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What Is Cerebral Palsy and How Can It Be Caused by Negligence?

cerebral palsyCerebral palsy is a common motor disorder that occurs in roughly 1 1/2 to four of every 1,000 births. Although cerebral palsy can occur naturally, it may also be the consequence of medical negligence. This situation is usually the case when doctors fail to diagnose or treat a condition or use birthing tools incorrectly. This failure can injure a newborn and lead to the development of cerebral palsy.

What Is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy is a motor disorder that affects muscle control. A person who has this condition may have trouble walking and coordinating movements. At birth, cerebral palsy is usually the result of insufficient oxygen to the brain, abnormal brain development, or an infection during pregnancy. Cerebral palsy may also be a complication due to a difficult or premature birth, or it may be due to restricted intrauterine growth. Side effects associated with the disorder include the following:

  • Trouble swallowing
  • Speech impediment
  • Breathing problems
  • Learning disabilities
  • Seizures

Can Cerebral Palsy Be Caused by Negligence?

Although cerebral palsy may occur due to natural complications, it may also be the cause of doctor and hospital errors. For example, a medical professional may fail to follow proper medical procedures and injure an unborn child. Failure to deliver the infant correctly and depriving the child of oxygen are the most common causes of cerebral palsy due to negligence.

Doctors and hospitals may also fail to react to a complication promptly or may fail to render proper care, thus permanently damaging the child’s brain and leading to the development of cerebral palsy. For example, an infection or similar medical issues may be incorrectly diagnosed or treated. Medical personnel may also use forceps or a vacuum extraction incorrectly, thus injuring the newborn.

Can I Move Forward with a Cerebral Palsy Compensation Claim?

If medical negligence contributes to cerebral palsy in a newborn, you may sue the responsible party for excess damages. You want to work with an attorney when this situation occurs, however, so you can navigate the hospital’s insurance policies and receive the full amount of compensation owed. Cerebral palsy is a lifelong disorder, and a qualified attorney can help you secure compensation for medical care in addition to services such as ongoing physical therapy and physiotherapy. You may also receive compensation to cover home accommodations, special education costs, and more.

Whether you can move forward with a cerebral palsy claim depends on a few factors:

  • You must demonstrate that you had a doctor and patient relationship with the negligent physician. If you received a second opinion from a doctor who only gave you advice, for example, the individual could not be sued.
  • You must prove that negligence occurred. To establish whether negligence occurred, you generally need to consider whether an equally qualified medical professional in a similar situation would have made the same decisions.
  • You must prove that the negligent actions led to the development of cerebral palsy.

The emotional, physical, and financial costs associated with this disorder are ongoing. As such, you are entitled to receive compensation for emotional pain and suffering as well as long-term therapy and medical expenses. Contact David W. Singer & Associates, P.A., for a free consultation regarding your claim: 800-ASK-FREE (275-3733).