Orange County Cerebral Palsy Attorney
Permanent disabilities like cerebral palsy can result from errors made by doctors, nurses, hospitals or other healthcare professionals during pregnancy, the delivery or the first few years of a child’s life. Cerebral palsy is a neurological condition caused by serious brain damage that impairs movement, posture and other functions. Sadly, medical mistakes lead to thousands of preventable cases of cerebral palsy every year in the United States.
If your child has cerebral palsy that you suspect resulted from a healthcare professional’s negligence or wrongdoing, you may be entitled to file a medical malpractice lawsuit to recover your damages with the help of an Orange County cerebral palsy lawyer. Please contact us today to speak with a qualified and compassionate medical malpractice attorney who can evaluate your case FREE of charge and help your family get the compensation you deserve for your losses and suffering.
How Often Does Cerebral Palsy Occur?
Cerebral palsy is actually a group of disorders that can affect a person’s movement, balance, and posture. According to data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), estimates show that cerebral palsy can occur in as many as 1.5 to 4 children per 1,000 births. Cerebral palsy is the most common motor disability in childhood. Approximately one out of every 320 three children has been identified with cerebral palsy, according to the CDC.
Cerebral Palsy and Medical Malpractice
Most cases of cerebral palsy are the result of environmental or congenital factors. However, medical mistakes made during prenatal, delivery and/or post-natal care contributes to thousands of cases annually. Medical malpractice causes of cerebral palsy include, but are not limited to:
- Failure to detect and treat maternal infections
- Failure to recognize signs of distress in mother and fetus during delivery
- Failure to recognize and respond to maternal and/or fetal vital signs
- Failure to order an emergency C-section in a timely manner
- Failure to realize newborn’s air supply is cut off by umbilical cord
- Failure to diagnose and treat seizures, meningitis or jaundice
Excessive or improper use of delivery tools such as vacuum extraction can also lead to cerebral palsy. If your child has cerebral palsy and was delivered with forceps or by a cesarean section, needed to be resuscitated after birth, suffered jaundice, seizures or meningitis or required tests like an MRI or CT scan, medical malpractice may have been the cause.
What are the Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy?
There are four main types of cerebral palsy, according to the CDC. The most common of these is called spastic cerebral palsy, which affects approximately 80% of all people with these disorders. Those with spastic cerebral palsy have increased muscle tone, leading to stiff muscles and awkward movements.
Those with dyskinetic cerebral palsy have increased problems controlling the movement of their hands, arms, legs, and feet. These movements are uncontrollable and can be slow or rapid, making it difficult to sit or walk.
Ataxic cerebral palsy is characterized by problems with balance and coordination. Those with this type of cerebral palsy may be unsteady when they walk and have a hard time with quick movements or movements that need significant control, such as writing.
If a person has symptoms common in more than one type of cerebral palsy, then they will be classified as having mixed cerebral palsy.
What Kind of Compensation is Available for Cerebral Palsy Victims and their Families?
Is your child has developed cerebral palsy, and the condition was caused by the negligence of a healthcare provider, there may be various types of compensation available for your case. Every cerebral palsy patient is different, and the total amount of compensation available will vary on a case by case basis. At Aitken * Aitken * Cohn, our Orange County birth injury attorneys are regularly able to help families recover the following in these cases:
- Coverage of all medical expenses related to the birth injuries
- Compensation for any future care needed for the child
- Coverage of any medical devices or in-home care that is necessary
- Lost wages and benefits if a parent cannot work while caring for their child
- Pain and suffering damages
- Loss of personal enjoyment damages
- Possible punitive damages against a grossly negligent medical provider
Is There Treatment for Cerebral Palsy?
After it is determined that a child has cerebral palsy, they will usually begin physical therapy and rehabilitation fairly quickly. Physical therapy is an incredibly important part of cerebral palsy treatment and involves activities they can help maintain and improve balance, movement, and muscle strength. Physical therapists will work with the child as they learn skills such as sitting, walking, and using a wheelchair.
Children with cerebral palsy need to receive other types of therapy as well. This includes occupational therapy that will help a child learn to do everyday activities such as bathing and dressing. Recreational therapy can be used to help the child participate in art programs and various sports. Importantly, speech and language therapy can be used to help a child learn to speak more clearly, teach them new ways to communicate, and help if they have problems swallowing.
There are various orthotic devices such as braces and splints that can be placed on affected limbs to improve balance and movement. There are some medications that can help relax overactive or stiff muscles or to reduce abnormal movements. A child who has severe cerebral palsy symptoms may need surgeries to lengthen muscles or place limbs in better positions.
Contact an Orange County Cerebral Palsy Lawyer
Under medical malpractice laws, victims who have suffered at the hands of a healthcare professional’s actions or inactions have the right to seek compensation for their damages including pain and suffering, medical expenses, the cost of lifelong treatment and rehabilitation, and more. Cerebral palsy cases are extremely complex and require the skills and knowledge of a competent attorney. The medical malpractice attorneys at Aitken * Aitken * Cohn have extensive experience handling cerebral palsy cases and can help protect your rights and interests every step of the way. Please contact us today for a FREE consultation.