A cerebral palsy diagnosis in a child or infant often traces back to an injury that happened during childbirth or even pregnancy. In many of these cases, there were signs of risk that medical providers should have detected and prepared for in the event of a difficult delivery. Their failure to meet a standard of care could make these professionals liable for negative outcomes, including cerebral palsy.
If a healthcare professional’s negligence caused your child’s cerebral palsy, you may be entitled to recover compensation to cover medical expenses and other damages.
A Hialeah cerebral palsy lawyer can review your case and inform you of your options for recovering damages from the at-fault party. Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today for a free consultation at (800) 222-9529.
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Meeting the Standard of Care
When it comes to pursuing compensation for your child’s cerebral palsy, you will most likely begin by filing a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance provider. If the insurer will not agree to a fair settlement, your birth injury attorney can file a lawsuit on your behalf and have a judge or jury determine whether you are entitled to an award for your damages.
Either way, you will need to establish key elements in your case.
Standard of Care
Every medical provider involved in your pregnancy and your child’s delivery and aftercare owed you a duty of care to keep you both safe and free from injury. In the medical profession, this means these professionals were required to meet a standard of care. If the actions or behavior of any of your healthcare providers did not measure up to that which a typical professional in the same position and in similar circumstances would have demonstrated, your provider did not meet the standard of care.
Causation and Damages
Next, you need to prove that this failure—considered to be legally negligent—caused your child’s cerebral palsy. Finally, you will need to show how this medical condition has cost you financially and will cost you financially down the road.
When you have all the evidence to prove the above to be true, you have the foundation for a case of medical negligence, and you can proceed to pursue compensation.
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Causes of Cerebral Palsy
A lawyer who has handled birth injuries will understand the ways in which cerebral palsy can result from medical negligence. Generally speaking, this condition is actually a group of disorders that stems from abnormal or disrupted brain development. This disruption can occur before a baby is born.
Professionals who work with pregnancies and deliveries should have the training and education to spot the various risk factors that can cause cerebral palsy. They should also be vigilant in monitoring and detecting any sign of these risks and respond with the appropriate action.
Risk Factors for Abnormal or Disrupted Brain Development
There are several risk factors that should heighten medical providers’ concern for potential problems with brain development in the womb:
- Infections in the mother or toxic exposures during pregnancy
- Breech presentation (feet-first, rather than head-first)
- More than one baby in the uterus
Several other risk factors may present during delivery and after birth. These include:
- Baby experiences bleeding into the brain
- Infant develops bacterial infections, like bacterial meningitis
- Baby is diagnosed with viral encephalitis
- Newborn suffers from untreated or severe jaundice
- Premature birth
- Low birth weight
If your obstetrician failed to detect the warning signs of cerebral palsy, notify you, and take appropriate steps to prevent it, they may be liable due to medical negligence.
A Hialeah cerebral palsy lawyer can review medical documentation from your pregnancy, delivery, and after-care to determine your rights for moving forward with a claim. Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today for a free consultation (800) 222-9529.
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Preventive Measures for Cerebral Palsy
Depending on your specific circumstances, a health care provider might have had the opportunity to detect a potential risk for cerebral palsy.
Poor Prenatal Care
Throughout your pregnancy, it was the duty of your obstetrician to stay on top of any infections you might have had and worked to treat them for the sake of your child. If you were carrying multiple babies, the health of one fetus directly impacts the well-being of the other fetus(es) in your uterus. Careful and thorough check-ups and ultrasounds are methods your physician should have been using to stay apprised of these conditions.
During labor, your doctor, nurses, and delivery team should have been diligently monitoring your baby for signs of fetal distress. If your baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels were not monitored, or a detected problem went unreported or was reported too late, your baby’s brain development might have suffered as a result.
Finally, if the delivery doctor failed to respond to reported signs of fetal distress—perhaps by calling for an emergency c-section—your baby’s brain might have been stripped of oxygen, resulting in their cerebral palsy.
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Cerebral Palsy Treatment Possibilities
A person who has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy faces a lifetime of treatment. Their loved ones will also undergo significant, ongoing training to learn how to administer proper care.
According to Merck Manuals, cerebral palsy cannot be cured, but can involve several types of treatments, including:
- Occupational and physical therapy
- Speech therapy
- Drugs like botulinum toxin to treat spasticity
The treatment of cerebral palsy can happen now or in the future. Some may be ongoing.
Recovering Damages for the Birth Injuries of Your Child
A lifetime of cerebral palsy treatment can prove costly. This is the key reason that parents of a child with cerebral palsy seek compensation from a negligent medical provider who caused the condition.
A third-party insurance claim or cerebral palsy lawsuit can generate a settlement or award that will cover such losses as:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Diminished enjoyment of life
These are just a handful of the types of damages you might be able to recover in your birth injury claim or lawsuit.
Consider Hiring a Birth Injury Lawyer to Represent You
Lawyers for birth injuries will know by reviewing your case your options for moving forward with a demand for damages from the at-fault party. Keep in mind that every state has a statute of limitations limiting the amount of time you have to take legal action in your case. Birth injury cases can sometimes be tolled, however.
Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today for a free case review at (800) 222-9529.