Cerebral Palsy from Birth Injury

Don't Let Cerebral Palsy Define Your Child’s Future. Get The Compensation You Deserve!

A diagnosis of cerebral palsy can be overwhelming. It can leave you with questions and concerns for your child’s future. But you don’t have to worry. Our Kansas City, MO, cerebral palsy attorney understands the emotional toll it takes. And we are here to offer the compassionate support and unwavering legal guidance you need

Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a group of neurological disorders that affects mobility, muscle tone, and coordination. The developing brain may be harmed before, during, or early in life. The damage to these areas of the brain can impact posture and mobility.

Quick Summary:

  • Cerebral Palsy is a neurological disorder often attributed to complications during birth, such as oxygen deprivation or trauma to the brain.
  • Symptoms of CP can include stiff muscles, weakness, shaking, trouble balancing, weird movements, speech problems, and more, making everyday tasks hard.
  • CP can result from factors before or during birth (congenital CP), such as lack of oxygen, premature birth, infections, or genetic factors, and after birth (acquired CP) due to brain injury, diseases, or metabolic problems.
  • Proving medical negligence in a CP claim involves consulting legal professionals, gathering evidence, and demonstrating vital elements like breach of duty and causation.
  • Responsible parties for CP may include healthcare providers, hospitals, clinics, and third parties involved in birth complications.
  • Compensation for CP may cover economic damages like medical expenses and lost wages and non-economic damages like pain and suffering.
  • There’s a time limit for filing a CP claim, usually two years from the incident or discovery of negligence.

Cerebral palsy is a lifelong disorder. Even though it doesn’t worsen over time, it still brings difficulties as your child grows up. Starting early with treatments and support can make a big difference in how well your child can live their life. It’s important to know what help is available and what you can do to ensure your child gets what they need to do well.

What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral Palsy is a neurological disorder that affects movement, muscle tone, and motor skills. While it’s not always caused by birth defects, sometimes things like not getting enough oxygen during birth or harm to the brain can lead to it. When a baby’s brain gets hurt around the time they’re born, it can mess up how they learn to move and control their body, causing the signs of CP.

Cerebral palsy comes in different types depending on how it affects movement and which parts of the body are involved. Here are some common types:

  • Spastic Cerebral Palsy: This is the most common type and it makes muscles tight and hard to move. It can affect one side of the body, both legs, or all four limbs.
  • Dyskinetic (Athetoid) Cerebral Palsy: With this type, the body makes movements you can’t control, like twisting or writhing. It might affect the whole body or just some parts.
  • Ataxic Cerebral Palsy: People with this type have trouble with balance and coordination, so they might move unsteadily and find it hard to do precise tasks.
  • Mixed Type Cerebral Palsy: Sometimes, someone might have a mix of different CP types, like both tight muscles and uncontrolled movements.

Knowing these types helps doctors figure out what kind of help someone with CP might need to move and do things better.

How Do I Know If My Child Has Cerebral Palsy?

The signs of cerebral palsy can be different for each person. It affects how the brain develops; how CP affects the individual depends on which parts of the brain are harmed and how bad the effect is. Here are some common signs:

  • Tight muscles (spasticity): This is the main one, making it hard to move, balance, and do things like walking. Muscles might feel stiff and not want to move.
  • Weak muscles: Arms or legs might not be as strong, so walking or holding things can be tricky.
  • Shaking (tremors): Hands, arms, legs, or even the head might shake without being able to control it.
  • Trouble with balance (ataxia): Finding it hard to stay steady, walk straight, or do things like writing or buttoning clothes.
  • Weird movements: Making sudden or twisting moves that get in the way of everyday stuff.
  • Talking and understanding: Difficulty speaking clearly, getting words out, or showing feelings with your face.
  • Eating problems: Struggling to suck, chew, or swallow, which can lead to drooling or not getting enough food.
  • Seeing and hearing: Some people with CP might have trouble seeing or hearing things.
  • Seizures: Having fits or seizures, which are more common in people with CP.
  • Learning and cognitive challenges: Some people might have trouble learning or understanding things.

It’s important to know that CP affects everyone differently. Also, people with CP might have other issues like trouble with their senses, behaving, or problems with their bones and muscles.

What Causes Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral Palsy doesn’t have a specific cause but can be triggered by various factors that affect the developing brain. These factors typically fall into two main categories:

Before (Congenital CP) or During Birth

  • Brain Damage: Damage to the areas of the brain responsible for movement control can occur due to various reasons, including:
    • Lack of oxygen: This is the most common cause, often resulting from complications during delivery like prolonged labor, placental abruption, or umbilical cord issues.
    • Premature birth: Babies born before 37 weeks are at higher risk, especially those very sudden (less than 28 weeks), due to the brain’s ongoing development at that stage.
    • Infection: Viral Infections in the mother or baby during pregnancy or delivery can sometimes harm the developing brain. This can include:
      • Rubella (German measles): A virus that can affect the baby’s brain if the mother gets infected during pregnancy.
      • Cytomegalovirus (CMV): This virus can cause brain damage in babies if the mother gets it while pregnant.
      • Toxoplasmosis: A parasite that can harm the baby’s brain if the mother becomes infected during pregnancy.
      • Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV): If a baby gets this virus during birth from the mother, it can lead to brain damage and CP.
      • Meningitis: An infection of the brain lining, which can cause CP if it occurs shortly after birth.
      • Encephalitis: Another brain infection that, if contracted around the time of birth, can result in CP.
    • Stroke: Bleeding in the baby’s brain or a cut-off in blood supply can lead to CP.
    • Malformations: In rare cases, the brain may not develop properly in the womb.

After Birth (Acquired CP)

  • Brain Injury: Head injuries from accidents, falls, or abuse can damage the brain and cause CP.
  • Infections: Severe infections like meningitis or encephalitis can affect the brain and lead to CP.
  • Stroke: Similar to before birth, strokes affecting the brain after birth can also cause CP.
  • Metabolic problems: Issues with how the body processes nutrients can sometimes impact brain development and contribute to CP.
  • Birth defects as a result of medical malpractice: Birth injuries resulting from medical malpractice can also lead to cerebral palsy. Some common birth injuries that may cause cerebral palsy include:
    • Brachial Plexus Injury: Damage to the nerves in the baby’s shoulder during birth, often due to excessive pulling or stretching.
    • Fractures: Bone fractures, particularly in the skull or other areas of the baby’s body, can occur during difficult deliveries and lead to brain damage.
    • Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE): Oxygen deprivation to the baby’s brain during birth can result in brain damage, leading to cerebral palsy.
    • Intracranial Hemorrhage: Bleeding inside the baby’s skull, often caused by trauma during birth, can lead to brain damage and cerebral palsy.
    • Spinal Cord Injuries: Damage to the spinal cord during birth, which can occur due to mishandling or improper use of delivery tools, may result in cerebral palsy.
    • Facial Nerve Damage: Damage to the facial nerve during delivery, often due to pressure or trauma, can lead to facial paralysis and other complications associated with cerebral palsy.

It’s important to know that not every case of CP comes from problems during birth. Sometimes, it’s because of issues getting sick when you’re little or issues with the brain before you’re born. But in some cases, things that happen during birth can also play a big part in causing cerebral palsy.

Can Medical Negligence Cause Cerebral Palsy?

Yes, sadly, medical mistakes can sometimes cause cerebral palsy. Not every case is because of this, but specific errors during pregnancy, birth, or right after can hurt the baby’s brain and lead to CP. Here are some examples:

Before or During the Birth

  • Missing signs of trouble for the baby: If doctors don’t notice when the baby isn’t getting enough oxygen or if something else is wrong, it can hurt the baby’s brain.
  • Improper use of medical tools: Forceps or vacuum extraction, when used unnecessarily or incorrectly, can cause physical injuries to the baby’s head and brain.
  • Waiting too long for a C-section: Sometimes, if a C-section is needed but it’s not done quickly enough, the baby might not get enough oxygen, which can cause CP.
  • Medication errors: Administering incorrect medication or improper dosages to the mother or baby can harm the developing brain.
  • Not treating infections: Infections not treated during pregnancy or birth can sometimes harm the baby’s brain.

After Birth

  • Not finding or treating infections fast enough: Serious infections need quick treatment to stop them from hurting the brain.
  • Medication errors: Similar to before birth, medication errors after birth can also affect the brain and potentially lead to CP.
  • Not taking care of head injuries: If a baby gets hurt on their head and doctors don’t check or treat it right, it can up the chances of CP.

When doctors make mistakes during birth that could have been stopped, it can affect whether a child gets cerebral palsy or not. Depending on the case’s circumstances, there may also be grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.

How Can I Prove Medical Negligence in My Cerebral Palsy Claim?

Showing that medical mistakes caused your child’s cerebral palsy can be hard, but there are steps to help prove it. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Talk to a cerebral palsy lawyer: They’ll look at your child’s medical records and other papers to see if there’s a case and explain what to do next.
  2. Look for proof: Your lawyer might hire medical experts to check the records and give opinions on what happened. It’s also important to get statements from anyone who saw what happened and gather bills or other papers showing how much the condition costs.
  3. Prove four things: To win, you need to show that the doctor or nurse had to take care of your child, that they didn’t do it right, that this caused cerebral palsy, and that it caused harm to your child and family.
  4. Try to settle or go to court: Your lawyer might try to make a deal with the hospital or doctor’s insurance company. If they can’t agree, your case might go to court, where a judge or jury will listen to the evidence and decide what happens.

Proving medical mistakes in a cerebral palsy case is tough, but with the right help and evidence, you can fight for your child and family’s rights.

Who May be Liable for My Child’s Cerebral Palsy?

Figuring out who’s responsible for your child’s cerebral palsy depends on what happened during birth and how it led to the condition. Different people or groups might be to blame for medical mistakes that caused it:

  • Healthcare Providers: Doctors, nurses, and others who cared for the mom and baby during pregnancy and birth could be responsible if they didn’t do their job right. This could include not watching closely enough, misusing medical tools, or making medical errors.
  • Hospitals and Clinics: These places could be at fault if they didn’t have enough staff, didn’t have the right equipment, or didn’t make sure childbirth was safe.
  • Third Parties: Sometimes, medical device manufacturers, testing laboratories, or other entities could be blamed if they were part of what went wrong.

It’s a good idea to seek legal counsel from an experienced medical malpractice attorney who can assess the specifics of your case. They can look at what happened and figure out who might be responsible for your child’s cerebral palsy.

Can I Recover Compensation? 

Yes, you can recover compensation for your child’s CP if you were successful in proving medical negligence. Here are some common types of damages that you may be able to recover:

Economic Damages

Economic damages refer to the measurable, tangible financial losses incurred by someone else’s actions or negligence. These damages are typically quantifiable in monetary terms and can include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Property damage
  • Rehabilitation expenses
  • Wrongful death 

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic or general damages refer to intangible, non-monetary losses that are not easily quantifiable. These damages are subjective and may vary depending on your circumstances. Non-economic damages can include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

The amount and type of money you can recover depend on various factors such as the severity of the condition, the extent of negligence involved, the costs of ongoing medical care and therapy, earning potential, and the pain and suffering endured. Consulting with legal professionals can give you an idea of what to expect and how much you can receive. 

Is There a Deadline for Filing a Claim? 

The law limits how long you have to file a lawsuit if you believe medical mistakes caused harm. In Missouri, this time limit is usually two years from when the mistake happened, or you found out about it, whichever is earlier. However, you can’t file a lawsuit more than ten years after the error occurred. 

These rules can differ depending on what happened, so it’s wise to talk to a lawyer who knows about these cases. They can give you advice based on what happened to you and make sure you don’t miss the deadline for filing your claim.

Why Do I Need a Cerebral Palsy Lawyer in Missouri?

If you or a loved one has cerebral palsy in Missouri, there are various reasons why you need a lawyer experienced in this area. Here are some common scenarios where a cerebral palsy lawyer in Missouri could be beneficial:

  • Assessing the value of your claim
  • Gathering information and evidence
  • Determining liable parties 
  • Handling all the endless paperwork
  • Dealing with insurance companies
  • Negotiating the maximum settlement
  • Speeding up the process and avoiding delay 
  • Representing your case before a judge or jury

Consulting a lawyer does not require a lawsuit. However, it lets you consider all alternatives for your child’s future. You can consult without obligation to learn your legal rights. 

The decision to choose a lawyer is personal. Take into account your situation, case intricacy, and familiarity with the legal system.

Finding Hope and Support with Our Kansas City MO Cerebral Palsy Attorney

If you suspect medical malpractice caused cerebral palsy in your child, act quickly. Consulting with a skilled Kansas City, MO, cerebral palsy attorney is the first step to knowing your legal options and establishing a solid case.

At Ricket Law Firm LLC, we can help you navigate medical malpractice lawsuits’ challenges. Our skilled team can evaluate your case, interpret the law, and argue for your kid to receive full and fair compensation for their injuries.

Our firm also assists with nursing home abuse, wrongful death, and car accident cases. Call us anytime if you need legal representation.

Pursuing compensation goes beyond money. It’s about giving your child the finest care, therapies, and resources to succeed. Talk to our Kansas City cerebral palsy lawyer today. Our goal is to help you be heard. 

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