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Cerebral Palsy Lawyer

Cerebral palsy is a serious lifelong condition caused by brain damage in a developing brain. Unfortunately, many children born with cerebral palsy are victims of medical negligence. If your child’s cerebral palsy is due to a medical error, you may be entitled to substantial compensation.

Cerebral palsy is the most common motor disability in children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A permanently disabling condition, the causes of cerebral palsy include medical errors leading to oxygen deprivation during birth, infections, and injuries to the baby’s head.

If your baby has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.

What is cerebral palsy?

Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that affect movement and muscle control. It is caused by damage to the immature brain, often before or during birth. Cerebral palsy is divided into several types depending on the severity, movements, and affected body areas.

Spastic Cerebral Palsy

Spastic cerebral palsy is the most common type of cerebral palsy, characterized by stiff muscles that lead to jerky or repeated movements. Spastic cerebral palsy has three forms depending on the area of the body affected:

  • Spastic hemiplegia affects the arms, hands, and legs, usually on one side of the body
  • Spastic diplegia affects the legs with less severity in the upper body
  • Spastic quadriplegia affects the arms, legs, and neck and may include intellectual and developmental disabilities

Dyskinetic, Ataxic, and Mixed Cerebral Palsy

Dyskinetic cerebral palsy often presents in the hands, feet, arms, or legs. It is accompanied by overactive facial and tongue muscles and trouble sitting straight but does not usually include intellectual problems.

Ataxic CP centers more on balance and depth perception, presenting unsteady walking and challenges with quick or precise movements, such as writing.

A child may experience a mixture of spastic, dyskinetic, and ataxic cerebral palsy, which may present the following symptoms:

  • Problems swallowing
  • Drooling
  • Eye muscle imbalance
  • Reduced range of motion
  • Epilepsy
  • Blindness
  • Deafness

Medical Malpractice and Proving Negligence

Medical malpractice is negligence that occurs when a health care provider fails to exercise a reasonable standard of care, resulting in harm. To prove negligence, your cerebral palsy lawyer must prove the following:

  1. The health care provider owed you and your child a duty of care.
  2. The health care provider breached that duty.
  3. Your child suffered an injury.
  4. Your child’s injury was caused by the health care provider’s breach of duty.

Who may be liable?

The liable party is any health care professional who failed to provide competent care leading to injury. If the injury involved faulty tools, the health care professionals, as well as the manufacturer of the equipment, may be liable. Other liable parties could include:

  • The attending delivery physician
  • Your obstetrician (OB-GYN)
  • Your cesarean surgeon
  • The anesthesiologist
  • Nurses, physician assistants, and other members of the medical team
  • The health care facility

What can I expect when I hire a cerebral palsy lawyer?

A cerebral palsy lawyer will fight for parents of children born with cerebral palsy and guide them through the legal process to hold medical professionals accountable for their negligence.

A cerebral palsy lawyer can determine if the injury was due to negligence and could have been prevented.

When you contact the Birth Injury Center, we will connect you with an attorney for a free, no-obligation consultation. The attorney will ask you a series of questions to determine whether you have a case. When you hire us to represent you, we will perform a thorough investigation.

Gavel and a scale of justice

What happens in a cerebral palsy lawsuit?

Once your attorney files a lawsuit, the defendant will have a period to respond. The defendant will likely respond within the time limit, and the discovery period will begin.

During discovery, the opposing party will request evidence, such as your medical records, to prepare a defense. You may be required to undergo a deposition during this time.

After discovery is complete, the parties will meet to discuss a potential settlement. The case will proceed to trial if an agreement cannot be made.

How much compensation can I recover in a cerebral palsy birth injury case?

Compensation in a medical malpractice lawsuit varies depending on your jurisdiction and the severity of your child’s cerebral palsy. Your legal team will work diligently to recover the maximum amount for which you qualify.

Economic Damages

A child with cerebral palsy typically faces lifelong treatment, surgeries, and unforeseen complications. A parent may have to forgo employment to provide full-time care for the child.

  • Economic damages may include the following:
  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Special education costs
  • Physical therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Counseling costs
Nurse helping a little boy

Non-economic Damages

Non-economic damages are awarded for social, emotional, and mental losses, such as:

  • Physical and emotional pain
  • Loss of independence
  • Loss of normal life

Some jurisdictions place limits on non-economic damages. Ask your attorney if you have questions about the damages you are entitled to.

Punitive Damages

The court awards punitive damages in cases where medical errors result from severe negligence or intentional misconduct or when the medical errors are fraudulently concealed.

The purpose of punitive damages is to punish misconduct and deter others from similar behavior. Punitive damages are rarely awarded in medical malpractice cases and are limited in some jurisdictions.

When should I hire a cerebral palsy birth injury lawyer?

The statute of limitations varies significantly by state; however, it is ill-advised to wait before contacting a lawyer. Medical malpractice cases are complex and require significant time to investigate and prepare.

Promptly contacting a medical malpractice lawyer ensures that your attorney has time to secure the best possible outcome.

Can I afford a lawyer for my cerebral palsy case?

We believe that money should not stand in the way of justice. Our attorneys work on a contingency basis and charge nothing upfront. You can expect to be armed with our exceptional legal expertise without paying anything out of pocket.

We are paid when you are awarded compensation — whether by verdict or settlement. If your case does not settle in your favor, we offer you our legal expertise free of charge.

How do I choose a cerebral palsy lawyer?

Birth injury is a specialized area of medical malpractice law. You need an attorney with experience handling this type of case. Our attorneys handle birth injury cases only, and we have years of experience achieving successful verdicts and settlements for our clients.

Why is the Birth Injury Center the right choice?

Our experienced cerebral palsy lawyers understand what it takes to win a medical malpractice negligence case.

During our years in practice, we have built a network of leading child development specialists, expert witnesses, and life care planners who give us leverage in settlement negotiations and are ready to testify on your behalf should that become necessary.

You can trust us to work tirelessly to get the financial compensation you deserve. Contact the Birth Injury Center team today to connect with a top cerebral palsy lawyer.

Written by:
Birth Injury Center Team

The Birth Injury Center aims to create informational web content and guides to help women and their families seeking support and guidance for birth injuries caused by medical negligence. All of the content published across The Birth Injury Center website has been thoroughly investigated and approved by medical expert Natalie Speer, RNC-OB, Attorney Ryan Mahoney, and Attorney Rick Meadows.