Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders caused by injury to the motor centers of the brain. Mild cases result in problems walking or using the limbs. Serious cases, however, can lead to many illnesses that affect the patient throughout life. It starts in infancy and an inability to hold the head up or feed properly. Issues with fine motor skills and vision can develop and manifest in adolescence. Joint contractures and low bone density can become highly pronounced in adulthood. As such, cerebral palsy is a destructive illness and has no known cure.
If your child sustained a brain injury during birth or missed key development or growth milestones, you should consult with a child specialist to determine whether or not your child has cerebral palsy. Tests that can be used to identify the presence or absence of cerebral palsy include MRIs, CT scans, blood tests, nerve conduction tests, and vision and mental development screenings. The Birth Injury Lawyers Group can help you find the care your child needs and we will investigate your case to pinpoint root causes. Call now at (800) 222-9529.
For a free legal consultation with Worcester Cerebral Palsy lawyer, call 1-800-222-9529
Types and Treatments
The treatments that your doctor recommends for your child’s injuries will be based on the severity, location, and degree of the injuries in question. The cerebrum is the part of the brain that lies in the outer layers of the brain closest to the skull. It controls a range of body functions, from movement and reflexes to memory, speech, fine motor skills, and gross motor skills.
If your child has cerebral palsy, it will likely be one of the following:
- Ataxic cerebral palsy, identifiable by poor muscle tone and jerky movements.
- Athetoid cerebral palsy, identifiable by involuntary movements and problems with coordination.
- Spastic cerebral palsy, which is the most common type of palsy, identifiable by difficulty with coordination, involuntary movements, and muscle and joint issues.
Some patients exhibit a combination of these symptoms, and such cases are classified as mixed cerebral palsy. If your child has a mild case of cerebral palsy, he or she may learn to live with the health issues that develop therefrom using noninvasive therapy or medication. Serious cases may require surgery.
The costs of treatment can be substantial, and some estimates place it as high as $1.5 million throughout the patient’s life, especially if the condition co-occurs with other illnesses that are commonly seen in cerebral palsy cases such as seizures, epilepsy, mental development issues, impaired learning, and problems with speech and controlling the mouth.
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Now we know the different types of cerebral palsy, but what causes them?
There is no single known cause for the injuries and abnormalities that lead to cerebral palsy. All we know is that damage or abnormal development of the motor centers of the brain are often involved and that these brain centers can sustain damage or injury via genetic mutations, abnormal migration of brain cells during gestation, physical trauma to the brain, maternal infection, or birth complications.
Several risk factors can also contribute to cerebral palsy. These include low birth weight, premature birth, multiple births, maternal obesity, and issues involving blood incompatibility between the mother and her child.
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Determining Fault for Injuries
How is the fault for a birth injury determined? It all depends on what caused the injury in question. If genetic mutations or abnormal fetal development caused the brain issues that are the underlying cause of a newborn’s cerebral palsy, then these are circumstances and events that are, for the most part, beyond the capacity of any doctor to identify or treat.
However, other causes of brain damage are within the control of the doctor, and injuries that stem from them are usually referred to as preventable birth injuries. If the medical team did not test for infections or blood compatibility issues and a baby underwent an emergency procedure or a birth complication as a result and sustained an injury during that process, the doctor or members of his or her team may be held liable for those damages.
The same rationale applies to the use of assistive devices such as forceps while extracting a baby from the mother, making medical decisions based on test results, and preparing for the unexpected during delivery. If it can be proven that a competent doctor would have acted in any way different from your child’s doctor, that is an indication that your child’s doctor did not perform his or her duties up to the required standard of care and you can file a lawsuit against them for the damages and suffering you had to undergo as a result.
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When to File
You must file a cerebral palsy malpractice suit as soon as you have all of the required information to back up your claim. You will also need the testimony of an injury expert that confirms the fact that negligence did indeed play a role in causing your child’s injuries. Once you have this, you can file your case with your local circuit court.
We can help you with this process and will collect your child’s health data, interview the delivery team, compile a record of your costs and damages, pinpoint the cause and extent of your child’s injuries, and negotiate with the at-fault parties responsible for your child’s injuries if they seek an out of court settlement. If they do not and your case goes all the way to court, we will represent you in court as well, all at no upfront cost. We only collect if you win your case.
Contact Us Today
Our experienced birth injury lawyers are just a call away. We strive to ensure that families dealing with a birth injury of any type–especially cerebral palsy–have access to the guidance, advice, treatment, and support groups they need to rehabilitate their injured loved one and live as normal a life as possible. Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today for a free case evaluation and to determine the next steps you must take if your case warrants a medical malpractice suit. Call now at (800) 222-9529.