Cerebral palsy is a common birth injury. The term is used to describe a variety of neurological disorders that affect muscle coordination, body movement, muscle tone, reflexes, posture, and balance. In the United States, about ten thousand children are diagnosed with cerebral palsy every year. Cerebral palsy involves four major types of brain damage:
- Damage to the white matter in the brain
- Abnormal brain development
- Lack of oxygen to the brain
- Hemorrhaging within the brain
Cerebral palsy can be divided into three major types:
- Spastic-the vast majority of cerebral palsy cases fall into this category. This type is characterized by stiffness in muscle joints and difficulty in movement
- Athetoid- a small portion of cerebral palsy cases, this is characterized by low muscle tone and involuntary movements.
- Ataxic- a small portion of cerebral palsy cases, this is characterized by depth and perception problems, issues with balance and coordination.
Cerebral palsy is not always connected with medical malpractice, but when it is it is because of:
- Failure to diagnose and treat infections of the mother while the baby is in utero
- Failure to detect issues with the umbilical cord
- Failure to determine the proper time to perform Cesarean section
- Other negligence during birth and labor including failure to diagnose issues and the use of incorrect instruments during the delivery process.
Advances in medical technology have found that seventy percent of the brain damage that causes cerebral palsy as mostly occurring during the second and third trimesters of development. Twenty percent occurs during the birthing process and the remaining ten percent occurs during the first few years of development. A person with cerebral palsy can have a genetic predisposition, a congenital condition, or acquired cerebral palsy. These classifications help to determine when the cerebral palsy was likely to have occurred. Acquired cerebral palsy could be caused by other personal injuries like falls and motor vehicle accidents in which another party was negligent, or from infections and illnesses like meningitis.
Unfortunately most instances of cerebral palsy are not diagnosed until several years after the birth. If you suspect this injury for your child is related to negligence that happened during birth, it is important to speak to an attorney right away. The first and immediate thing an attorney can do is determine if you have a case that will be appropriate under your state’s statute of limitation. An attorney can also order an appropriate medical legal review of your medical files to see if there are potential issues. Medical malpractice cases are very complicated and can go on for years. It is not something an injured party would want to battle on their own.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice. Your case may be different. In considering the statute of limitation this firm is not giving an opinion on when the statute of limitation expires. The statute of limitation requires a claimant to file a lawsuit by a certain date. Failure to file a lawsuit before the expiration of the statute of limitation bars a claimant from filing a claim and from being compensated. Hiring an attorney immediately will protect your rights. Consult an attorney in your area for further guidance. If you were injured in an accident involving a public bus, please call one of our attorneys at David K. Kremin & Associates, and we will give you a free consultation. We never charge unless we collect for you. Please call 1(800) ASK-A-LAWYER or 1(800)275-2529.