In a study reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cerebral palsy is a common childhood disability that affects up to four children out of 1,000 born worldwide. It is caused by abnormalities in the development of the brain or direct physical injury to the gray matter of the brain—specifically to the cerebral cortex, which is the part of the brain that controls the body’s voluntary motor functions. It presents in different ways depending on the nature and extent of the injuries involved, but it usually affects how a person walks, talks, learns, and controls their limbs.
This type of damage is almost always irreversible, making cerebral palsy a permanent and lifelong condition. If you live in Cape Coral and your child was either diagnosed with cerebral palsy or sustained a birth injury of some sort, the Birth Injury Lawyers Group can help. Call us for a free consultation and case evaluation today at (800) 222-9529. Our Cape Coral cerebral palsy lawyers can help you investigate your case to determine whether the negligence of your child’s doctor or delivery team caused your child’s injuries.
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Types of Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is a set of neurological and musculoskeletal disorders that affect a host of motor functions. Children who are born with cerebral palsy or develop it shortly after birth may have to live with the condition forever because brain damage usually does not heal over time.
The three broad classes of cerebral palsy are:
- Athetoid cerebral palsy, also known as dyskinetic cerebral palsy. With this form of CP, children can have difficulty speaking and reaching or grasping for objects. Patients typically have involuntary movements and may have trouble controlling with coordination or movements. It can lead to difficulty maintaining posture while sitting or walking.
- Spastic cerebral palsy, which is the most typical form of cerebral palsy. This form of the condition is characterized by tight muscles that cause the patient to exhibit repetitive and/or rough motions. Spastic CP can make it difficult to hold on to or let go of objects.
- Ataxic cerebral palsy. Patients with ataxic CP have difficultly walking and other tasks that require depth perception and coordination. Ataxic cerebral palsy also causes troubles with balance.
Some of the symptoms of cerebral palsy include:
- Excessive drooling.
- An inability to hold the head upright.
- Poor vision or hearing.
- Intellectual disabilities.
- An inability to walk, crawl, or sit upright, depending on the individual’s age.
- Weakness in certain limbs or an inability to move certain parts of the body in certain ways.
- Excessively stiff or floppy muscles that can make it extremely difficult for the patient to move the limbs, grasp objects, or get around on their own.
- Issues with eating and/or swallowing.
Over the long run, cerebral palsy can lead to serious malnutrition since the affected individual may have issues eating and will not likely be able to acquire the nutrients they need to properly develop. This malnutrition, in turn, can cause bone weakness, leading to frequent bone fractures, regular hospitalizations, and further psychological and emotional trauma.
If you live in Cape Coral, you can speak with the team at the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today. Call us at (800) 222-9529 so a Cape Coral cerebral palsy lawyer can get started with collecting the evidence needed to identify the parties who may be responsible for your child’s injuries and find treatment centers that can help your child. These steps can maximize your child’s chances of hopefully overcoming or at least being able to manage their disabilities.
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Tests, Treatments, and Costs
It is important for the parents of children diagnosed with cerebral palsy to understand the type, cause, and extent of their child’s condition if they are to provide their child with the care and treatment that they need. These treatments can help the child overcome some of their disabilities, but it all depends on the type of damage that the child sustained, the parts of the brain that were affected, and the various forms of treatment accessible to you.
A variety of diagnostic tests can be used to determine the type, location, and extent of your child’s injuries. It is important to conduct this type of testing before initiating any kind of treatment because you cannot predict how the illness or the patient will react to new interventions.
While diagnosing your child’s cerebral palsy, some of the tests and procedures they may have to undergo include:
- Providing a complete medical history.
- Undergoing a thorough physical exam.
- Evaluating the brain’s electrical activity.
- Conducting an MRI or a CT scan to reveal brain injuries or abnormalities.
- Providing blood samples to test for infections or bleeding disorders.
- Testing vision and hearing since these may be affected by cerebral cortex damage.
- Evaluating the mental development of the child by screening them for intellectual disabilities.
These are the initial steps required before appropriate treatments can be administered. Once these tests are completed, your child’s doctor may prescribe one or more of the following based on the results:
- Physical therapy to improve the strength, coordination, balance, and flexibility of the child.
- Medications to help overcome shaking and poor muscle tone.
- Surgery to repair bone injuries and fractures that are common symptoms of cerebral palsy.
These tests and treatments are why cerebral palsy can place significant stress on a family’s financial stability, especially since cerebral palsy is a permanent condition that exposes the affected family to long-term care costs. A Cape Coral cerebral palsy lawyer can quantify your current and future medical bills and fight for the compensation you deserve if negligence caused your child’s injuries.
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The Importance of Professional Legal Assistance From a Cerebral Palsy Lawyer
Collecting the evidence needed to prove negligence, connecting a specific birth injury to a demonstrable negligent act, and meeting the legal, insurance, and administrative rules that govern malpractice law can challenge anyone unfamiliar with the legal process.
There are many provisions that must be met to pursue a malpractice suit successfully under Florida Statute § 766.102. The complexity of medical malpractice law is one of the reasons that you might benefit from speaking with a Cape Coral cerebral palsy lawyer about your case.
If your child was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, you can call the team at the Birth Injury Lawyers Group at (800) 222-9529. We can help you collect the evidence needed to identify the at-fault parties who may be responsible for your child’s injuries, as well as evaluate and quantify your damages so that you can initiate the compensation claim process. Call now to get started.
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