Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a neurological disorder that affects movement, muscle tone, and motor skills. It is often caused by brain damage that occurs before or during birth, and in some cases, shortly after birth. For parents dealing with the challenges of raising a child with cerebral palsy, the possibility of medical malpractice may be a concern. This article aims to provide parents with valuable information about cerebral palsy and the considerations they should bear in mind when contemplating legal action.
I. What is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral Palsy is a group of disorders that affect a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture. It is caused by abnormal brain development or damage to the developing brain, leading to difficulties in muscle control and coordination. CP can manifest in various forms, including spastic, dyskinetic, ataxic, or mixed types.
II. Causes of Cerebral Palsy:
While the exact cause of cerebral palsy may not always be clear, several factors can contribute to its development. These include:
a. Birth injuries: Oxygen deprivation or trauma during delivery.
b. Infections during pregnancy: Infections like rubella or cytomegalovirus can increase the risk.
c. Premature birth: Babies born prematurely are at a higher risk of developing CP.
d. Genetic factors: Certain genetic conditions may increase the likelihood of cerebral palsy.
III. Signs and Symptoms:
Recognizing the signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy is crucial for early intervention. Common indicators include:
a. Delays in reaching motor milestones.
b. Poor muscle coordination.
c. Difficulty with fine motor skills.
d. Abnormal muscle tone.
e. Speech and communication difficulties.
IV. Medical Malpractice and Cerebral Palsy:
In cases where parents suspect medical malpractice as a cause of their child’s cerebral palsy, it’s important to understand the key elements involved:
a. Negligence: Proving that the healthcare provider breached the standard of care.
b. Causation: Establishing a direct link between the medical negligence and the development of cerebral palsy.
c. Damages: Demonstrating the impact of cerebral palsy on the child’s life and the financial burden on the family.
V. Legal Considerations:
Parents contemplating a lawsuit should be aware of the following:
a. Statute of limitations: In Michigan, generally, if there is an injury at birth, the child will have until their tenth birth. However, the analysis is complex and there are numerous exceptions.
b. Expert testimony: In Michigan expert witnesses are required to validate the claim of medical negligence.
c. Settlement options: Exploring out-of-court settlements versus pursuing a trial.
VI. Seeking Legal Guidance:
Navigating a medical malpractice case can be complex, and seeking legal guidance is essential. Our birth injury lawyers have extensive experience in cerebral palsy cases and can provide valuable support and advocate for the rights of the affected child and their family.
Understanding cerebral palsy and its potential link to medical malpractice is crucial for parents seeking justice for their child. By being informed about the causes, signs, and legal considerations, parents can make informed decisions about pursuing a lawsuit. While every case is unique, having the right information empowers parents to take the necessary steps to secure a better future for their child with cerebral palsy.
If you think your doctor, hospital or other healthcare provider made a mistake, you’ll want to work with the best medical malpractice lawyers in Michigan. To get started, call our medical malpractice lawyers at 616-278-0888, complete our free consultation form, or send us an email. Many times we can tell you if you have a valid claim in our initial phone consultation. No appointment is necessary for an initial phone consultation.