Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common motor disability in childhood. It is caused by abnormal development of the brain or damage to the developing brain that affects a child’s ability to control his or her muscles. The brain damage that leads to CP can happen before birth, during birth, or even during the first years of a child’s life, while the brain is still developing.
Unfortunately, some instances of CP are caused by medical negligence that occurred before or during childbirth. Common causes of CP related to medical negligence or error include:
- Oxygen deprivation caused by a delay in delivering the baby or not correctly identifying umbilical cord problems.
- Failure to correctly treat or diagnose medical issues before, during, and after birth. This includes infections of baby or mother, jaundice, meningitis, or congenital disorders.
- Failure to diagnose or treat low blood sugar.
- The incorrect use of forceps or vacuum extraction during birth.
- Failing to monitor maternal or fetal distress.
- Failing to carry out a timely C-section.
If your child has been diagnosed with CP and you suspect it’s the result of a medical professional or facility deviating from the required standard of care, you might have grounds for a CP lawsuit.
How do I know if I have a cerebral palsy claim?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, medical costs for children with CP are 10 times higher than the cost for children without CP. The costs of caring for a child with CP can include physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, assistive equipment, assistive transport, assistive accommodation, and special educational needs. As a result, the estimated lifetime cost for medical care for a single child is near $1 million. Emotional pain and suffering is also a valid claim and is classified as non-economic damages.
When CP is the result of medical negligence or malpractice, filing lawsuits may help compensate the child and the child’s family.
Cerebral palsy lawsuits require evidence that your child’s condition could have been prevented by a more attentive medical staff or facility. An investigation will be required to show that the delivering doctor, nurse, or medical facility fell below their required standard of care. The investigation will also need to establish that your child exhibited some signs or symptoms of a birth injury. Our expert attorneys have the experience you need to complete this investigation.
Symptoms of a birth injury include:
- Skull fractures
- Low oxygen levels
- Low heart rate
- Weak or absent reflexes
- Excessive drooling
- Hands curled into a claw-like shape
- Muscle stiffness or looseness
- Arched back while crying
The best way to establish whether you have a case is by consulting with a law firm that is experienced in CP cases. Although it can take up to 18 months to reach an official CP diagnosis, an attorney may be able to help you throughout this process.
Who is allowed to file a cerebral palsy compensation claim?
The parents or guardians of an infant who developed CP due to medical negligence have the right to file a claim against the party responsible. The responsible party could be a physician or hospital staff.
It is rare that adults who were injured as infants can file a birth injury lawsuit, as the state statute of limitations will have expired.
When should I file my cerebral palsy claim?
It is important to file your case as soon as possible because all states have time limits for plaintiffs to file a case. In Florida, you have two years from the date the malpractice was discovered to file a claim. If it is determined that the medical professional or facility tried to hide or cover up the malpractice, you might be allowed to extend the deadline to file a claim. Also, be aware that in Florida, claims for children under 8 years of age must be filed before the child’s 8th birthday. The experienced attorneys at our firm can help guide you through all of these regulations.
How much compensation will I receive for my cerebral palsy claim?
The amount of your CP claim will vary depending on the case. Claims for cerebral palsy compensation are typically valued between $500,000 and $7 million to cover the lifelong care costs and potential loss of earnings. Your compensation will also be affected by the state you live in, as some states place a cap on both economic and non-economic damages.
The law office of Diez-Arguelles & Tejedor has recovered more than $50 million for our clients in medical malpractice claims alone. If you or a loved one is the victim of medical malpractice there is a legal deadline for filing these lawsuits, so call NOW toll free 1-888-888-3773. The consultation and calls are FREE.