Cerebral palsy is a medical condition caused by permanent brain damage that occurs before, during, or shortly after birth. The effect of cerebral palsy, or CP, is characterized by a lack of muscle control and abnormal body movement. While it is not a progressive disease of the brain, the effects of cerebral palsy may change gradually over the years.
The cause of cerebral palsy has not been definitively identified, but it has been linked to the health history of both the mother and child, as well as to accidents that result in brain damage. If you suspect your child's condition resulted from malpractice or negligence, contact a cerebral palsy attorney as soon as possible. A cerebral palsy lawyer can help you determine whether you have a viable case and are entitled to compensation.
If your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, it is important that you are aware of the important legal information that applies to you.
Types of Damages in a Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit
When it comes to a cerebral palsy lawsuit there are two different types of damages one can seek. The lawsuit damages that can be sought include actual damages and punitive damages. These two things are very different and it is important to understand what each is if you are involved in a cerebral palsy lawsuit.
Actual damages include the money that is awarded to cover the costs associated with treating the condition, lost wages as a result of the condition, and the pain and suffering that has occurred as a result of the cerebral palsy. The actual damages are the damages most commonly sought and awarded in a lawsuit.
Punitive damages include the money awarded because a doctor was medically negligent, reckless or purposeful in their negligence and that caused the cerebral palsy. This may mean they were under the influence of a controlled substance or something comparable. Punitive lawsuit damages can only be recovered in some cases of medical malpractice.
Additional Concerns About Damages
It is also important to note that many states have a limit or cap to what a victim of medical malpractice can recover. This means that regardless of the circumstances and proof the victim can only be awarded a certain amount of financial compensation. That said, many people are challenging these state-imposed caps on a federal level. It is always best to speak with a qualified malpractice lawyer about your case to determine your rights.
Reasons to Hire a Cerebral Palsy Lawyer
There are numerous reasons to meet with a lawyer who handles birth injury and cerebral palsy lawsuits. The expertise they offer can prove invaluable. Below are some strong reasons why you should consider such legal assistance.
If You Are Unsure What Caused Your Child's Cerebral Palsy
If you are unsure or you suspect your child's birth injury was caused by doctor malpractice, you need to have a cerebral palsy lawyer evaluate your case. Maybe you were never given a correct or clear explanation of what happened to your child. Maybe you were given an explanation, but the pieces are not adding up. Either way, a cerebral palsy lawyer can review your case and the applicable medical records to see if you have a case.
To Get Your Child Proper Treatment for Cerebral Palsy
If your child has cerebral palsy, it is important to get them the cerebral palsy treatments they deserve. A cerebral palsy attorney can help you gain access to these treatments and determine whether or not someone may be at fault for your child's birth injury. If someone is at fault, that person will be held responsible for the cost of your child's cerebral palsy treatments. Adequate treatment may be the difference between your child living a normal life or one filled with hindrances.
To Assist With Your Child's Future and Further Development
Perhaps one of the most important reasons to find a cerebral palsy lawyer is for your child's future. Sadly, your child will be dealing with the affects of this condition for the duration of his or her life. It should not be their responsibility to constantly worry about the cost associated with getting adequate care. If you have a case, a cerebral palsy attorney can get you damages to cover your child's past, present, and future medical expenses.
How Attorneys Prove Fault in a Birth Injury Lawsuit
If your child suffered a birth injury that has led to cerebral palsy, you may be entitled to compensation. Compensation may help ensure that your child receives the proper treatment and care for the rest of their life. However, to successful receive compensation from a cerebral palsy lawsuit, you must prove that the fault was on the part of the doctor or medical staff.
Doctor Mistakes That Can Cause Cerebral Palsy
There are many mistakes a doctor can make that can cause cerebral palsy; including:
- Improperly using the drug pitocin to induce labor.
- Failure to react to the changes in the vital statistic of the fetus during labor.
- Failure to take action when certain changes occur during pregnancy.
- Failure to order certain diagnostic tests, or to properly read test results during pregnancy Failure to order a c-section when fetal distress occurs.
- Failure to deliver the baby quickly enough after the mother's water has broken. Improper use of the vacuum extractor during delivery.
Delayed or Improper Actions That Can Cause Cerebral Palsy
A doctor can also be held accountable for other actions if they are delayed or done improperly; including: Did not diagnose fetal distress quickly enough.
- Failed to order a c-section or ordered a c-section too late.
- Did not act quickly when bleeding occurred.
- Failed to respond to increasing high blood pressure in the mother.
- Overdosed the mother on the labor-inducing drug pitocin.
- Failed to act quickly enough when the mother's water broke.
- Misread the fetal monitor strip, thus causing delayed treatment.
- Failed to act quickly enough when labor was not progressing or progressing excessively slow.
- Did not have a pediatrician present in the labor and delivery room to assess the baby.
- Did not refer a high-risk pregnancy to a more experienced doctor specializing in high-risk pregnancies.
If any of these things happened to you or your baby before, during, or immediately after their birth, you should hire a cerebral palsy lawyer for a consultation.
Statute of Limitations in Birth Injury Cases
Cerebral palsy is caused by an injury that occurs before, during, or after childbirth. In many cases, medical negligence on the part of the doctor causes cerebral palsy or another sort of birth injury. That said, many people are not immediately diagnosed with this condition. That is why it is important to learn about the statute of limitations for cerebral palsy lawsuits.
Consulting a Cerebral Palsy Attorney
Cerebral palsy is a lifelong condition, but it develops at birth. When you find out that your child has cerebral palsy, it is important to consult a cerebral palsy attorney immediately. They will assess your case and determine if any wrong doing or negligence caused your child's birth injury. If they find that you have a case, they will file a suit against the appropriate parties.
Providing Compensation for a Lifelong Condition
When your child has cerebral palsy, it is important to remember that it last the rest of your child's life. Even if you have adequate medical coverage and finances to cover the cost of care now, circumstances can change and that may not always be the case. What's more, you need to remember that you won't be around forever, and your child will need money for his or her care when you are gone.
About the Statute of Limitations in Cerebral Palsy Lawsuits
Unfortunately, every state has what is known as a statute of limitations that pertains to filing lawsuits. The statute of limitations prevents people from filing lawsuits after a certain amount of time has passed. This means that if you do not file a lawsuit for your child, he or she will not be able to file one at a later date in the future.
In each state the statute of limitations for lawsuits is different. In fact, many have different limitations for different types of cases. Generally, most states limit the timeframe for which you can file a medical malpractice lawsuit to two years from the date of the incident. Some states will allow children to file a lawsuit on their own behalf at age 18 (and in some cases two years after turning 18), but there may be other restrictions based upon the specifics of the case.
Be sure to speak with an attorney in your state to find out about the legal restrictions on filing certain sorts of lawsuits.
Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit Eligibility - Who Can File a Lawsuit?
The first thing you need to know regarding who can file a cerebral palsy lawsuit is whether or not you have a case. If you believe medical negligence occurred before, during, or immediately after your child was born, it is likely you have a case. In fact, you may have a legitimate case and not know it.
For this reason it is best to consult a cerebral palsy lawyer. A cerebral palsy lawyer will evaluate your case and determine whether or not you have a case.
Who Can File a Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit on Behalf of the Child?
In most cases the parents of a child who has cerebral palsy file a cerebral palsy lawsuit on behalf of their child. This is important because most states have a statute of limitations for cerebral palsy lawsuits which determine when such lawsuits can be filed. If your child is unable to file suit as an adult, he or she may suffer financially because of their physical or mental disabilities that occur as a result of cerebral palsy. Suing on behalf of your child ensures you get the compensation your child deserves to ensure some level of well-being for the rest of his or her life.
Filing a Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit on Your Own Behalf
Individuals affected by cerebral palsy can also file a cerebral palsy lawsuit on their own in some cases. Some states allow children to file suit for compensation of birth injuries within two years of their 18th birthday. The limitations regarding whether or not a person can file a cerebral palsy lawsuit as an adult vary from state to state. Check with a cerebral lawyer to see if you have the right to file a claim.
Cerebral Palsy Settlements and Verdicts - Attorneys and Legal Advice
There are lawsuits filed on behalf of people suffering from cerebral palsy all the time. Find out more about some of the most shocking cerebral palsy settlements and verdicts.
Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy affects the individual's physical movement, speech, hearing, vision, and brain function. There are a number of early warning signs associated with the condition, such as delayed development and abnormal muscle tone. Learn more about the signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy.
Causes of Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that hinder control of movement. It is caused by an injury to the brain during pregnancy, around the time of birth, or shortly after birth. This brain damage may be the result of several factors depending on the type, the onset, and the health history of mother and child. If the condition was caused by negligence, it is important that you seek the assistance of a cerebral palsy attorney immediately. Learn more about the causes of cerebral palsy.
Cerebral Palsy Types
There are four different types of cerebral palsy: spastic, athetoid, ataxic, and mixed. Learn more about the symptoms, effects, and causes of the different types of cerebral palsy.
Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis
Cerebral palsy is usually diagnosed soon after birth, but may show up later in childhood. Diagnosing cerebral palsy involves an evaluation of the patient's medical history, an assessment of motor skills, and other tests. If the cause of cerebral palsy is determined and a medical practitioner is found to be at fault for the disorder, it is important that you seek legal guidance from a cerebral palsy lawyer. Learn more about how physicians diagnose cerebral palsy.
Cerebral Palsy Treatment
There is no cure for cerebral palsy, but a variety of therapies are available. Fortunately, it is possible to live with cerebral palsy and to be very successful in life; however, it takes a lot of work and professional help. Learn more about the different types of cerebral palsy treatment available and how each treatment can help individuals who suffer from the disorder.
Cerebral Palsy: Associated Problems
Conditions associated with cerebral palsy include seizures, spasms, vision problems, hearing problems, hyperactivity disorder, speech problems, and learning problems. Learn more about the problems associated with cerebral palsy.
Parenting a Child with Cerebral Palsy
Parenting a child with cerebral palsy is not an easy task. But armed with the right knowledge, you can greatly improve the quality of your child's life. Learn more about how to handle children with cerebral palsy.
Cerebral Palsy FAQs
Read helpful information about cerebral palsy, including when you and your child are entitled to compensation and should contact a cerebral palsy attorney. A lawyer can help you determine whether you should file a cerebral palsy lawsuit. Read answers to frequently asked questions about cerebral palsy.
Cerebral Palsy Glossary
Read our cerebral palsy glossary for more information about the condition. We have provided the definitions of cerebral palsy and related terms.
Cerebral Palsy Resources
We have provided a range of informational cerebral palsy resources for individuals interested in learning more about the condition:
- American Academy for Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine
- United Cerebral Palsy Association
- United Cerebral Palsy of Prince George's and Montgomery Counties
- The American Academy of Neurology
- The National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities
- TASH: Disability Advocacy Worldwide
- National Center for the Dissemination of Disability Research
- United States Cerebral Palsy Athletic Association
- IBIS-International Birth Defects Information System
Consult a Cerebral Palsy Attorney to File a Case
If you suspect that medical negligence contributed to your child's cerebral palsy, take a moment to get in touch with an experienced cerebral palsy lawyer. You may be entitled to financial compensation for your child's injuries. A cerebral palsy attorney can review your case to determine its validity.