Cerebral palsy is a neurological condition that can develop when there is damage to the brain that cannot be fixed. Often, this damage occurs as a result of prenatal complications. In other circumstances, a doctor’s neglect or inattentiveness may cause a child to suffer a brain injury during birth. Cerebral palsy is incurable but there are treatment and therapy options available that can help to manage its effects on the body.
Our team of experienced birth injury lawyers can help if your child suffers from or was diagnosed with brain damage that led to cerebral palsy. Caring for a child with brain damage can have profound effects on the baby as well as his or her parents, and you should pursue all available legal options open to you in order to secure your family’s financial future.
If you believe that a doctor’s negligence caused, worsened, or contributed to your child’s birth injury, you will likely be emotionally traumatized and overwhelmed. In such a state, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to gather the documentation needed to prove that this negligence caused your child’s injuries. Furthermore, doctors and hospital staff responsible for your child’s delivery will likely not be willing to share medical records or proof of mistakes of any sort with you.
To prove negligence, the more information you have, the stronger your case will be against the responsible parties. An experienced and compassionate cerebral palsy lawyer can be a great source of help with each step of the legal process. Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today at (800) 222-9529 for a free case evaluation and to learn more about your options and how to put together a case for legal malpractice against the at-fault parties responsible for your child’s injuries.
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Causes of Cerebral Palsy
Some cerebral palsy cases are caused by brain damage that becomes evident more than one month after birth. This type of cerebral palsy is referred to as acquired cerebral palsy and it is usually related to infections such as meningitis or head injuries. Premature infants have a higher risk of developing cerebral palsy, but it can also occur during early infancy as a result of:
- Bleeding in the brain
- Head injuries
- Severe jaundice
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Does Cerebral Palsy Worsen Over Time?
Parents who have a child who suffers from cerebral palsy may wonder if their child’s condition will worsen over time. Generally speaking, cerebral palsy is a non-progressive health condition and does not worsen over time. However, a number of health issues and long-term concerns may complicate your child’s condition. These include:
- Flexibility or motor control problems that may restrict a child’s lifestyle.
- Issues with the eyesight that may make things difficult at school, while driving, or while participating in other activities.
- Cognitive, learning, or developmental disabilities can make it difficult to teach the child.
- Stress that can generate a great deal of emotional and behavioral trauma.
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Diagnosing Cerebral Palsy
It is important for parents to know and recognize the signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy if they are to be able to identify issues with how their child is growing and developing. Toward that end, parents are advised to:
- Know the signs: Early identification of cerebral palsy will not cure the condition but it will help you identify the cause and type of brain damage your child has sustained. Important signs to take note of include abnormal muscle tone, jerky or spastic movements, a lack of balance, delayed development, skeletal deformities, and contractures. Seizures may also occur.
- Keep records: Maintain a journal of doctor’s visits, prenatal care, and notes on the delivery of your baby’s development and behavior after birth. Doing this will help you watch for warning signs and establish a timeline with which to prove your case if a cerebral palsy lawsuit becomes necessary.
- Identify the cause: You may have to prove that a specific individual or group’s act of negligence resulted in your child’s cerebral palsy. It will be easier to do this if you can identify a specific decision or action that your child’s care team took while treating the mother or her child.
In the event that cerebral palsy was due to medical negligence, a lawsuit may be filed to compensate both the child and their parents for these damages. With the help of a Michigan cerebral palsy lawyer, these claims may include significant funds necessary to care for the child throughout his or her lifetime.
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Medical Errors That Lead to Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is often caused by inadequate oxygen reaching the baby during birth. This can be caused by several factors, many of which can be prevented with proper treatment and care. Common types of negligence that can lead to cerebral palsy include all of the following:
- A failure to order specific tests during pregnancy, or not interpreting test results correctly.
- A failure to perform a C-section despite signs of fetal distress.
- A failure to properly monitor the fetus before, during, and soon after delivery.
- A failure to quickly act when the mother’s water breaks, when there is unexpected bleeding, or when the mother’s blood pressure rises quickly.
- A failure to monitor the baby right after birth and to check for infections, hyperbilirubinemia, or jaundice.
- A failure to refer the expectant mother to a neonatal specialist when problems are identified during pregnancy.
These are errors that can have severe and lasting impacts on a child’s life, so it is essential that a parent or guardian understands how to identify cerebral palsy, what to do if their child is diagnosed with cerebral palsy, and how to file a claim for damages that they are entitled to. We encourage you to call us at (800) 222-9529 for a free case evaluation and to learn more about how cerebral palsy cases are handled, what your rights and responsibilities are, and how to prove negligence on the part of your child’s care team so that you can get your child and your family on the road to recovery.