Cerebral palsy is a physical disability that can affect people differently, depending on the type of cerebral palsy they have. Generally, cerebral palsy affects the way a person moves their body and they typically have physical limitations with their motor skills, including difficulties with posture, moving, balance, communicating and eating. Some individuals with cerebral palsy also have issues with their bladder, breathing, and other bodily functions. There are different causes of cerebral palsy, but it frequently results from brain damage. When brain damage occurs, this can also result in other serious problems, such as learning problems, and sight and hearing impairments. Even though cerebral palsy may be directly linked to genetic disorders and other unpreventable causes, in many cases, a child may develop cerebral palsy while in utero or during birth. In other cases, a young child may develop cerebral palsy in their first three to five years of life. If a medical professional’s negligence is found to be the direct cause of a child’s cerebral palsy, a cerebral palsy lawsuit may result.
In pregnancy, an unborn baby may develop an infection, or the mother may develop a medical condition that also affects the baby. Certain types of medical issues and infections, when left untreated, can affect a baby’s brain development and can potentially result in cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy may also result from something that goes wrong during the birthing process, especially if a baby is born prematurely. In fact, KidsHealth reports that premature babies, low birth weight babies, and babies who are part of multiple births (i.e. twins and triplets) are at an increased risk of developing cerebral palsy. In younger children, cerebral palsy may result from conditions that damage the brain, such as whiplash injuries from auto accidents, shaken baby syndrome, lead poisoning, bacterial meningitis, and any other incident that results in poor blood flow to the brain.
Cerebral palsy may not be apparent right away, but according to Johns Hopkins Medicine, some of the common signs to look out for include:
- Bladder and/or bowel problems
- Scoliosis, hip dysplasia, and other bone abnormalities
- Developmental delays (i.e. crawling or sitting delays in babies)
- Respiratory issues
- Uncontrolled movements and exaggerated reflexes
- Vision, speech, and/or hearing problems
- Behavioral problems
- Learning disabilities
- Gastrointestinal problems
According to the Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation, one in 323 babies in the United States is diagnosed with cerebral palsy, with one baby being born every hour with cerebral palsy. There are currently 800,000 people in the United States and 17 million individuals worldwide living with cerebral palsy. It has also been reported that cerebral palsy is the most common childhood physical disability.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons highlights that while there can be several potential causes of cerebral palsy, including some that are beyond anyone’s control, some babies develop cerebral palsy during the birthing process due to a lack of oxygen, in addition to neonatal infections. An obstetrician’s decisions during the birthing process, particularly during a challenging birth, can greatly influence the baby’s outcome. In some scenarios, an erroneous decision may have resulted in a lack of oxygen for the baby for a prolonged period of time, resulting in cerebral palsy. For example, this could have been the decision to delay an important alternative for quickly delivering a baby that is in distress (i.e. an emergency C-section). After a baby is born, a doctor at the hospital may have failed to notice (or adequately treat) a serious infection, which then results in cerebral palsy. These are just some examples of hypothetical scenarios that can result in cerebral palsy and that can be directly linked to a medical professional’s negligence. If a doctor, nurse, or other hospital personnel was found liable for your baby’s cerebral palsy, you may be able to seek compensation in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
If medical negligence was the likely cause of your child’s cerebral palsy, you may already be working with a medical malpractice attorney to seek the justice that you and your family deserves. Because cerebral palsy is a permanent condition that requires lifelong care, medical bills, and other expenses can quickly pile up. When a negligent decision is the cause of such a debilitating outcome, there is absolutely no excuse and your attorney is likely working hard on your behalf to ensure that justice prevails.
Because there is a lot that goes into sensitive cases such as these, plaintiffs quickly realize that it may be a long time before their case settles and before they receive compensation. As bills and expenses continue to accumulate, you may feel as though you have exhausted all options. However, at USClaims, we can put an end to the waiting game by providing you with money sooner through a lawsuit advance. Contact us today to learn more!