screen and test for, and if they contributed to a birth complication that led to cerebral palsy, you may be able to file a claim for damages.
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The Costs of Care
The health issues caused by cerebral palsy are nothing short of devastating. It all starts at birth and in the first few weeks and months of the child’s life. Although mild cases will have a limited impact on the child, severe cases can lead to issues with sucking and feeding, problems with holding the head up, and issues with walking, rolling over, crawling, and meeting other basic growth milestones as the baby gets older.
With time, these issues can worsen. Issues with feeding can lead to malnutrition and brittle bones. Excessive drooling can lead to mouth sores and social isolation. Muscle disuse can lead to muscle atrophy and exacerbated weakness. Immobility can lead to bedsores. Regular testing may involve MRI studies, CT scans, blood tests, X-rays, and physical checkups. Frequent hospitalization is not uncommon for cerebral palsy patients, especially considering their predisposition to having so many different health issues.
Treatments for these issues and symptoms include the use of assistive devices, medication to reduce shaking and jerky movements, therapy, specialist services, specialized care, and surgery. Surgeries to cut painful nerves, perform nerve transplants, or perform muscle transplants can all help a patient overcome his or her disabilities but they are very expensive.
The health issues that develop as a result of cerebral palsy and the costs of treatment can quickly deplete a family’s mental resolve and their financial resources. This is why you must investigate the cause of your child’s injuries so that, if you have grounds to do so, you can seek compensation and damages from the at-fault party or parties responsible for causing you losses that should never have occurred.
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A Lawyer Can Help
It is possible that your child’s cerebral palsy was caused by preventable events. These events include:
- Medication errors
- Treatment errors
- A failure to perform certain tests
- Improperly performing tests
- Incorrectly reading or interpreting test results
- The misuse of delivery devices
- Doctor inattention
- Doctor inexperience
- If any of these happen, here is how we can help.
- Determine which of many different contributing factors outlined above were involved in your child’s case.
- Establish a link between an instance of doctor negligence and the injuries your child suffered.
- Quantify the damages that accrued as a result.
- Gather the proof necessary to prove negligence.
Our team of dedicated attorneys can help you. We start by helping you diagnose cerebral palsy, understand its extent and severity, and work on a treatment plan provided by your doctor. Other multidisciplinary professionals such as neurologists, speech therapists, counselors, and social workers may also be involved in your child’s rehabilitation.
We will even help you handle insurance agents, hospital staff, defendant attorneys, and anyone else involved in negotiations or litigation to ensure that your rights are safeguarded and that you have the opportunity to file for and pursue the damages that you may be owed. Give us a call today at (800) 222-9529 for a private consultation. A member of our birth injury team will walk you through everything you need to know about how and when to file and what you can expect as the case progresses.