Cerebral palsy or CP is triggered by a brain injury or damage to the brain that can occur during birth. It is often the result of a medical professional’s negligence (carelessness) during the labor or delivery process. For parents, a cerebral palsy diagnosis is devastating news. Children who have cerebral palsy face physical and cognitive challenges for the rest of their lives and in most cases, will never be fully independent.
If a medical professional’s negligence (carelessness) or inaction led to your child’s injury and cerebral palsy, you will be able to seek monetary compensation for your child’s injuries, damages and losses. It is important that families in such difficult circumstances understand their legal rights and options and how they can secure the compensation that is needed for their child’s future.
Do You Have a Cerebral Palsy Case?
A number of things may potentially go wrong during labor and delivery. Your baby may have sustained an injury if he or she needed to be resuscitated, was diagnosed with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), developed seizures during the first few days of being born, required an extended hospital stay after birth or had an abnormal head ultrasound, CT-scan or MRI after birth. These are all indications that your child may have suffered a brain injury or brain damage during birth.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that cerebral palsy is caused by damage to the brain that has an impact on the child’s intellectual functioning and his or her ability to control body movements. Here are some of the most common causes of cerebral palsy:
Lack of oxygen: If the baby is in distress during labor or is stuck in the birth canal, he or she may struggle to breathe. Oxygen supply may be cut off to the child and eventually to his or her brain, which leads to permanent and irreversible brain damage.
Infections during pregnancy: Infections can be transmitted from the mother to the child during pregnancy. When such infections are not promptly diagnosed or treated, it can lead to cerebral palsy.
Injuries during birth: Sometimes, during a prolonged labor, babies can become injured especially when medical professionals apply too much force as they attempt to get them out of the birth canal. Improper or incompetent use of birth-assistive devices such as forceps or vacuum extractors can also lead to severe brain injuries and result in cerebral palsy.
A child’s family can hold the responsible party (such as a doctor, hospital or other members of the medical team) liable by filing a cerebral palsy lawsuit. Some of the most common acts of medical negligence (carelessness) that lead to a cerebral palsy lawsuit include:
• Delaying or failing to perform a Cesarean section (C-section) or an emergency C-section
• Not paying heed to or misinterpreting warning signs from fetal heart monitors
• Failing to treat or effectively resuscitate a newborn who needs assistance with breathing
• Not exercising proper care while using birth-assistive devices such as forceps or vacuum extractors
• Failing to diagnose or treat an infection in a timely manner — either in the mother or the baby
The compensation you recover in a cerebral palsy case often depends on the level of your child’s disability or impairment and the extent of negligence (carelessness) that led to your child’s condition. Medical professionals have a duty to provide a standard of care. If they fail to provide that care, they have breached their duty. In such cases, you will be able to seek compensation for your child’s losses.
Contacting an Experienced Lawyer
Cerebral palsy often occurs as a result of brain damage stemming from negligence (carelessness) during labor and delivery. It is the responsibility of medical professionals to monitor the condition of the fetus and the mother and make decisions that would reduce or eliminate risks during delivery. If your child has cerebral palsy, he or she may be able to receive compensation that helps pay for medical expenses, lost income, cost of therapy, future treatments, 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. 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
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 and/or medical malpractice cases in New York, 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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