Cerebral palsy is a disorder that affects movement, posture, and muscle tone. It has no cure and can lead to lifelong disabilities ranging from an inability to sit, stand, or walk properly to misaligned joints, spastic muscles, low bone density, frequent fractures, and premature aging. Patients of cerebral palsy sometimes require assistive care for their entire lives and they miss out on opportunities available to children born healthy, and these factors can place a great deal of stress – not just financial but physical and emotional – on the family.
One cause of cerebral palsy is oxygen deprivation in the brain of the baby during labor or delivery, leading to permanent brain injuries that can negatively impact the central nervous system. Other causes include the incorrect use of birth-related assistive devices, clerical or administrative errors, and errors in diagnosing infections in the mother during pregnancy or in the baby during gestation and even after birth. Brain injuries of these types are categorized as acquired cerebral palsy (since they were acquired and were technically avoidable) and are tantamount to medical negligence.
Identifying the party or parties who may be responsible for medical negligence that led to your child’s cerebral palsy and building a case to win compensation for damages requires experience and an understanding of medical malpractice and insurance law. It also requires you to meet specific filing deadlines and fulfill a slew of administrative steps. We are here to help and we offer our services at no upfront cost on a contingency basis. Call now at (800) 222-9529.
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Signs and Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy
The signs and symptoms of an infant or a child who suffers from cerebral palsy will vary based on the severity of their condition as well as where on the brain they sustained an injury or suffered a developmental abnormality. Some children suffer from spastic or shaking limbs and have trouble controlling their movement. Others have trouble seeing clearly and hearing. Other common symptoms include difficulty eating and speaking, accompanied by excessive drooling. These symptoms are sometimes restricted to one side of the body, or even to a single limb. Delays in reaching developmental milestones such as rolling over, crawling, grasping objects, and sitting can also be warning signs of cerebral palsy.
If your child has missed developmental milestones of these types, or if you notice some of the signs or symptoms of cerebral palsy in your child that were outlined above, give us a call us to learn more about what your options are and what next steps you should take to help secure the financial well-being of your family.
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Financial Implications of Cerebral Palsy
From diagnostic tests to determine the type of cerebral palsy your child suffers from to the cost of therapy and rehabilitative services, the costs of care for children with cerebral palsy are up to 26 times as high as the cost of care for injury-free children. Some of the expenses you may have to face when it comes to determining the cause of your child’s cerebral palsy, treating it, and helping him or her rehabilitate and live a productive, independent life up to his or her full potential include paying for the following:
MRIs, CT scans, and ultrasounds to produce detailed images of the brain, identify internal injuries or damage, and determine potential causes of damage.
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EEGs are used with children who suffer from convulsions, spasms, or epilepsy, and they measure and record the electrical activity of the child’s brain.
Tests of your child’s blood for infections and genetic or metabolic disorders can help you pinpoint how and when cerebral palsy may have developed, and it can also identify potential risks of future children suffering from cerebral palsy should the family wish to conceive again.
Tests of vision, speech, hearing, intellect, and motor skills can help a specialist determine the type of cerebral palsy your child has, what its prognosis is, and what you can do to help them overcome some of the symptoms and disabilities they suffer as a result of it.
Patients can undergo different types of therapy to recover from cerebral palsy. Physical therapy to rebuild muscle, relax spastic muscles, and build strength is often required in patients of cerebral palsy who are unable to walk, balance, or move around easily on their own. Occupational therapy may also be needed, along with social or emotional therapy to help the patient overcome some of the other challenges they face with their cerebral palsy diagnosis.
It should also be noted that children with cerebral palsy often require a great deal of assistance and care throughout their life. This care and assistance can range from basic help getting dressed and sitting up to round-the-clock supervision, including feeding, changing, and cleaning the patient. The costs of care and assistive devices such as wheelchairs, body braces, and therapy can place a great deal of strain on your financial stability, with some estimates placing the lifetime cost of caring for a child with cerebral palsy as high as over $900,000.
There is no reason you should have to suffer this financial burden if your child’s cerebral palsy was caused by medical negligence. Doctors, nurses, medical staff, and healthcare services institutions are entrusted with the care of our loved ones, and they are expected to perform their duties and provide health services up to a high and quantifiable standard. If they fall short in providing services in a safe manner up to the accepted basic standard of care, they can be held liable for negligence. Contact us at (800) 222-9529 for a free consultation to learn more about what constitutes medical negligence, how to file a malpractice suit, and what your legal rights and responsibilities are in cases involving birth injury-related cerebral palsy.