If someone else’s negligence caused your child’s cerebral palsy, you might be entitled to receive compensation. A cerebral palsy lawyer who serves Chicago might be able to help you file a claim for things like the cost of your child’s equipment, medical expenses, and other losses.
Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today at (800) 222-9529 for a free case review. When we handle your legal matters, you can focus your attention on your child.
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Four Types of Cerebral Palsy
There are many different kinds of cerebral palsy, but most instances of the medical condition are one of these four types:
Spastic Cerebral Palsy
About 80% of all people with cerebral palsy have spastic cerebral palsy. Their muscles spasm or clench involuntarily. The person cannot get his muscles to relax and loosen. If someone tries to stretch the muscles back into an unclenched state, the muscles will tighten up again.
This condition can be painful, as the arms and legs get pulled into uncomfortable positions and cannot return to a relaxed pose. The fists become tightly balled, and the feet look as if the person is standing on his toes. The legs can “scissor” over each other.
Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy
Dystonic, choreoathetoid, and athetoid cerebral palsy are all dyskinetic forms of the medical condition. The person cannot keep his body from moving while he is awake. It can be extremely difficult for the person to eat or drink because his neck, head, mouth, and tongue keep flexing and moving.
He might not get enough oxygen to his brain because his breathing is shallow and irregular. He is at a higher risk than average of developing respiratory infections. His muscle tone can be too tight or too loose. The muscle tone can change from one day to the next or within the space of a day.
Ataxic Cerebral Palsy
A person with ataxic cerebral palsy will struggle with balance and coordination. Fine motor skills, like writing, can be a challenge because he cannot control his hand muscles. He might have an unsteady gait when walking.
Mixed Cerebral Palsy
Some people have more than one type of cerebral palsy. This situation is called mixed cerebral palsy.
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How Cerebral Palsy Can Impact Your Child’s Life
Your child’s experience will depend on the severity of the injury to his brain and the regions of the brain that got damaged. Every person’s cerebral palsy is unique. Even twins with cerebral palsy can have very different outcomes.
Some of the ways that cerebral palsy tends to impact a person’s life include:
- Mobility: when you cannot control your muscles, it is hard to walk. Many people with cerebral palsy require assistance with walking, like a walker or wheelchair.
- Communication: damage to the areas of the brain that process language can make it challenging to engage in conversations. Also, if a person cannot control the muscles that allow him to speak, he will have difficulty communicating. Lack of fine motor control can rob him of the ability to write.
- Cognition: some people with cerebral palsy do not sustain cognitive impairment, but others suffer a loss of intellectual ability. Some children need a modified curriculum and other accommodations so that they can learn. The potential college and career paths for your child might get derailed by the impacts of his cerebral palsy. On the other hand, some people with cerebral palsy go to college or vocational training and enjoy the career of their dreams.
- Coordination: if your child struggles with fine or gross motor control, balance, or coordination, he might need assistance with his daily personal care. He might require help with things like getting dressed, feeding himself, bathing, toileting, and brushing his teeth.
- Pain: a person with cerebral palsy is likely to live with frequent and chronic pain from the muscle spasms and positional issues. These things can prevent him from getting restful sleep.
- Long-term healthcare: you might not know for years whether your child will ever be able to live independently and support himself through gainful employment. If he cannot, he will need a caregiver and financial supports.
Cerebral palsy can also affect a person’s friendships, social life, and many other aspects that people without a significant disability take for granted.
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The Costs of Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is a lifelong medical condition. A child with cerebral palsy will become an adult with cerebral palsy. Proper care can be expensive. Over a lifetime, the costs can be astronomical.
You will not always be there to take care of your child. He will likely need financial assistance and access to other resources to help cover his needs for the rest of his life.
Some of the extraordinary expenses of cerebral palsy include things like:
- Doctors, hospitals, and operations
- Physical, occupational, and speech and language therapy
- Respiratory therapy and equipment
- Mobility equipment like wheelchairs and adapted vehicles
- Home modifications like ramps and lift equipment
These are but a few examples of the additional costs of raising a child with cerebral palsy.
For a free case review, call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today at (800) 222-9529.
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Causes of Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy can be the result of events that happen during the pregnancy, labor, delivery, or soon after birth. Some examples of the causes of cerebral palsy include:
Infections during pregnancy: the mother has an infection like German measles that injures the baby’s brain.
Traumatic brain injury: the child suffers a head trauma during labor and delivery from the incorrect use of vacuum extraction or forceps.
Oxygen deprivation: a lack of oxygen can arise during a prolonged labor or if the baby gets stuck in the birth canal or choked by the umbilical cord.
Postnatal issues: failure to treat conditions shortly after birth, such as a newborn experiencing seizures or having untreated jaundice, and the brain cells are damaged and cause cerebral palsy.
Also, other factors or events can harm an infant’s brain and result in cerebral palsy.
How Long You Have To Take Legal Action for Your Child’s Cerebral Palsy
The legal system does not provide a long time for people to file lawsuits seeking compensation. If you wait too long, you might lose the right to ever seek money damages for your losses.
How To Find a Chicago Cerebral Palsy Lawyer
A Chicago cerebral palsy lawyer can help you explore whether you might be eligible for compensation. For a free case review, call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today at (800) 222-9529.