Birth defects are tragic, especially when they occur due to medical malpractice or errors at time of pregnancy or delivery. Despite all efforts to avoid cerebral palsy birth injury, many babies suffer a lifetime of problems caused by injuries that occurred at time of birth. This is a devastating problem for the child and parents, requiring much additional medical care and expense, in addition to the physical problems the child will always have to deal with as they grow and mature.
Cerebral Palsy Birth Injury Lawyer
Data from the Mayo Clinic indicates that the problem of cerebral palsy occurs at a rate of two to four of every 1,000 births in this country and Europe. It is a neurological disorder that limits body movement and coordination of muscles. It is a non-progressive disease, meaning that even though it is bad, it will not get worse over time. A Cerebral Palsy Birth Injury Lawyer can help parents determine the cause of this problem, if it is related to medical malpractice, and if there are any legal solutions to pursue to obtain fair compensation under Personal Injury Law.
Birth Injury Laws
Birth Injury Laws are basically included under Personal Injury Law in each state, as Medical Malpractice. Sometimes a lawsuit is filed as Wrongful Birth or Wrongful Life. When there is a legal case claiming birth injury, there could be multiple defendants under birth injury laws. Your attorney can determine who is liable for cerebral palsy birth injury and help you decide what course of legal action to follow. You may be able to claim compensation for medical malpractice, wrongful birth/life, expenses and other elements unique to your case. These laws are an attempt to prevent such damage, and to keep the medical industry, pharmaceutical industry and medical caregivers informed about their responsibilities and need to perform duties properly to avoid patient injuries.
Cerebral Palsy & Birth Injury
When this birth injury is related to medical malpractice, it is because the claim is that the infant was injured because there was an insufficient amount of oxygen that reached the infant’s brain, either during labor or birth. When the brain does not receive enough oxygen, this condition is called hypoxia. If the body has insufficient oxygen, that is called asphyxia. This is not always due to medical malpractice or delivery mistakes. Even with the highest level of excellent care, birth injuries can occur.
When the condition is linked to medical malpractice, there are several possible causes:
- If the mother was ill during pregnancy with infections like meningitis and that was never detected
- Improper monitoring of fetal heart rate at labor and birth
- If a prolapsed umbilical cord is not detected
- If the baby is too large to pass through the birth canal safety and a cesarean section is not scheduled and used for the birth
- When a necessary cesarean section procedure is delayed or not performed
- If instruments like vacuum and forceps are handled negligently, resulting in unreasonable mistakes of use during delivery
When a brain is injured or malformed while it is developing, either before, during or after the birth, it will have a tragic impact upon the life of the child. Resulting injuries may affect muscle control or coordination, muscle tone, reflex, posture and balance. The child will experience problems with the functions of motor skills – fine, gross and oral motor functions. Each case of cerebral palsy will have a unique result on the individual, depending in part upon the type and extent of injury and timing of that injury to the brain during development.
The brain is a very complex organ, and any disruption of normal development can cause injury. Damage can occur during pregnancy, at birth or afterwards. When cells are unable to migrate to their proper location during prenatal development, if there is poor myelination (insulation) of nerve cell fibers as they develop, if cells die due to ruptured blood vessels or lack of sufficient oxygen during birth, or if the synapse (connections) between brain cells are non-functional or inappropriate following birth, the child may develop cerebral palsy.
Other occurrences can also contribute to the development of cerebral palsy. A mother may use harmful prescription drugs during her pregnancy, head trauma could cause prolonged bleeding in the baby’s brain following delivery, a birth could be extremely premature, or the baby may not have had adequate oxygen provided during a cesarean section procedure or because that procedure was delayed.
When a child has cerebral palsy, symptoms may not show up immediately, but they will be seen in the following actions:
- Slow physical development – rolling over, crawling, smiling, talking
- Muscle tone is abnormal or decreased
- Floppy limbs, poor posture and co-ordination
- Involuntary movements
- Vision or Hearing problems
Cerebral Palsy Attorney
Once the damage is done and it is determined that a child may have been harmed by medical malpractice resulting in cerebral palsy birth injury, it is time to consult with an experienced Cerebral Palsy Birth Injury Attorney. You can let your lawyer take over the examination of your case while you are then free to attend to the needs of your injured child.
In a birth injury case, there are many aspects of the situation to investigate. There could be multiple defendants who are responsible for the injury. The hospital, the doctor, other staff personnel, a pharmaceutical company and others may have had a role in the unique situation of your case. Like all personal injury cases, a Cerebral Palsy Lawyer will do a thorough investigation of evidence, interview parties involved or alleged to be involved in the problem, and they know state laws that apply to your unique complaint.
Personal Injury Compensation
Compensation for birth injury cases may include monetary awards for various needs. In some cases, there may be an award of additional punitive awards, depending again on the case particulars. Generally, compensation for costs of medical care, follow-up treatment, special needs expenses, pain and suffering, and other claims will be requested. In a successful lawsuit for wrongful birth, parents may be awarded compensation for the special care a child with birth defects requires. Tuition to special schools, additional medical care like monitoring and treatment for their particular problems may also be included in lawsuit claims. It is possible parents may receive financial awards for their own emotional and mental stress caused by the birth injury experience.
If you have any questions, concerns, or you want to discuss a possible cerebral palsy birth injury with an experienced Personal Injury lawyer, please do so immediately. They can help you determine what to do next to deal with this important family matter.