Cerebral palsy is a developmental illness that can occur when the brain sustains damage that cannot be fixed. Research has shown that cerebral palsy can develop before birth, but about one in ten cases are caused by birth-related injuries. These injuries are sometimes unavoidable, such as in cases where the brain does not fully develop due to genetic mutations, but many causes of birth-related brain injuries can, in fact, be prevented if the doctors and medical professionals managing the birth take the right corrective actions and perform the right procedures in response to a birth-related emergency. It is when a doctor performs actions or takes decisions that fall below the accepted standard of care as established by the medical community that they can be defined as medical malpractice.
If your child’s cerebral palsy was the result of medical malpractice, a lawsuit can be filed to compensate you and your child for all of the damages that result from your child’s condition. The Birth Injury Lawyers Group can help you file and handle such a claim so that you can get your life back on track and focus on helping your child live a full and independent life. Remember that 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. Call us today at (800) 222-9529 to learn more about your rights and legal options.
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Causes of Cerebral Palsy
As mentioned above, cerebral palsy can develop as a result of genetic factors or physical trauma. Here are common causes and risk factors for cerebral palsy in infants and newborns.
- Bleeding or blood clots in the brain
- Infections that can lead to brain swelling
- Head injuries such as via the incorrect use of delivery devices or excessive pressure because of high birth weight
- Low birth weight
- Multiple births
- Severe jaundice
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Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy
Depending on the type of palsy the patient in question suffers from, a wide range of symptoms and health issues may be exhibited, including all of the following:
- Issues with flexibility or motor control that restrict the child’s lifestyle
- Poor vision and/or hearing
- Developmental disabilities
- Stress leading to emotional and behavioral trauma
In severe cases, the patient may not be able to walk or even hold his or her head up straight. Mild cases can make it harder for the individual to grasp objects, communicate, eat, and perform other basic tasks such as bathing or dressing. This is why cerebral palsy patients often require life-long care and assistance even if their condition does not deteriorate over time.
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Types of Negligence
Cerebral palsy can be caused by insufficient oxygen reaching the baby during birth. Brain damage leading to cerebral palsy can also be the result of negligence. Some of the ways that this can happen are outlined below.
- If the delivery team fails to order a specific test during pregnancy or does not interpret test results correctly.
- If the delivery team fails to perform a C-section even if one is required.
- If the delivery team fails to properly monitor the baby before, during, and right after delivery.
- If the delivery team fails to act quickly when the mother’s water breaks, if there is unexpected bleeding, or if the mother’s blood pressure rises beyond a certain threshold.
These are errors that can have severe and lasting impacts on a child’s life. Parents and guardians must know 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.
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Diagnosing Cerebral Palsy
It is important that your child’s cerebral palsy is correctly diagnosed and identified so that the right treatment regimen can be initiated. Parents should do all of the following to ensure their child receives the treatment he or she needs:
- Know the signs of cerebral palsy: Early identification of the condition will not cure it but it will help identify the cause and type of brain damage your child suffers from. Important signs to note include abnormal muscle tone, spastic movements, a lack of balance, slow cognitive development, and bone issues or contractures. Seizures and/or epilepsy may also be present.
- Maintain records: Keep a journal of doctor’s visits, treatment expenses, and milestones your child reaches or misses. This will help pinpoint warning signs and set up a timeline that can be used to prove your case if you file a cerebral palsy lawsuit.
- Identify the cause: You may be required to prove that a specific individual or a group acted negligently, resulting in your child’s cerebral palsy. Doing this will be easier if you can identify a specific medical decision or point in time at which an injury leading to cerebral palsy occurred.
To prove negligence, the more information you have, the stronger your case will be against the responsible parties. An experienced 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.