Cerebral palsy is the most common and one of the most devastating childhood disabilities that affect about three out of every 1,000 live births in the United States. Here is another staggering statistic – about 764,000 children and adults in this country currently live with cerebral palsy. And about 10,000 babies born each year will develop cerebral palsy. One of the most common causes of cerebral palsy is medical negligence. When medical professionals fail to provide proper care to the mother and the child before, during or after the birth, severe injuries that result in cerebral palsy may occur.
Here are five important facts about cerebral palsy:
Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder.
It is a condition that refers to a group of non-progressive disorders affecting movement, balance and posture. The condition stems from deformities in the developing brain or from brain damage sustained, during labor and delivery or within the first three years of life. In victims suffering from cerebral palsy, the signals from the brain to the body are lost or redirected, which is why these individuals have trouble with movement.
There are three main types of cerebral palsy. Spastic cerebral palsy is characterized by muscle stiffness. Athetoid cerebral palsy and ataxic cerebral palsy refer to conditions where patients have difficulty with coordinated movement. Cerebral palsy can also present itself as a combination of these different types. Spastic cerebral palsy often affects the limbs.
Cerebral palsy can vary in severity.
Cerebral palsy can range from mild to severe. Some people with cerebral palsy may not appear disabled or may just seem a little uncoordinated while others may have very little control over bodily movements and be severely impaired with regard to neurological functions, vision, hearing or speech. Depending on their needs and the severity of the condition, people with cerebral palsy may have to use crutches, walkers, wheelchairs, etc.
People with cerebral palsy are not intellectually disabled.
It’s important to understand that cerebral palsy is not an intellectual disability. In fact, many individuals living with this condition have average to above-average intelligence. Cerebral palsy is also a highly misunderstood medical condition, made worse by the media’s portrayal of it. It is often mischaracterized as a “disease.” There is also an enormous amount of social stigma surrounding cerebral palsy. For this reason, some people with the condition may be reluctant to disclose their disability or share their experiences with others.
Medical negligence often causes cerebral palsy.
There are a number of conditions that may result in cerebral palsy. Lack of oxygen is the leading cause of cerebral palsy in infants. This happens with oxygen is cut off from a child’s brain during birth because of complications such as breech birth, a ruptured uterus or umbilical cord entanglement, etc. When the baby gets asphyxiated during birth, cerebral palsy may occur. Failure on the part of the doctor to treat jaundice in newborns or order a C-section at the right time may also result in cerebral palsy.
Cerebral palsy is expensive to treat.
According to an estimate by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the lifetime expenses of caring for someone with cerebral palsy may well exceed $1,000,000. About 80 percent of the expenses a cerebral palsy patient incurs stem from indirect costs including the inability to work, early death and limited employment opportunities due to the disorder-related impairments and issues. Direct medical costs account for about 10.2 percent of the overall expenses and non-medical costs account for 9.3 percent of the lifetime costs associated with providing for a cerebral palsy patient.
Contacting an Experienced Lawyer
If your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a result of medical negligence you may be able to file a lawsuit seeking compensation for damages including, but not limited to, medical expenses, lost income and benefits, loss of livelihood, hospital and rehabilitation costs, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc.
The experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you. Our client received a $43,940,000 verdict for a child who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. The hospital failed to diagnose fetal distress, which led to brain damage and cerebral palsy from lack of oxygen supply to the brain. The verdict was eventually reduced on appeal.
Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury cases in New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.
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1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES
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