Can You Sue for Cerebral Palsy
Is It Possible to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit if Your Child Has Cerebral Palsy?
The birth of a child is supposed to be a joyous occasion, but when you learn that your baby has a condition that will impact them for the rest of their life, it can be devastating. The news can be even harder to accept if you know the condition could have been prevented. In some instances, cerebral palsy may occur due to circumstances beyond the control of the parents or medical professionals. However, if a doctor or nurse is negligent in providing care during or after a child’s birth, it can result in a birth injury such as cerebral palsy.
Care providers can face a medical malpractice lawsuit if they do not live up to the standard of care expected of a medical professional with the same experience and training. For a malpractice case to be successful, the plaintiff must show that the doctor’s negligence directly resulted in injury to their child, which caused damages that can be remedied through a civil lawsuit. If your child developed cerebral palsy and you believe substandard medical treatment was a factor, contact an experienced cerebral palsy lawyer today to discuss legal remedies that can provide for your child’s future.
How Can Medical Malpractice Lead to Cerebral Palsy?
Newborns are fragile and require extensive, specialized care to ensure their well-being, particularly if the birth is complicated or high-risk. Delivery room doctors and staff must be prepared to handle all potential situations calmly and rapidly. Fatigue, miscommunication, or a failure to follow procedures can result in devastating mistakes and harm to the mother and child.
Ways in which medical providers may contribute to a child developing cerebral palsy through negligent care include the following:
- Failing to perform or schedule a C-section in a timely fashion.
- Improperly monitoring fetal oxygen levels or other vital signs or failing to act on signals that could indicate fetal distress.
- Incorrect use of delivery-assistance tools, such as forceps or vacuum extractors.
- Failing to diagnose and treat infections in the mother during pregnancy.
- Not checking for factors that could indicate a high-risk pregnancy or delivery.
- Making surgical errors during a C-section or other birth-related operation.
- Providing inadequate post-birth care, including not promptly treating jaundice or other newborn conditions.
- Making mistakes when administering anesthesia during birth.
What Damages Can You Seek in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Cerebral palsy causes life-long difficulties with posture and muscle function. There is currently no cure for cerebral palsy, but there are treatments and movement aids that can lessen discomfort and improve the lives of individuals with the condition. A personal injury lawsuit can help families ensure that their child can get proper care now and in the future. A personal injury claim also holds the negligent medical professionals responsible for the damage they’ve caused and may prevent other families from having to go through the same heartbreaking experience.
Because cerebral palsy requires specialized medical care, many families struggle financially while trying to make sure their child receives the treatment they need. A medical malpractice claim can help ease this financial burden by providing payment for the following:
- Mobility aids
- Speech, physical, and occupational therapy
- Assistive devices
- Updates to vehicles to allow easier transportation
- Wheelchair or walker accessibility modifications for the home
- In-home health services
- Special education expenses
- Other medical treatment costs
- Lost wages due to needing to care for your child
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Reduction in independence or quality of life for your child
Is There a Time Limit on When You Can Sue for Cerebral Palsy?
Every state has laws outlining when you can file a medical malpractice lawsuit, known as statutes of limitations. If you fail to bring your case within the allotted time frame, you will lose your right to seek compensation for your child’s injuries. In some cases, cerebral palsy may take years to diagnose and may only become apparent as your child develops. If you have questions about your eligibility to file a lawsuit for your or your child’s birth injuries, contact a knowledgeable lawyer today to learn more about your state’s rules.
In cases involving minors, states often recognize that children cannot be expected to make decisions about legal issues, and they may be granted more time to pursue a claim. If a child experiences a birth injury like cerebral palsy, the statute of limitations is frequently tolled until their eighteenth birthday.
While a child with cerebral palsy may technically have more time to file a claim, in most cases, a parent or guardian will file a claim on their behalf shortly after discovering the injury.
The advantages of taking prompt legal action are numerous. Collecting evidence to prove malpractice is much easier when the incident is recent. Receiving a settlement when your child is young reduces financial stressors immediately. Collecting full compensation from the at-fault party allows you to provide your child with the care and assistance they need during their developmental years, which may lead to better outcomes in adulthood.
How Can Our Law Firm Assist You?
It is critical to consult with a trusted personal injury lawyer if you believe your child’s cerebral palsy may have been caused by medical malpractice. Our compassionate legal team at Villari, Giannone & Matteo P.C. can evaluate your case and explain your legal options. We are here to guide you through the process and answer any questions you may have.
Prompt action is key to a successful case. As time passes, important evidence can be lost or destroyed. Even if you are still uncovering the extent of your child’s injuries, a skilled lawyer can begin investigating and building your claim. Contact our law firm today to schedule a free consultation: 888-729-2901.
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