Reaching Their Full Potential
Posted on behalf of Goldberg Finnegan, LLC on Jan 16, 2012 in Medical Malpractice
The initial diagnosis of cerebral palsy or mental retardation can be devastating to a family. The parents of children who have developed cerebral palsy come to us with many questions: What will their child be capable of in the future? Will their child be independent as an adult? How do they pay for future medical and rehabilitative care? Could this have been prevented?
Some parents never get these questions answered from their child's doctors, especially because doctors know that many cerebral palsy birth injuries could have been avoided with proper prenatal (before birth) or perinatal (during birth) care. We can help answer some of these questions, as well as others.
What is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy is a broad term for disorders that affect the brain and nervous system. A person with cerebral palsy may have difficulty moving, learning, hearing, seeing and thinking. Many of the children we represent have seizures, tight muscles and joints (called contractures), are unable to walk without assistance, have developmental delays, and difficulty eating.
What Causes Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy is caused by many things that we know about, including:
- Brain infections (for example, viral encephalitis or bacterial meningitis)
- Severe head trauma
- Genetic factors
- Lack of oxygen to the brain
Is Cerebral Palsy Preventable?
Cerebral palsy is sometimes preventable. One often-repeated medical statistic is that ten percent of all cerebral palsy is caused by lack of oxygen to the brain at birth. Even if that statistic is true (there is a cottage industry of health care professionals who masquerade articles as scientific evidence in order to limit the liability of obstetricians), that means that thousands of children born every year in the United States have cerebral palsy because of events at the time of their birth.
For those families, there is one way to know for sure whether a medical mistake caused their child's cerebral palsy. A cerebral palsy lawyer will talk with the parents, order and review the extensive medical records, and hire the best medical experts for an impartial analysis of the evidence. At our firm, there is no upfront cost for this opinion and we only recover our costs and fees if we get money for your child.
Our team, which includes two registered nurse-attorneys, has prosecuted and litigated countless medical malpractice cases. Our injury lawyers have the experience to tell you whether your child's cerebral palsy was caused by medical negligence, including:
- Failure to evaluate the condition of the baby
- Failure to identify damaging stress caused to the baby
- Failure to evaluate electronic fetal monitor strips/tracings
- Failure to perform a timely emergency cesarean section
How Much Does it Cost to Care for a Child with Cerebral Palsy?
Every child with cerebral palsy is different. In our cerebral palsy birth injury lawsuits, we hire professional life care planners to review the child's medical records, talk to the pediatric neurologist and other treating care providers, and come up with a care plan for that child's life.
The plan depends on the specific needs of the child. The cost of the child's care depends on many things, including the healthcare costs in the area where the child lives and the extent of the care required by the child. It is not unusual for proper care to cost upwards of $6 million, and in certain cases over $10 to $20 million dollars or more.
Children who have cerebral palsy based on a health care provider's negligence deserve the best life possible. With proper medical care and rehabilitative treatment, they can grow up and reach their full potential. It is hard work for the children, their families, and their health care team. But that work is vital because it improves and creates a quality of life for someone who might not otherwise have it. We cannot turn our backs on these children.