Cerebral palsy can manifest itself in many different ways, but as a permanent condition with no known cure, it has a lifelong impact on children affected with the disorder. As the parent or caretaker of such a baby, it’s natural to question whether the condition could have been prevented. You want the best for your child, after all, and you have a right to ensure that your child receives adequate medical treatment from day one. If you believe that your baby’s cerebral palsy was caused by medical malpractice during childbirth, then you may be entitled to legal compensation.
The term “cerebral palsy” (CP) refers to a group of movement disorders that can affect body movement, muscle control, reflex, balance, motor skills, and others. Cerebral palsy appears in early childhood with a wide variety of signs and symptoms. Affected individuals most commonly experience difficulty with body movement due to tightness in one or more muscle groups, but they can also experience involuntary movement, slurred speech, tremors, and problems with muscle coordination.
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Cerebral palsy occurs as a result of abnormal development or brain damage caused during pregnancy, during childbirth, or shortly after birth. The cause can often be linked to a lack of oxygen to the brain or to the body, premature delivery, or birth trauma. It can be difficult to pinpoint the cause for every individual case, but there are known risk factors. Medical malpractice is one among many possible causes, including accidents, infections, and injuries during pregnancy.
Medical malpractice occurs when a patient is harmed as a result of a doctor’s incompetence, negligence, or outright failure to perform specific medical duties. A child can sometimes develop cerebral palsy as a result of malpractice. Typical examples include a failure to detect or treat infections in the mother during pregnancy; failure to perform a timely cesarean section when medically necessary; and misuse of medical instruments during delivery. Oxygen deprivation can also lead to cerebral palsy as a result of leaving the baby in the birth canal for too long or failing to detect problems with the umbilical cord.
Put simply, there are a number of steps a doctor must take to ensure the mother and baby are safe during childbirth. If your doctor’s error caused injury to your child that led to cerebral palsy, you may be able to receive compensation for medical expenses, emotional distress, and other costs. Medical malpractice can be incredibly complicated to prove in a court of law. It helps to know an attorney who is well-versed in both medical and legal terminology, and who can argue your case from a solid foundation of legal expertise.
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Do you have reason to believe that your child’s cerebral palsy was preventable by the doctor’s actions? The Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP can take effective legal action on your behalf. Contact us to get assistance with your medical malpractice case and get the closure that you and your child deserve.