Babies, toddlers, and children with diplegic cerebral palsy often require extensive medical care, therapy, medication, and other treatment to gain as much purposeful movement and mobility as possible. The severity of this type of cerebral palsy can vary widely.
If you believe your child’s diplegic cerebral palsy diagnosis stems from a medical error, birth injury, or medical neglect your child endured before, during, or after birth, you may have a valid medical malpractice claim. Call 1-800-222-9529 today to speak with the Birth Injury Lawyers Group. You can talk to an attorney from your state who will review your case for free.
Diplegic Cerebral Palsy Lawsuits
There are several ways a negligent doctor could contribute or cause the brain injury that leads to diplegic cerebral palsy symptoms. This may include:
- Failing to monitor the mother and baby during pregnancy
- Failing to monitor the mother and baby during labor and delivery
- Failing to consider risk factors for birth injury during a long and difficult labor and delivery
- Causing the infant to suffer a skull fracture or other traumatic brain injury through improper techniques or inexpert use of forceps or a vacuum extractor
To prove your doctor failed to provide an acceptable standard of care, your attorney will identify and work with a medical expert witness on your case. This expert witness will most likely be an obstetrician who works in the same geographical area where your child’s birth injury occurred.
With a strong case to support your medical malpractice claim, your attorney may be able to take legal action against the negligent doctor and recover damages on your behalf. These damages may include:
- Current and future medical care costs
- Therapy and ongoing care costs
- Prescription medication expenses
- Mobility tools including wheelchairs and rolling walkers
- Out-of-pocket costs that may include retrofitting your home for accessibility
- Pain and suffering damages
- Other noneconomic damages
It is important to take action as early as possible in this type of birth injury case. Each state has its own deadlines for filing a claim against a liable doctor or hospital.
Diplegic Cerebral Palsy Overview
Diplegic cerebral palsy causes muscle stiffness and difficulty moving the legs. The arms are usually not affected or only minorly affected. Diplegic cerebral palsy is one of the most common types of cerebral palsy.
Sometimes called spastic diplegia, this type of cerebral palsy causes difficulty walking. The tight muscles that run from the hips to the feet cause the legs to turn inward and pull together. This leads to scissoring when the turned-in knees cross over one another.
Diplegic Cerebral Palsy Causes
The brain damage that causes cerebral palsy can occur in a wide variety of ways. It affects the areas of the brain that control muscle movement, leading to the symptoms that include stiff muscles, abnormal reflexes, and rigidity. Some of the causes of diplegic cerebral palsy and other types of cerebral palsy may include:
- Maternal infection
- Skull fracture
- Neonatal stroke
- Lack of oxygen or limited oxygen to the brain
- Another traumatic brain injury
Diplegic Cerebral Palsy Symptoms
According to the National Institutes of Health, the symptoms characteristic of diplegic cerebral palsy include:
- Delayed milestones including rolling over, crawling, sitting, and standing
- Walking on tiptoes
- Flexed knees
- Other coordination and balance issues
In addition to problems with muscle stiffness and movement, some children with diplegic cerebral palsy also have cognitive impairments, intellectual disabilities, or learning differences. Seizure disorders are also common.
Diplegic Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis and Treatment
Your child’s doctor will observe the child and evaluate his abilities, movement, muscle tone, and other factors before giving you a diagnosis. They may also order tests to learn more about where the damage occurred, and if your child has any additional complications related to diplegic cerebral palsy.
Treatment of this type of cerebral palsy depends greatly on the severity and the child’s individual symptoms. A diplegic cerebral palsy treatment plan may include:
- Early intervention
- Muscle relaxing medications
- Physical and occupational therapies
- Bracing and the use of other orthotic devices
- Surgery to loosen tight muscles or improve control
- Wheelchairs, gait trainers, rolling walkers, and other mobility aids
Diplegic Cerebral Palsy Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if my baby has diplegic cerebral palsy?
Failure to meet expected milestones during infancy and toddlerhood, as well as unusually stiff and rigid legs, may be the earliest signs of diplegic cerebral palsy. If you have concerns about your child’s health, discuss them with their pediatrician.
Can diplegic cerebral palsy be fatal?
Diplegic cerebral palsy is not a life-threatening condition. Children with this type of cerebral palsy can lead long, healthy lives with the right treatment and ongoing care.
Who is liable for diplegic cerebral palsy?
The doctor who monitored the pregnancy or who delivered your baby may be liable for the child’s brain injury and their diplegic cerebral palsy. There may also be other liable parties, depending on the facts of your case. Your attorney can help you identify all potentially liable parties.
What is the statute of limitations for diplegic cerebral palsy?
The statute of limitations and the statute of repose that apply in your diplegic cerebral palsy birth injury case vary based on where you live. Each state sets its own deadlines for taking legal action. Many states, however, allow tolling for minor victims of medical malpractice. This gives you time to discover your child’s condition and learn how it will affect their life going forth before you file your claim.
Diplegic Cerebral Palsy Glossary Terms
- What Is Diplegia? Diplegia means “affecting both legs.” Diplegic cerebral palsy typically affects only the legs, with any upper body involvement being only mild in severity or absent entirely.
- What Is Spasticity? Spasticity occurs when the involved muscles are stiff and tight, and the person has exaggerated reflexes. Spasticity is characteristic of diplegic cerebral palsy.
- What Is Strabismus? Strabismus is a condition that means the eyes focus in toward one another, also called crossed eyes. It is common in diplegic cerebral palsy.
Talk to a Birth Injury Attorney About Your Child’s Diplegic Cerebral Palsy
If you believe a doctor’s negligence caused your child’s birth injury and diplegic cerebral palsy, a birth injury attorney in your state will review your case at no cost to your family. Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group at 1-800-222-9529 to connect to a lawyer near you who can explain your legal options and take action on your family’s behalf.