Cerebral Palsy Resulting from Medical Malpractice
Cerebral palsy is the most common motor disability in children, and it is often caused by birth injuries occurring immediately before, during, or after birth.
If you believe that your child’s cerebral palsy may have been the result of medical malpractice or negligence, reach out to the New York cerebral palsy lawyers at Salenger, Sack, Kimmel & Bavaro, LLP right away.
Our New York cerebral palsy attorneys are dedicated to standing up for the rights of children and families that have had their lives forever changed by the negligent and wrongful conduct of others.
We offer highly personalized and compassionate legal representation to clients on Long Island and throughout the surrounding areas. We encourage you to get in touch with our team today to learn how we can help you and your child fight for the justice you deserve.
What Is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy (CP) is a motor disability characterized by poor muscle tone and strength caused by damage to the brain. Cerebral refers to the brain, and palsy refers to muscle strength and use.
Cerebral palsy is an incurable motor disability. Technically a group of disorders, cerebral palsy affects an individual’s balance, posture, muscle tone, and coordination and may involve cognitive impairment, problems with vision, joint issues, and seizures.
In the United States, CP is the most common type of motor disability in children. It typically results from abnormal brain development or damage to the undeveloped or infant brain before, during, or soon after childbirth. Often—but not always—CP is associated with medical malpractice, as infant brain damage is one of the most common types of birth injuries.
Types of Cerebral Palsy
There are several different types of cerebral palsy, characterized by the presentation of various related conditions. While all people with CP will experience some degree of impaired mobility and posture, secondary symptoms vary depending on the type of CP the individual has.
The most common types of cerebral palsy include:
- Spastic Cerebral Palsy: Spastic CP is the most common type of CP, affecting approximately 80 percent of people with the disorder. It is characterized by excessive muscle tone, resulting in rigid, stiff muscles and “spastic” movements.
- Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy: Dyskinetic CP is characterized by issues with movement and control of the arms, hands, legs, and feet. People with dyskinetic CP often have difficulty walking and sitting and may present jerky and/or “writhing” movements.
- Ataxic Cerebral Palsy: Ataxic CP is characterized by poor coordination and balance. People with ataxic CP often have difficulty with tasks that require fine motor skills, such as writing, and may have trouble walking and/or grabbing or holding items.
- Mixed Cerebral Palsy: Mixed CP refers to people who exhibit signs of different types of CP, such as spastic movements, difficulty controlling the arms and hands, and problems with balance and/or coordination.
Regardless of the type, the earliest sign of CP in children is the failure to reach certain developmental milestones, specifically those involving motor skills, such as rolling over, sitting up, and standing or walking.
Note that the severity of CP can range significantly; some people with CP will have mild symptoms and may simply need assistive devices to live relatively normal lives, whereas others will require more extensive and ongoing care for severe CP symptoms.
Is Cerebral Palsy Always Caused by Medical Malpractice?
To be clear, cerebral palsy is often but not always caused by medical malpractice. In the past, it was believed that most cases of CP were the result of oxygen deprivation during childbirth.
Now, scientists generally agree that a relatively small portion of CP cases result from birth injuries.
However, what is clear is that CP is caused by abnormal brain development while a child is in the womb, as well as brain damage caused by loss of oxygen and other factors immediately before, during, or after birth.
In other words, your child’s CP could be the result of medical malpractice or negligence if a doctor, nurse, midwife, or medical provider failed to uphold the standard of care, leading to oxygen deprivation and brain damage.
Your child’s cerebral palsy may be the result of a birth injury if:
- Labor was prolonged and/or difficult
- A timely cesarean section (C-section) was not performed
- The attending medical professionals failed to properly monitor or respond to signs of fetal distress
- There were complications with the umbilical cord before or during birth (such as the umbilical cord being wrapped around the infant’s neck)
- The infant presented in breech presentation
- You (or the mother of your child) suffered placental abruption, which is the partial or total separation of the placenta from the inner wall of the uterus
- You (or the mother of your child) had a maternal infection that was misdiagnosed or there was a delay in diagnosis, leading to delayed treatment
These are not the only situations that could indicate your child’s CP was the result of medical malpractice. If you believe that a doctor, nurse, hospital, or another medical provider failed to provide an acceptable standard of care, and your child was later diagnosed with cerebral palsy, reach out to our New York cerebral palsy lawyers at Salenger, Sack, Kimmel & Bavaro, LLP to learn how we can help you fight for the justice and fair compensation you are owed.
Why Hire a Cerebral Palsy Lawyer?
At Salenger, Sack, Kimmel & Bavaro, LLP, our NY personal injury attorneys understand just how distressing it is to learn that your child’s life-altering disability could have—and should have—been prevented.
As a parent, you want to make sure your child receives the best possible medical care so that he or she can live as healthy, happy, and normal a life as possible. Unfortunately, this medical care can quickly add up, placing undue financial strain on families.
When you work with our New York cerebral palsy attorneys, you can rely on us to fight tirelessly for the maximum compensation you are owed.
We are deeply committed to holding negligent medical providers accountable, and we want to help you navigate the legal process so that you can give your child the life he or she deserves.
We will handle every legal detail of your claim so that you can focus on your family and helping your child get the medical care he or she needs.
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