Cerebral palsy is a long-term, chronic medical condition that is often caused by injuries suffered at birth. Children who develop cerebral palsy tend to have other medical conditions as well, such as mobility issues, cognitive challenges, vision and hearing impairment and even seizures, etc. These conditions require diagnosis as well as ongoing treatment and care, which may prove very costly for families.
The Financial Implications
There are not too many studies that have been conducted about the financial or economic impact of cerebral palsy on the nation or about the lifetime costs incurred by families with children who are born with cerebral palsy. The expenses associated with managing cerebral palsy are, of course, significant. It can be a daunting challenge to families even with health insurance, financial planning, government assistance and community support.
The family of a child with cerebral palsy is likely to incur significant expenses relating to medical care, rehabilitative therapies, special education services, developmental assistance and in some cases, even assisted living. In the United States, cerebral palsy is the most common developmental disability among children.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that an average of 1 in 345 children in the U.S. have cerebral palsy. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke says that the percentage of babies who develop cerebral palsy has remained constant over the past 30 years, in spite of advances in prevention and treatment.
The cost of caring for an individual with cerebral palsy is calculated based on direct as well as indirect costs. This may include costs related to medical treatment, home modifications, assistive devices, etc. In 2003, the CDC estimated lifetime costs of caring for an individual with cerebral palsy at about $1 million in addition to normal living costs. When adjusted for inflation, that amount nearly doubles in 2020.
Some Sources of Financial Assistance
There is some financial help and support available to families that are caring for children with cerebral palsy. Here are some of those programs:
Government assistance: The government provides economic assistance to families in need including public assistance, access to affordable healthcare options, food assistance, tax credits and programs for community development funds, etc.
Charities/nonprofits: Many community organizations help individuals within their own communities. They may provide healthy environments for children and families, or offer monetary support.
Health insurance: Health insurance gives people access to quality healthcare and helps pay for these services. However, for many families, health insurance may be unaffordable and they may struggle to get the treatment and care they need.
For many families that care for children with cerebral palsy, the costs may become too overwhelming and even the help they get from other sources may not be sufficient. If your child developed cerebral palsy as a result of medical negligence (carelessness), you may be able to seek compensation by filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. If your child has cerebral palsy he or she may be able to receive compensation that may help pay for medical expenses, lost income, cost of therapy, future treatments, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc.
Contacting an Experienced Lawyer
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. In an Erb’s palsy case, one of our clients secured a $2,850,000 verdict that was reduced by the appeals court to $1,846,000 because the verdict was so large. This was the highest amount upheld by the appellate (appeals) courts for many, many years. In addition we recovered $1,400,000 for a newborn who lost motion in the arm during birth due to doctors applying incorrect force on the baby’s head. Also, one of our clients obtained a verdict for $43,940,000 and another of our clients got a verdict for $23,500,000, both in medical malpractice cases.
We have seen many cases where New York City Health and Hospital Corporation facilities deliver babies who are born with cerebral palsy or Brachial plexus palsy (Erb’s palsy) stemming from negligence (carelessness), and/or medical malpractice in the labor and delivery etc. of the children.
The following list identifies some of these hospitals (operated by New York City Health and Hospital Corporation):
• Jacobi Hospital aka Bronx Municipal 1400 Pelham Parkway South Bronx, New York 10461 718-918-5000
• Lincoln Hospital 234 East 149th Street Bronx, New York 10451 718-579-5000
• North Central Bronx Hospital 3424 Kossuth Avenue Bronx, New York 10467 718-519-5000
• Coney Island Hospital 2601 Ocean Parkway Brooklyn, New York 11235 718-616-3000
• Kings County Hospital 451 Clarkson Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11203 718-245-3131
• Woodhull Hospital 760 Broadway Brooklyn, New York 11206 718-963-8000
• Bellevue Hospital 462 First Avenue New York, New York 10016 212-562-5555
• Harlem Hospital 506 Lenox Avenue New York, New York 10037 212-939-1000
• Metropolitan Hospital 1901 First Avenue New York, New York 10029 212-423-6262
• Elmhurst Hospital 79-01 Broadway Elmhurst, New York 11373 718-334-4000
• Queens Hospital Center 82-68 164th Street Jamaica, New York 11432 718-883-3000
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