A diagnosis of cerebral palsy can mean a lifetime of special needs for the affected child. Parents who receive such a diagnosis for their injured child will likely have many questions in mind, such as what happened, what caused cerebral palsy in the baby, and could it have been avoided? If medical negligence played a part in injuring your child, whether during the mother’s pregnancy or during the child’s delivery, you may be entitled to compensation.
The care costs of children who suffer from cerebral palsy can be exorbitant and, depending on the severity of the illness, you may spend hundreds of thousands up to several million to provide your child with the treatment and care that he or she needs. We are here to help you find the truth, identify how and why your child developed cerebral palsy, who, if anyone, was responsible, and what you need to do in order to secure the finances and peace of mind needed to live a full and independent life. Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today at (800) 222-9529.
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About Cerebral Palsy
Every year in the United States, roughly 10,000 babies are diagnosed with cerebral palsy from birth-related injuries. Cerebral palsy is an injury that affects the parts of the brain responsible for motor control and movement. It can develop in many different ways, including all of the following:
- Inadequate oxygen supply to the baby, leading to a brain injury.
- Prolonged labor or birth complications.
- The baby remaining stuck in the birth canal for longer than is safe.
- Excessive force placed on the skull of the baby leading to injury, either by the use of assistive devices such as a vacuum extractor or forceps, or pulling on the baby by the delivery team.
- Failure by the delivery team to recognize signs of fetal distress and to take corrective measures in a timely manner.
- A failure to perform or prepare for a C-section.
- A failure to identify meningitis, jaundice, or other viral or bacterial infections that can cause brain swelling or bleeding in the infant.
- Errors in administering medications, such as an incorrect dosage of labor-inducing drugs.
- Negligence such as administrative or clerical errors in monitoring or treating a newborn.
Metairie Cerebral Palsy Lawyer Near Me 1-800-222-9529
Diagnosing Cerebral Palsy
It can be difficult to diagnose cerebral palsy, and the condition is sometimes impossible to identify as soon as a child is born. Doctors can run tests to monitor a child’s brain activity and derive clues as to whether or not anything is amiss, but there are no specific tests that can be conducted that can conclusively establish the presence or lack thereof of cerebral palsy.
What usually happens in cerebral palsy cases is that the family may begin to suspect that their son or daughter has not met specific developmental milestones such as holding their head up without any assistance, sitting up, or taking a first step. In addition to functional delays, a number of physical growth delays can also indicate cerebral palsy. Many cases can be identified as early as three to six months after a child is born, and by the time a child is five years, a detailed diagnosis of the child’s condition can be arrived at
Once the brain has had time to develop, cerebral palsy can be more easily identified, and this usually happens by the time a child is two years old. Keep in mind, however, that children who suffer from milder forms of the illness will take longer to diagnose since their symptoms will not manifest as early or as clearly as with children who suffer more severe forms of brain damage leading to cerebral palsy. The arduous process of testing, assessing, and evaluating a child for a mental or developmental illness can discourage the parents, but rest assured, it is for the best, and you should insist on having your child assessed if you suspect cerebral palsy because many children can benefit from interventions and proactive treatments the earlier they are initiated.
Birth injury cases usually begin with evidence of some sort in support of your claim that a medical professional’s negligence in treating or delivering your child resulted in physical damages that led to cerebral palsy. You need to prove that the negligent doctor failed to treat your child within the established standards of care.
Before initiating a claim, you should have an experienced birth injury attorney investigate the circumstances surrounding your child’s birth in order to ascertain how, when, where, and to what extent injuries were sustained, who the potential defendants are, and what kinds of costs and damages you have been made to suffer as a result.
Cerebral palsy can occur naturally, but it can also be caused by medical negligence. In either case, it is the family and the injured child that will have to bear the pain and suffering, the costs, and the dramatic changes in lifestyle needed to accommodate a disabled or incapacitated child. You and your child deserve full financial compensation and should seek the damages you are entitled to.
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Treatment and Compensable Damages
Depending on the severity of your child’s cerebral palsy, you may need different forms of treatment, surgery, services, and a variety of life changes in order to make it easier for your child to heal, grow, and improve over time. Some of these treatment options and damages are compensable, in that you can seek repayment for these costs from an at-fault medical professional. These damages include:
- The costs of therapy, such as physical, occupational, speech, or social/emotional therapy to help your child adjust to life in society.
- The cost of surgery to alleviate pressure on the brain.
- Lost income from time spent away from work while you care for your injured child.
- Home improvement costs, transportation devices such as wheelchairs, or assistive devices to help your child get around.
- Medications, doctor’s appointments, and special classes.
Call Us Today
Handling a medical malpractice case while you are busy caring for an ill or injured newborn or a young child can be very difficult. At the Birth Injury Lawyers Group, we specialize in such cases and can help you get back on track toward physical and financial independence. Call us today at (800) 222-9529 for a free case evaluation and to initiate the process of putting together a claim for the compensation you deserve and are entitled to.