WebMD defines Cerebral Palsy, or CP, as a group of disorders that affect balance, movement, and muscle tone. “Cerebral” signals that the disorder is related to the brain, and “palsy” refers to a weakness or a muscle problem. In February 2017, it was estimated that around 764,000 individuals in the United States are affected by Cerebral Palsy.
Cerebral Palsy was once thought to be a result of complications during birth, and is not contagious. Due to the damage it causes to certain parts of the brain, voluntary or involuntary movements—or a combination of both—usually result.
While birth complications remains a cause of Cerebral Palsy, it is now noted that birthing complications account for only a small percentage—about 10 percent—of Cerebral Palsy cases. Recent research suggests that most of the Cerebral Palsy cases result from unusual brain development or brain injury before birth or during labor and delivery.
Medical malpractice, abuse, accidents and infections are some known risk factors that may lead to Cerebral Palsy.
Types and Causes of Cerebral Palsy
The vast majority of the people affected by Cerebral Palsy are born with it, and this is known as “congenital” cerebral palsy. However, it can start after birth as well, with this type being known as “acquired” cerebral palsy.
People who suffer from Cerebral Palsy usually have mild issues such as muscle control, or more severe issues such as not being able to walk. Some individuals may have difficulty speaking, intellectual disabilities, etc., while others appear to have normal intellectual capacities.
So what exactly causes cerebral palsy?
While doctors have not exactly pinpointed the main causes of cerebral palsy, the following are some of the problems that can damage the brain or disrupt its growth before, during, or following birth:
- Bleeding in the brain while the baby is in the womb, during birth or afterwards;
- A lack of blood flow to important organs;
- Seizures at birth or in the first month of life;
- Some genetic conditions; and,
- Traumatic brain injuries.
And finally, as we mentioned earlier, medical malpractice is another known factor that may cause Cerebral palsy or similar birth injuries to develop.
Risks of Having a Child with Cerebral Palsy
There are certain conditions that may increase the risks of having a child who suffers from Cerebral Palsy. Among them are:
- Being pregnant with multiple children, such as twins or triplets;
- Having certain health issues, such as seizures;
- Having a rare condition where the mother’s blood is not compatible with the baby’s blood; and,
- Coming in contact with a toxic substance such as mercury, found in some kinds of fish.
Cerebral Palsy Due To Medical Negligence
Most people who have Cerebral Palsy develop the condition before they are born. However, it can also be caused during the birthing process due to a lack of oxygen resulting in brain damage. This can sometimes be the fault of the medical personnel who are looking after you and your child.
If you or your child have been a victim of medical malpractice, then you are eligible to make a compensation claim against the institution responsible. Contact our law offices for a free consultation with any of our experienced medical malpractice lawyers today.
Filing a Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit
To file a cerebral palsy lawsuit, it will be vital to prove that there was negligent actions performed by the person or people responsible for your medical care.
As with almost all other types of lawsuits, Cerebral Palsy lawsuits have a statute of limitations, which means you have a certain amount of time to file a suit from the time the injury occurred. In Maryland, the general statute of limitations for medical malpractice lawsuits, including a cerebral palsy case, is three years. The statute of limitations is different depending on the state you live in, and may also vary in cases involving minors.
This goes to say that you have a certain frame of time in which you can file a cerebral palsy lawsuit and if it is not done within that period of time, you will no longer be able to file the suit.
Some states allow minors to reach their 18th birthday and they can then file a lawsuit on their own; however, other states allow parents to file a lawsuit at any point before the child reaches their 18th birthday. A few states also require that the lawsuit be filed two to three years from the time of the injury, or from the period of time the injury was discovered, in addition to their statute of limitations laws.
Once you file your lawsuit, your attorney will begin to build your case by gathering all important documents and evidence.
Cerebral Palsy and Getting Compensation
If you feel that you or a loved one has cerebral palsy as a result of negligent medical care, you may be eligible to claim compensation.
Perhaps cerebral palsy occurred in your child during pregnancy or birth due to deficient or inefficient medical care. Regardless of the cause, you have a right to claim for medical negligence. The claim take the following into account:
- Pain and suffering caused;
- Damages to cover costs of ongoing care, equipment, treatment and home modifications;
- Any income lost due to caring for the person with cerebral palsy; and,
- The effect on quality of life.
Contact us today to begin the process of receiving full compensation for you or your loved ones. We offer free, no-strings-attached consultations, so you have nothing to worry about when reaching out to us—we’d love to hear from you!