Helpful Insight from NY Birth Injury Attorneys
Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that can affect the motor skills and muscle tone of a person, causing difficulty with movement. While this condition can be the result of brain damage that occurred during fetal development, some cases of cerebral palsy can be caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain during childbirth. If your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and you believe it may have been caused by negligence on the part of your obstetrician or other medical professional, it is important to take immediate action. Cerebral palsy will require expensive medical treatment. Filing a claim against the medical provider can help you seek compensation to help pay your child's expenses.
At Napoli Shkolnik PLLC, our Medical Malpractice Department takes on birth injury claims and lawsuits for clients across New York. We realize that these are not only highly complex cases but that they involve the most emotionally-charged topic for most parents: their child's health. That is why we take a personalized approach to every birth injury case we take on, working directly with our clients to determine what approach is truly best not only for their immediate well-being but for their child's future. You can learn more by scheduling a free consultation with a New York birth injury lawyer at our firm. Your initial consultation is also confidential. You can feel comfortable discussing any private concerns or questions you may have with our compassionate and knowledgeable professionals.
Types of Cerebral Palsy
There are three types of cerebral palsy, which cause mild problems with muscle control or may more profoundly affect movement, depending on the severity of the condition.
- Spastic cerebral palsy is characterized by stiff and difficult movement. It is the most common type of cerebral palsy, occurring in approximately 80% of cases. Children suffering from spastic cerebral palsy have one or more tight muscle groups, which limit movement and cause stiff or jerky movements.
- Athetoid cerebral palsy occurs in approximately 10% of cases and is caused by damage to the part of the brain that allows for smooth and coordinated movement as well as the ability to hold body posture. Involuntary movements are one of the most common side effects of athetoid cerebral palsy.
- Ataxic cerebral palsy affects balance and depth perception and is primarily characterized by poor coordination, an unsteady gait and shaky movements. Approximately 5-10% of children with cerebral palsy are diagnosed with ataxic cerebral palsy.
While cerebral palsy can be diagnosed shortly after birth, many parents do not realize something is wrong with their children until several months or over a year have passed. Symptoms of cerebral palsy may include lack of facial expressions, lack of response to sounds, inability to lift the head, inability to sit up without support or assistance, drooling, muscle tremors and difficulty in feeding. Parents may notice abnormal behavior or a delay in reaching important developmental milestones. Evaluation by a medical professional is important to determine if your child's developmental delays are due to cerebral palsy or another medical condition.
Treatment for Cerebral Palsy
At this time, there is no known cure for cerebral palsy. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes:
Cerebral palsy can’t be cured, but treatment will often improve a child's capabilities. Many children go on to enjoy near-normal adult lives if their disabilities are properly managed.
Securing financial compensation from a doctor, nurse or other medical professional whose negligence or wrongdoing caused your child's condition serves three purposes. It holds that individual or facility accountable for their conduct. It increases awareness of just how dangerous medical malpractice can be. Most importantly, it offers the family the opportunity to recover financial compensation that will make all the difference in their ability to seek the best medical care for their child as he or she works toward a normal life even with cerebral palsy. Early treatment is crucial in these cases, and having the means to seek out specialists in this field can give a child the best chance at normalcy.
Involving a New York Birth Injury Lawyer
Medical care providers can contribute to the development of cerebral palsy in several ways. They may make certain delivery mistakes, such as using faulty fetal monitoring equipment, failing to diagnose fetal distress while a mother is in labor, waiting too long to perform a cesarean section if one is indicated, administering the wrong drug or the wrong dose or failing to act in a timely manner. Any of these may lead to a lack of oxygen, which can cause cerebral palsy.
If any of these mistakes have occurred, it is important to contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer immediately. The longer you wait to seek out legal assistance, the more opportunity there is for you to forget important details or lose documentation that may be needed to file suit.
At Napoli Shkolnik PLLC, we understand that having a child with cerebral palsy can be difficult. Medical expenses and physical therapy services can quickly add up and become overwhelming. If your child's condition is the result of a birth injury caused by medical malpractice, we can help you file suit to seek the compensation you need to cover these expenses. Our caring, compassionate staff members can work with you to determine how to best proceed. To get started, contact our New York City headquarters for a free case review.