Cerebral palsy is a congenital disorder that affects one's muscle tone and motor skills, and affects approximately 0.2 to 0.3% of all children in the U.S. There are 3 different types of cerebral palsy — spastic, athetoid and ataxic. While cerebral palsy may be a congenital disorder that is unavoidable, it can also be a direct result of medical negligence during pregnancy, labor and delivery or the first few years of the child's life that has caused permanent injury to the brain. As the affected individual will require long-term treatment, parents who believe that medical negligence brought on the disorder should file a legal claim immediately by speaking with a personal injury attorney.
Common Cases of Medical Negligence That Caused Cerebral Palsy
As mentioned before, there are many different situations that can directly result in the baby having cerebral palsy. Complications could have arisen during pregnancy, labor and delivery or within the first few years of life. Identifying the most probable causes can help strengthen your case significantly. You may need to speak with a specialist of cerebral palsy to determine what the most probable cause was and whether medical negligence was involved.
During pregnancy, the most common forms of medical negligence that result in cerebral palsy include:
- a failure by the medical professionals to diagnose or treat a mother who has a fatty liver condition.
- a failure by the medical professionals to quickly respond to signs of a preterm labor.
- a failure by the medical professionals to diagnose and treat symptoms of placenta previa. This happens when the placenta becomes detached from the uterine wall.
- a failure by the medical professionals to monitor a multiple gestation pregnancy.
Even if the fetus developed properly and healthily in the uterus during the pregnancy, many complications can also arise during labor and delivery. They include:
- a failure by the medical professionals to detect and respond to excessive contractions during labor.
- a failure by the medical professionals to respond to an unstable fetal heartbeat.
- a failure by the medical professionals to properly administer oxytocin.
- a failure by the medical professionals to recommend a much needed Cesarean section.
- a failure by the medical professionals to expedite or intervene when the delivery progress has slowed.
Once the baby is born, medical professionals are then responsible for diagnosing and treating certain conditions like:
- common infections, like meningitis.
- hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar.
- hyperbilirubinemia, or high bilirubin levels, which causes jaundice.
If you are looking to file a legal case, speak with a professional personal injury attorney who will have the experience and knowledge necessary to investigate the situation and determine what type of medical negligence may have brought on the cerebral palsy. Information can be collected from medical and patient files.
Types of Compensation Required
Although children who are diagnosed with cerebral palsy can still live a fulfilling life, their quality of living is diminished. In addition, those with cerebral palsy will require lifelong medic treatments. In short, as a parent, it is your responsibility to make sure that your child is financially covered. The compensation that you are seeking will need to cover the following expenses:
- medical care, including medications and medical treatments that are required.
- assistive equipment. Depending on the type of cerebral palsy that is diagnosed, the child may suffer from a lack of muscle tone or a loss of motor skills, and may require wheelchairs and other assistive equipment in their daily life.
- loss of wages. This is particularly important if a parent may have to permanently leave work in order to provide care for the child.
- treatments like physiotherapy, physical therapy and occupational therapy.
- special education costs. Those with cerebral palsy may have difficulty learning and may require special attention.
If your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, and it was caused by medical negligence, you need to act fast by speaking with a personal injury attorney. Most states have a statute of limitation placed on when medical negligence cases can no longer be filed. In most cases, if you wait for your child to grow up before filing a legal case, you will no longer have any legal ground to file the case or request for any form or type of compensation.