Cerebral palsy is one of the most commonly occurring childhood disabilities in the United States, affecting over 800,000 people of all ages. There is no known cure for cerebral palsy and it can lead to serious health issues and disabilities. These include:
- A lack of motor control
- Poor posture
- An inability to control the head
- Delayed motor development
- Becoming easily startled
- Seizures or epilepsy
- Problems with vision and/or hearing
If your child or a loved one was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, give us a call for a free, private, and no-obligation consultation at (800) 222-9529. Cerebral palsy is a permanent condition because the brain damage that causes it does not heal over time. Rehabilitative care and therapy can be expensive as well, and your child may require lifelong assistance to live. If your child’s cerebral palsy was caused by medical negligence, you may be able to sue for damages, such as pain and suffering, lost income from work, the costs of assistive devices and doctor’s visits, therapy, and diagnostic tests.
For a free legal consultation with Paradise Cerebral Palsy lawyer, call 1-800-222-9529
Causes of Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy commonly occurs in children either during or soon after birth, although it can occur naturally as well as a result of gene mutations or other environmental factors outside the control of the doctor. It affects the parts of the brain that are responsible for controlling movement, which is why the symptoms of cerebral palsy usually involve some form of motor dysfunction. It can also be caused by damage to or abnormal development of the brain as a result of physical injury caused by the medical team responsible for delivering the baby. Damage to the motor centers of the brain can occur after birth as well, as much as months or years later, if the gray matter of the brain is damaged in any way, such as via physical trauma (such as from a fall or as a result of abuse) or in a motor accident. As long as the young brain is still developing, signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy may slowly become evident.
Cerebral palsy can be caused in the following ways:
Damage to the brain’s white matter, which controls the signals that travel throughout the brain and from the brain to the rest of the body, can lead to issues with movement when certain types of signals cannot properly travel between the brain and the body.
Abnormal Brain Development
Issues that affect the normal growth of the brain can lead to abnormalities in the physical build of the brain. This can negatively affect how brain signals are transmitted. Abnormal brain development can be caused by gene mutations, infection, fever, or physical trauma.
An infant or an unborn child can have a stroke while still inside the womb, leading to brain bleeding or a brain clot.
Insufficient oxygen supply to the brain, called hypoxia, can happen if the brain of the baby does not receive an adequate supply of oxygen, causing the brain cells to die. Low blood pressure in the mother, a ruptured uterus, detachment of the placenta, and problems related to the umbilical cord can reduce the amount of oxygen that reaches the child’s brain, leading to an injury and, subsequently, cerebral palsy.
Negligence can cause cerebral palsy in many ways. For example, the baby’s head may sustain an injury via trauma during delivery, and this can happen if medical staff incorrectly use assistive devices such as forceps or vacuum extractors to remove the baby from the womb. It can also happen if the medical team misdiagnoses the mother, does not interpret test results correctly, administers too much or too little of a specific type of medication, or does not conduct tests that could have identified potential delivery issues that would then have been addressed.
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Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy manifests in different ways from person to person and from child to child. Some patients display only mild symptoms, such as clumsiness or awkwardness, while others suffer more serious debilitations such as an inability to walk, talk, or move around independently.
It is important that parents be able to recognize the early warning signs of cerebral palsy if they are to have any chance of catching or diagnosing the ailment and initiate rehabilitative treatments on time. Some of the signs that a baby may suffer from cerebral palsy include:
- Missing normal growth or development milestones, such as sitting up, crawling, and walking on time
- Abnormal or jerky and uncontrolled movements
- Stiff or spastic muscles
- Difficulty controlling or coordinating muscle movement
- Speech problems, such as slurred speech or poorly formed words
- Difficulty swallowing, eating, and drinking; excessive drooling is also common with cerebral palsy
If your child exhibits any of the symptoms below, he or she may have a severe case of cerebral palsy:
- Mental disabilities and difficulty learning
- Problems with hearing and/or vision
- Communication problems
- Difficulty walking or holding the head upright
- Seizures or epilepsy
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How We Can Help
If your child suffers from cerebral palsy as a result of birth-related injuries, you have the right to file for damages. Doing so involves determining who was responsible for your child’s cerebral palsy, quantifying the damages you have suffered, collecting evidence to build a case, and filing a claim with the right courts within the required time frames.
A legal expert with experience in birth injury litigation can help you identify the cause of your child’s cerebral palsy, who was responsible, and how to develop a compensation plan and a care regimen so that you and your family can get back on track toward living as normal a life as possible. Doing this will involve the following steps:
- Connecting with a member of our legal team for a review of the facts of your case to determine whether or not you may be eligible for compensation.
- Retaining an attorney at no cost so that we can formally represent you and work on your behalf.
- Collect the evidence needed to build a case, negotiate with liable parties, and take your case to court if needed. We will take care of all of these steps so that you can focus on helping your child learn, grow, and overcome his or her disabilities.
To learn more about your rights with respect to medical malpractice issues, what evidence is needed from you, and when and how to initiate a claim, call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today at (800) 222-9529.