Many cases of cerebral palsy result from genetic mutations. However, in some instances, a medical provider’s negligence can cause a birth injury that leads to this life-altering condition.
In the latter situation, the patient can file a medical malpractice claim to recover the tremendous economic and non-economic losses that they will face over the course of their lives. Talk to an Odessa cerebral palsy lawyer about the factors that caused you or your loved one’s condition and learn about your options for recovering damages.
Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today at (800) 222-9529.
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A Brief Overview of Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders. Scientists have determined that a disruption in the brain’s development—or an otherwise abnormal brain development—can trigger the condition. Sometimes these irregular developments occur as genetic mutations and could not have been prevented. Other times, damage to the brain during the first years of life can prompt this outcome.
In other situations, however, something happens in utero to disrupt or skew the development of a baby’s brain. Although many elements can trigger this condition, typically, these manifestations of cerebral palsy could have been prevented.
At various stages of a woman’s pregnancy, labor, and delivery, the medical professionals caring for the mother should be keeping vigilant watch for any signs of potential problems that could serve as the catalyst for the baby developing cerebral palsy. The danger signs to watch for include:
- Deprivation of oxygen
- Traumatic head injury
- Bleeding into the brain
- Fetal stroke
Any of the above conditions can cause damage to the baby’s brain. Healthcare providers must be prepared to act swiftly and effectively when such physical outcomes present themselves to reduce the chance for cerebral palsy.
However, these medical professionals should also be aware of the various risk factors that can lead to these outcomes.
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Risk Factors for Cerebral Palsy
Medical training in obstetrics covers the various risk factors for brain injury in developing fetuses. As such, a pregnant woman’s obstetrician and the team involved in the labor and delivery should be skilled and focusing on identifying the appearance of any indicators that a fetus may be in danger. Some of these risk factors include:
- Mother infected with syphilis, herpes, cytomegalovirus, Zika virus, or German measles
- Premature birth
- Breech presentation
- More than one fetus in the womb
- Newborn afflicted with jaundice, viral encephalitis, bacterial meningitis, or bleeding into the brain
It is the duty of the medical providers caring for the pregnant woman to monitor her health, as well as the vitals of the fetus. They must have a strong and responsive chain of communication, and they must have the knowledge and skills to plan for and adapt to any problem that could interfere with the baby’s brain development.
If a nurse, doctor, surgeon, lab technician, anesthesiologist or hospital failed to act with the appropriate attentiveness, knowledge, and skills, and you or your child suffered cerebral palsy as a result, you have the right to seek compensation from the at-fault party. A settlement or judgment could cover the costs of medicines, therapy, and ongoing treatment.
An Odessa cerebral palsy lawyer from the Birth Injury Lawyers Group can discuss with you the circumstances of pregnancy, labor, and delivery and advise you of your legal options for recovering damages. Call us today at (800) 222-9529.
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Establishing a Medical Provider’s Negligence
Medical malpractice cases break down into four components, sometimes referred to as “the four D’s.”
Medical professionals are required to meet the “medical standard of care” when treating their patients. In legal terms, this means the level of treatment must match that which would be provided by a reasonably skilled and competent healthcare provider with a similar background in the same medical situation. You will need to provide proof that you and the defendant in your case had a doctor-patient relationship in order for this duty to apply to your case.
Dereliction of duty happens when a healthcare professional does not meet the medical standard of care when treating their patient. Although tough to prove, this element is essential to establishing medical negligence.
The case of medical practice starts to take shape when you can prove that your or your loved one’s cerebral palsy was the direct result of medical negligence.
You can claim two types of compensatory damages: actual damages and general damages. Actual damages are the economic losses that result from your or your loved one’s cerebral palsy. While every case is different, these damages might include medical costs (past and future); prescription medicines; physical therapy; and loss of income. Non-economic damages (also called general damages) are those that are not so clearly identifiable. They might include emotional distress, pain and suffering, and mental anguish. They could also include the loss of future potential earnings because of the injury.
As the plaintiff in a medical malpractice case, your claim must prove each of these elements, based on a preponderance of the evidence.
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Statute of Limitations
The State of Texas enforces a statute of limitations that restricts the amount of time you have to seek compensation for medical malpractice. The countdown begins at the onset of an injury, however, in birth injury cases, the statute can be tolled (paused). Your lawyers can tell you more about the applicability and flexibility of the statute of limitations in your case.
Regardless, if you plan to take legal action for yourself or your loved one’s cerebral palsy, consider hiring a lawyer sooner, rather than later. This gives your legal team more time to gather evidence and build your case.
An Odessa Cerebral Palsy Lawyer Can Represent You in Your Case
It is not easy to care for a person with cerebral palsy. The emotional, financial, and physical cost can be tremendous. If a medical provider caused you or your loved one to suffer this condition, you should not have to bear the weight of these costs alone. The at-fault party can and should be held accountable.
Let our legal team help you fight for the compensation you deserve. Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today at (800) 222-9529 for a free case review.