Cerebral palsy is a group of permanent movement disorders in early childhood. Symptoms vary from mild to severe and include muscle stiffness, weakness, irregular muscle contractions (spasticity), and problems with coordination and balance.
Most babies with cerebral palsy are born with it, but an injury can also cause it to the brain during pregnancy or after birth.
If you have any reason to believe that medical malpractice or injury may have caused your child’s cerebral palsy, consider contacting a cerebral palsy lawyer from Nessler & Associates to discuss your case. Your attorney can help you determine if medical professionals contributed to the onset of your child’s cerebral palsy. A successful medical negligence case can result in significant compensation to offset a lifetime of medical expenses.
Determining the Possibility of Cerebral Palsy in Your Child
Parents often believe their newborn is perfectly healthy if doctors release them from the hospital on time. New parents may need help recognizing subtle signs of infant health issues.
If your baby exhibits the following signs in the early months or years of life, they may have cerebral palsy:
- Developmental delays, including sitting or walking late
- Weak arms or legs ( difficult to discern in young babies that do not need to sit or stand yet)
- Lack of control over facial muscles, your baby may not smile properly
- Uncontrollable movement of limbs
- Your child may seem more clumsy than their peers
- A baby may alternate between a stiff and flimsy posture
- Children that can walk may do so on their toes instead of using the whole foot
In some cases, symptoms of cerebral palsy do not show up until after a child turns two years old. Parents may notice mild developmental delays that become more pronounced and consistent. A reputable law firm, such as & Associates, can help you pinpoint specific medical events that link negligence to cerebral palsy symptoms.
Common Birth Injuries That Cause Cerebral Palsy
Although cerebral palsy can develop due to genetic factors, it is also caused by medical negligence. Cerebral palsy often occurs due to oxygen deprivation your baby suffers during labor and delivery. Lack of oxygen can happen when hospital staff makes medical errors such as:
- Failure to address fetal distress
- Extended labor due to poor care
- Failure to diagnose or treat conditions like pre-eclampsia in the mother
- Failure to notice or remove an umbilical cord around the baby’s neck
- Untreated placental or uterine rupture
- Undiagnosed or untreated maternal high blood pressure
If you believe medical negligence caused cerebral palsy in your child, contact a birth injury attorney as soon as possible. They can review your medical records to look for signs of negligence and ensure you file within the statute of limitations for medical malpractice in Illinois.
You can build a strong case for medical malpractice by maintaining diligent records of your baby’s health and progress. Show up to every well-check appointment and take notes on milestones or delays. Contact a birth injury attorney to review your case if you notice any abnormalities.
Seeking a Proper Diagnosis
Gaining proper compensation to care for your child requires a lawyer and an accurate diagnosis. Children with cerebral palsy may remain undiagnosed for longer than necessary. This can delay legal intervention and coverage of medical expenses.
Steps To Receiving a Diagnosis for Cerebral Palsy
You may need more than one doctor to work with your child while determining the diagnosis. Remain calm and ask for a second opinion if you don’t feel confident about your child’s care. Expect to visit several specialists before you get a definite diagnosis, including:
- Primary care physician for referrals
- Pediatric neurologist
- Physical therapists
- Behavioral specialists
Your child may also need blood work, a CT scan, and an MRI to solidify the diagnosis or rule out other diseases. These tests can tell you whether your child has spastic cerebral palsy, the most common type of the disorder.
When you hire a cerebral palsy attorney, they can help you find the right medical professional to diagnose your child. The lawyers at Nessler & Associates have a network of medical professionals they work with to ensure parents have a thorough, accurate diagnosis of their child’s condition. You can use this diagnosis to file a claim on your baby’s behalf.
How Your Lawyer Can Help During the Diagnosis
While it can help to have a diagnosis ready for your new lawyer at Nessler & Associates, many parents need advice on necessary documentation for legal cases. Schedule a free consultation with a lawyer to discuss your chances of compensation and learn the steps involved in winning a claim.
Lawyers specializing in medical malpractice cases can help direct you to the right specialists and help you compile evidence showing your child’s medical providers acted negligently. Your lawyer may instruct you to get the following documents to strengthen your case.
- The mother’s medical records from labor and delivery
- Postpartum care records
- Infant screening records for older children with cerebral palsy
- Comprehensive medical records from well-check visits
- Diagnostic results from more than one medical specialist
Lawyers specializing in negligence stay up-to-date on common causes of childhood disabilities and specific actions that may lead to cerebral palsy in babies.
Why You Need a Lawyer to Handle Your Cerebral Palsy Case
A child with cerebral palsy must undergo continuous medical treatment throughout their lives. Cerebral palsy is a lifelong disability that leaves individuals needing help with daily tasks such as eating, bathing, and dressing.
A qualified and experienced cerebral palsy attorney can help ensure the child gets the maximum compensation possible to cover care through adulthood. The cost of medical care for patients with cerebral palsy can exceed one million dollars through the adult years.
You can expect to pay for the following necessities throughout your child’s life.
- Medication (about $5,000 per year)
- Wheelchairs and walkers
- Home health care
- Service dogs
- Modifications to cars
- Accommodations and assistants for school and work environments
- Routine doctor’s visits and possible surgeries
- A home with caretakers or payments for a group home after parents pass away
Start Your Birth Injury Case Today With Nessler & Associates
Lawyers specializing in cerebral palsy cases fully understand what your child needs now and in the future. They understand what leads to cerebral palsy and the amount of compensation necessary to improve quality of life.
Reach our lawyers at (800) 727-8010 to get started on your cerebral palsy claim and work towards proper compensation to care for your child.