Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit
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If your child suffered a birth injury, such as Cerebral Palsy or Erb’s Palsy, and you want to speak to an experienced cerebral palsy lawyer, please call The Carlson Law Firm today for a free consultation. A compassionate member of our staff is available to speak with you 24/7.
What is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral Palsy is the most common childhood motor disability and about every one in 323 children has been identified with cerebral palsy according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Each year, about 10,000 babies born in the United States will develop cerebral palsy, and for many of those children, it could have been prevented.
Cerebral palsy can sometimes be caused by abnormally long or difficult labor or if the umbilical cord cut off oxygen to the baby, leading to a brain injury from oxygen deprivation. The amount of time the child endured the injury will determine how severe the disability is, so time is critical when doctors are responding to complications.
Did you know that about 10% of every child born with cerebral palsy is due to medical malpractice? Although 10% might not sound like a lot, if you break it down, that’s about one in every ten children with cerebral palsy because a doctor or someone on the medical staff team made a mistake.
Causes Of Cerebral Palsy
In most cases, children who have cerebral palsy were born with it, quite often as the result of a lack of oxygen to the brain or body, premature birth, or trauma during the delivery process. It’s important to understand that just because a child is born with cerebral palsy doesn’t necessarily mean that medical malpractice occurred; even under the best of circumstances and the highest prenatal care and proper delivery procedures, things can go wrong. However, when medical malpractice is believed to be the cause of a child’s development of cerebral palsy, the common causes include:
- Failure to detect and/or properly treat infections such as meningitis during pregnancy.
- Failure to properly monitor the fetal heart rate during labor and delivery.
- Failure to detect the existence of a prolapsed umbilical cord during pregnancy.
- Failure to plan and schedule a cesarean section procedure when the size of a baby prevents it from safely passing through the birth canal.
- Making negligent and unreasonable errors when using instruments such as vacuum and/or forceps while delivering a baby (could be using them when not necessary or not using them when necessary).
Can Cerebral Palsy Be Prevented?
Prior to a baby’s birth, the doctor should be able to diagnose the mother for potential infections, risk factors or complications during childbirth in addition to determining the baby’s size and proper course of delivery to ensure the safest possible birth. If a doctor failed to diagnose or plan around certain conditions, they may be liable for injuries or responsible for malpractice.
Even during childbirth, if it is apparent the baby has experienced oxygen deprivation, there are still steps the doctor could take to prevent cerebral palsy. One treatment option would be through hyperbaric oxygen therapy, which is a type of therapy that puts the baby in a decompressed chamber full of 100 percent oxygen to flood the tissue and brain that may have not received enough oxygen.
While some cases of cerebral palsy cannot be prevented, some cases can be prevented if the doctor acts fast enough.
Can Cerebral Palsy Cause Other Disabilities?
Since cerebral palsy is a brain injury, other areas of the brain can be affected. Some children with cerebral palsy have trouble with hearing, sight, and speech problems. Children may also have problems with bladder control and problems with muscles. Children with cerebral palsy should be regularly observed by an occupational therapist to prevent other problems.
What Kind of Care is Involved with Cerebral Palsy?
Once a child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, the parents are typically introduced to a team of professionals who can help clearly explain what the child needs. This meeting will likely draw up what’s called a Life Care Plan. A Life Care Plan is an itemized list of needs that the child will have during certain time frames of his or her life, involving accommodations that need to be made in the home.
How Will a Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit Help?
Caring for a child with cerebral palsy is expensive, and depending on the severity of the disorder, the costs could reach $1 million for a lifetime of continuing care such as medical care, therapy, home care, rehabilitation, and more. When you file a cerebral palsy lawsuit, you are holding the liable party responsible for their negligent actions.
In addition, the plaintiff may also win compensation for in-home care, lost wages, punitive damages, pain, suffering, mental anguish, and more.
An experienced cerebral palsy attorney understands the tactics that defense lawyers typically use when trying to alleviate or completely eliminate their client’s responsibility. A skilled cerebral palsy lawyer will research, interview witnesses, and gather pertinent documents in order to prove your case.
When Should I File a Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit?
As with most other types of lawsuits, cerebral palsy lawsuits have a statute of limitations, meaning you only have a certain amount of time to file from the time the injury occurred. In other words, you have a certain window of time in which you can file a cerebral palsy lawsuit and if it’s not done within that time period, you’ll no longer be able to file.
The statute of limitations varies depending on the state you live in.
Some states allow minors to reach their 18th birthday and then file a lawsuit on their own while other states allow parents to file a lawsuit anytime before the child’s 18th birthday. Other states may mandate that the lawsuit must be filed within two or three years from the time of the injury or from the time the injury was discovered.
A member of our legal team will be able to determine whether or not your case as reached a statute of limitations during your initial consultation.
How The Carlson Law Firm Can Help
Treatment for cerebral palsy over a lifetime could be expensive if the child requires extensive medical care, therapy, and rehabilitation. If you or your child has cerebral palsy due to medical malpractice or negligence, contact one of our offices today. The Carlson Law Firm has a team of dedicated and experienced cerebral palsy attorneys ready to help you. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Hablamos tu idioma.