Cerebral Palsy: Common Birth Injuries With Multiple Causes
Learning that your newborn baby has a birth injury is devastating in itself. But what if you’re faced with a diagnosis from a multi-faceted group of birth injuries compounded by a maze of possible causes? Such is the case with Cerebral Palsy, which is often mistaken for one type of palsy induced by brain damage. Cerebral Palsy is, in fact, a group of disorders that may be caused by either a brain injury or abnormal brain development. And while abnormal brain development may occur before or after delivery, brain injuries can occur before, during, or after delivery.
Further complicating cases involving Cerebral Palsy is the general nature of this group of birth injuries. Causes can be congenital, meaning that they occurred before or during birth, or acquired, meaning that they occurred after the baby’s birth. Congenital causes include low birth weight, premature births, multiple births, and infections. Acquired causes include injuries, meningitis, and sickle cell disease.1 In many instances, the exact cause of Cerebral Palsy is never found. In some instances, however, medical malpractice in the form of negligence is a factor—or the sole factor.
In cases of birth injuries resulting in Cerebral Palsy there are a number of considerations, each of which may be caused by the negligent actions of doctors, medical staff, nurses, or others involved with the pregnancy of the mother and the development, delivery, and care of the baby. Unfortunately, about 1 out of every 323 children born in the U.S. has some form of Cerebral Palsy according to the Centers for Disease Control.2
Proving medical malpractice negligence in Cerebral Palsy cases presents specific legal challenges. Effectively demonstrating that the established standard of care was not met and resulted in injury is essential and is often difficult. Hiring an attorney or legal team experienced in birth injuries of this type is therefore of utmost importance. Doing so helps to ensure that parents receive fair compensation for their birth injury negligence settlement so that they can pay for care and services for their child, particularly if their child’s required care and services will be ongoing.
Children who have Cerebral Palsy may require physical therapy, surgery, or a combination of the two to achieve lasting improvement, and in some cases serious physical and emotional after-effects may be lifelong. Pain, stiffness, and/or paralysis may be present. Having proper, effective support and resources is essential for the best outcome.
Meeting with an experienced Florida birth injury lawyer for an initial consultation is an important step. Research information about lawyers who specialize in birth injuries, or if possible, who specialize in Cerebral Palsy or the particular type of birth injury affecting your child.
Many lawyers and legal teams offer free initial consultations. At Mallard & Sharp, P.A., we specialize in Miami Florida birth injuries including Cerebral Palsy. To schedule a free initial consultation with our expert team call 877.662.5527 or 305.461.4800.