A baby can develop cerebral palsy (CP) from a brain injury that takes place before, during, or after birth. While CP, a condition that affects muscle control, is often the result of unpreventable factors, if your doctor was negligent in administering prenatal care or made a mistake during your baby’s birth, you may be eligible to file a medical malpractice case. For help, call a New York cerebral palsy lawyer at Buttafuoco & Associates: 1-800-NOW-HURT.
What causes cerebral palsy?
Congenital CP stems from injuries before or during birth, while acquired CP is the result of brain injury after birth.
Causes of Congenital CP
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are several risk factors for congenital CP:
- Multiple fetuses
- Certain types of fertility treatments
- Low birthweight
- Preterm birth
- Maternal infections during pregnancy
- Untreated, severe jaundice
- Maternal health conditions
- Birth complications or injury
While preventing some of these conditions is not possible, a doctor should attempt to identify and manage any possible complications.
Causes of Acquired CP
Acquired CP, which occurs at least 28 days after birth but within the first three years, can be the result of:
- Infections of the infant’s brain (e.g., meningitis)
- Head or brain injuries
- Brain bleeds or birth defects affecting the circulatory system
- Delivering a fetus too early
- Failure to perform a timely C-section
- Failure to prevent and treat jaundice
- Failure to identify and correct umbilical cord issues
- Improper use of mechanical delivery (vacuum or forceps)
- Failure to identify and treat a birth injury or defect
- Lack of coordination
- Stiff or tense muscles
- Asymmetrical crawling or walking
- Hearing loss
- Exaggerated reflexes
- Vision loss
- Loss of bladder and bowel control
- Pain and abnormal sensations
- Medical expenses for the birth
- Cost of long-term care
- Assistive devices
- Lost wages for paternal caretakers
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
Acquired CP is much less common than congenital CP, but it can have the same effects. It is not likely that acquired CP is the result of medical negligence; however, if your baby had a condition, such as an unmonitored brain bleed, your doctor may be liable.
When can a doctor’s negligence cause cerebral palsy?
The following are potential cases of medical negligence:
To determine if your child developed CP due to a medical error you will need proof your doctor acted outside of a reasonable standard of care. To prove your case, you need evidence that another reasonable doctor would have handled your baby’s birth differently and avoided causing brain damage.
Evidence to prove medical negligence is difficult to collect alone. In most CP birth injury claims, a medical expert on neonatal care and obstetrics must provide testimony on behalf of the parents. This type of expert must be able to claim that if the doctor in question had acted within the standard of care for your situation, the child would not have developed CP.
Bring your case to a New York birth injury lawyer as soon as possible to examine your legal options.
Collecting Damages for Cerebral Palsy Caused by a Birth Injury
If you are able to prove that your doctor was responsible for your child’s cerebral palsy, you may be eligible to recover compensation for the costs of caring for a child with special needs.
The damages applicable in your birth injury claim will vary with your child’s condition. Cerebral palsy can cause symptoms such as:
Mild cases of CP may still allow your child to live a normal life. However, severe CP can require a child use assistive devices and be dependent on others for self-care. Compensable damages include:
Developing the evidence necessary to claim a birth injury caused your child’s CP is a difficult task to undertake. The attorneys at Buttafuoco & Associates have the resources and legal knowledge to help you support and file your claim for damages. We help New York families negotiate a fair settlement for the full extent of the damage caused by a negligent medical provider.
Give us a call today for a free case review: 1-800-NOW-HURT.