Learning that your child has cerebral palsy can be devastating. One of the most common causes for this lifelong, debilitating condition is an injury suffered at birth, often due to negligence, carelessness and incompetence on the part of a medical professional or hospital. As a parent or caregiver, you may have a number of questions from what cerebral palsy is and its consequences to how to get the necessary care, support and quality of life for your child. Here are a few of those common questions, answered.
1. What is Cerebral Palsy (CP)?
Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder, which affects a child’s mobility, motor skills and muscle tone. In a majority of cases, cerebral palsy is caused by brain damage that develops when the child is still in the mother’s uterus, or shortly after birth. Cerebral palsy affects about 500,000 people in the United States. It is important to understand that it is a condition that has no cure. However, there are many treatment and therapy options available.
Cerebral palsy may also lead to a number of other medical conditions, depending on the nature and severity of the child’s disorder. Other medical issues linked with cerebral palsy include speech issues, learning disabilities, muscle weakness or spasticity, cognitive issues, behavioral issues, autism, sleep disorders and problems with hearing and vision. Cerebral palsy is not a disease. It is a neurological disorder that affects movement and muscle control. The word “cerebral” refers to the brain and “palsy” refers to movement.
2. What is Life Like for an Individual with CP?
The prognosis for cerebral palsy really depends on each child. Children with cerebral palsy tend to have some form of cognitive issues that require additional educational assistance. While children may be able to go to school with their peers, they may still need to be in special education or require additional support such as adaptive equipment for physical needs, for mobility or to communicate. Children also have ongoing issues such as muscle spasms and muscle tightness and may require continuous physical therapy sessions.
3. What’s the Cost of Raising a Child with Cerebral Palsy?
A child with cerebral palsy is a child with special needs and will likely require considerable medical care. Expenses relating to continuing medical care, treatment and therapy can add up very quickly. According to the Centers for Disease Control, it may cost nearly $1 million to raise a child with cerebral palsy. This doesn’t include other out-of-pocket expenses, lost income or emergency room visits.
If you find that you are struggling to meet these expenses, there are a number of options that you and your child may be eligible for. Children with motor dysfunctions are eligible for cash assistance from the government. However, there is process you must undergo to get your child qualified. Those approved for cash assistance from the Social Security Administration (SSA) generally qualify for full medical insurance at little to no cost.
4. Can I File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
If your child’s cerebral palsy was caused by injuries suffered at birth, you may be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctor, hospital or other medical professionals whose negligence caused or contributed to your child’s condition. A birth injury that results in cerebral palsy can come in a variety of forms. Some of the risk factors that increase the risk or likelihood of a birth injury that results in cerebral palsy include, but are not limited to, untreated maternal infections, loss of oxygen or blood flow to the child’s brain, blood clots, placental problems, umbilical cord complications, maternal high blood pressure or preeclampsia, etc.
Contacting a Birth Injury Lawyer
If your child suffers from cerebral palsy as the result of medical negligence, 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 law firm helped a family secure a $43,940,000 verdict for a child who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Another client of ours received a $23,500,000 verdict for a child who developed cerebral palsy and mental retardation after suffering a birth injury. Both verdicts were so large that they were reduced on appeal. We also 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.
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 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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