Cerebral palsy (CP) refers to a group of disorders that affect a person’s motor skills, balance, and posture. “Cerebral” means having to do with the brain, and “palsy” refers to paralysis and issues involving use of the muscles. It is the most common motor disability in childhood in the U.S, affecting about one in 323 children. While not all cases of CP stem from negligence, some do. If you have suspicions about your child’s case or if a physician admitted to making a mistake during labor and childbirth, seek help from an attorney experienced in CP cases. At the Law Offices of Chalik & Chalik, we have decades of experience handling Cerebral Palsy birth injury cases in Fort Lauderdale, and we want to help your family find peace in a time that should have been joyous.
Cerebral Palsy and Medical Malpractice
The majority of CP cases are congenital, meaning they occurred due to brain damage before or during birth. Sometimes, a physician’s mistake can lead to infant brain damage during labor and delivery – resulting in a form of CP. For example, a doctor may have failed to monitor fetal signs during labor, missing red flags for fetal distress in the womb. The baby may have lost oxygen supply to the brain (called hypoxia) or the body (asphyxia), leading to cerebral palsy. Other malpractice-related causes of CP include:
- Birth trauma
- Premature delivery
- Failure to detect infection during pregnancy
- Prolapsed umbilical cord
- Failure to order an emergency cesarean section
- Delay in performing necessary procedures
- Negligence such as misusing birthing tools
- Unreasonable mistakes from incompetence
In some cases, infants suffer “acquired” CP, or cerebral palsy that happens after birth from a head injury or infection such as meningitis or encephalitis. Improper postnatal care can result in this condition.
These are all examples of medical malpractice that parents could potentially prove during settlement negotiations or in a court of law. Proving malpractice in CP cases may involve hiring expert medical witnesses, interviewing people who were in the room, and investigating the cause of the birth injury.
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How to Seek Recovery for Your Child
Cerebral palsy can lead to a variety of disorders and symptoms. Some children may experience difficulty moving and stiffness in muscle groups. Others show signs of involuntary movements, slurred speech, trouble swallowing, and low muscle tone. Still others have depth perception problems, tremors, and difficulty balancing. The symptoms of CP won’t worsen over time, but they can last throughout the child’s lifetime.
When cerebral palsy develops because of someone else’s negligence, such as a nurse, obstetrician, or birthing physician, parents of the affected child can take the party to court in Fort Lauderdale for medical malpractice. It can take weeks, months, or even years for doctors to diagnose your child with CP. As soon as you receive the diagnosis, explore the possibility that medical malpractice caused the condition. While this isn’t always the case, it can be worthwhile to speak to an attorney about your labor and delivery experience. There may be a red flag for malpractice, such as delayed emergency care or undiagnosed fetal distress.
If medical negligence from a staff member or the hospital itself (e.g., a piece of monitoring equipment failed from lack of maintenance) caused your child’s CP, you could be eligible for financial recovery. This can include compensation for your ongoing medical expenses, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other losses from the experience and injury.
For a free consultation, call the Law Offices of Chalik & Chalik today. Our Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys understand the complex laws in this area and are here to help.
Call or text Chalik & Chalik (954) 476-1000