A cerebral palsy diagnosis can be frightening and confusing. This is not the future you had planned for, but it is the hand you have been dealt.
If a negligent healthcare professional dealt that hand, you may be able to pursue compensation to afford the treatment and guidance that your child needs to learn how to effectively adapt to cerebral palsy and live a happy life.
The law recognizes that if your child’s condition was caused by any type of carelessness or mistake before, during, or after delivery, the responsible party should play their part in setting things right by taking accountability for their actions.
That’s why wronged families have the right to file a civil lawsuit to seek financial compensation for the child’s medical treatment, pain and suffering, ongoing medical needs, loss of the ability to make a living, and lifelong care.
Cullan & Cullan is here to help you during this difficult time.
Our Kansas City cerebral palsy attorneys are also medical doctors, which means that we can use our legal and medical knowledge, as well as our academic and hands-on experience, to deliver high-quality counsel in cerebral palsy injury cases.
These cases are notoriously challenging and complex. You need an attorney on your side who has the in-depth knowledge and experience to fight for you.
Call (816) 253-8606 now for a free consultation regarding your child’s condition, rights, and legal options.
What Causes Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy is too often the result of medical negligence. Oxygen deprivation or physical trauma can cause brain damage and lead to cerebral palsy. When this occurs, at-fault parties should be held accountable responsible for their actions.
Only a complete and meticulous investigation into the circumstances surrounding your child’s birth will reveal whether malpractice may have caused their injuries.
Potential malpractice-related causes of cerebral palsy may include:
- Performing a delayed C-section
- Failing to recognize fetal distress
- Failing to address prolonged labor
- Misuse of forceps or vacuum extractors
- Mismanagement of childbirth complications
Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy in Newborns
Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that affects movement and posture. It's a condition that can manifest in newborns and even adults. Many cases of cerebral palsy are a result of brain damage before, during, or shortly after birth.
Common symptoms of cerebral palsy in newborns include:
- Stiff or floppy muscles
- Difficulty sucking or feeding
- Delayed development
- Abnormal reflexes
There are different types of cerebral palsy with varying degrees of severity and impact on the individual's motor abilities. Early detection and intervention can improve the development and function of a child with cerebral palsy.
Parents and caregivers should seek immediate medical attention if they suspect their child has cerebral palsy, as well as contact our attorneys at Cullan & Cullan.
Diagnosing Different Types of Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is actually a group of conditions that impacts movement, balance, and posture. Like any condition, each person with it experiences different symptoms.
For example, many people with cerebral palsy have trouble walking and require accommodations and long-term care, while others may be a little imbalanced while walking but do not need any personalized care. It all depends on the type of cerebral palsy a person has and how severe their symptoms are.
The four main types of cerebral palsy are:
- Spastic cerebral palsy, which affects muscle tone and leads to stiff muscles.
- Dyskinetic cerebral palsy in which people have a difficult time controlling their arms, hands, legs, and feet. In some cases, people with this type of cerebral palsy also have trouble controlling their face and tongue.
- Ataxic cerebral palsy, which affects balance and coordination. The hands and arms may also be affected, making writing and other tasks difficult.
- Mixed cerebral palsy, in which people experience the symptoms of more than one type of cerebral palsy.
Since damage to and/or abnormal development of the brain leads to cerebral palsy, it is not uncommon for people with cerebral palsy to have additional conditions, including seizures, scoliosis, joint problems, intellectual disabilities, and speech, vision, and hearing problems.
Is It Possible to Cure Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy cannot be cured, but treatment can help reduce a person’s symptoms. Medications to loosen up muscles may be prescribed, and surgeries may be able to remedy irregular bone positioning and alignment or address high muscle tone by cutting nerve fibers.
Therapies may also be used to help a person adapt to the symptoms of cerebral palsy, such as:
- Speech and language therapy to help with problems related to language, speech, communication, eating, swallowing, and the like.
- Occupational therapy to learn how to carry out daily routines and activities independently.
- Recreational therapy to improve motor skills, and speech, and promote well-being through recreational and/or competitive sports.
- Physical therapy to improve strength, mobility, balance, flexibility, and motor development.
How Long Do I Have to File a Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit?
There are strict deadlines for filing medical malpractice claims.
These deadlines are complex and fact-based. The laws pertaining to these deadlines, or statutes of limitations, differ drastically from state to state. For example, the deadlines in Missouri are completely different from the deadlines in Kansas.
The statute of limitations can also differ depending on what type of defendant was negligent. There are special procedures if the defendant is a governmental entity.
When a child is injured, both the parents and the child have independent causes of action. The parental claim must be filed in a short period of time, while the claim on behalf of the child/minor may not have to be filed as quickly.
If you suspect that a birth injury has occurred due to medical malpractice, it is important to call a cerebral palsy attorney as soon as possible for assistance in preserving the evidence and in determining the deadlines in YOUR case.
Compensation for Immediate and Long-Term Expenses
If you or your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy due to medical malpractice, you may be eligible to receive compensation through a lawsuit.
While there are many immediate costs associated with cerebral palsy, including medical expenses and therapy costs, it is important to consider the long-term expenses that will need to be addressed in your lawsuit. These may include:
- Cost of ongoing or lifelong medical care
- Expenses related to special education programs
- Cost of assistive devices such as wheelchairs and communication aids
By working with an experienced cerebral palsy lawyer in Kansas City, like those at Cullan & Cullan, you can assess the full scope of your long-term costs and pursue the compensation necessary to provide for your child's ongoing needs.
Our Acclaimed Doctor-Lawyers Will Advocate for You
The cerebral palsy lawyers at our firm are also doctors. Over 80% of the cases we handle involve cerebral palsy caused by medical negligence at birth.
With our medical and legal knowledge, our Kansas City cerebral palsy attorneys at Cullan & Cullan are uniquely and fully equipped to investigate these cases.
To find out how we can help you, contact our Kansas City cerebral palsy lawyers today. In a free consultation, we will discuss your rights and legal options.