Cerebral Palsy Attorneys in Columbus
When Medical Negligence Causes Cerebral Palsy
As knowledgeable Columbus birth injury lawyers, we have represented many heartbroken parents whose children have suffered devastating injuries as a consequence of medical negligence. One such birth injury is cerebral palsy. If your child’s cerebral palsy was caused by medical negligence, you have a right to hold your healthcare providers accountable and seek the compensation your child needs for the best possible care and treatment.
What Is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy or “CP” is caused by brain damage that can occur before, during, or shortly after birth. Cerebral palsy is permanent and incurable, but its severity varies from mild to severe. A child with cerebral palsy may have delayed development and impaired movement and muscle tone. The muscles may be stiff, shaky, or floppy. Cerebral palsy can impair balance, coordination, posture, and gross and fine motor skills. A person with cerebral palsy may have difficulty with walking, talking, eating, swallowing, or grasping objects. In some cases, vision, hearing, or intellectual functioning may be affected.
Proving Medical Negligence
The first step in proving your case is establishing that your child’s cerebral palsy was caused by medical negligence, which is conduct by a healthcare provider which falls below the acceptable standard of care. Cerebral palsy cases are very hard to prove because cerebral palsy has many causes, such as genetic abnormalities, infections in the early stages of pregnancy, and low birth weight or premature birth. Not all causes of cerebral palsy can be connected to medical negligence.
Undeniably, however, cerebral palsy can be caused by complications during pregnancy, labor, or delivery which results in a reduced oxygen supply (hypoxia) or a reduced blood supply (ischemia) to the baby. Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) and similar conditions can usually be treated and corrected; however, they often lead to long-term complications when overlooked.
Some medical mistakes that can cause cerebral palsy include the following:
- Failure to properly monitor you and your baby throughout your pregnancy for signs that your baby’s oxygen or blood supply might be diminished.
- Failure to diagnose or treat a condition, such as an infection, preeclampsia, or excessive bleeding, during the pregnancy that could have compromised your baby’s brain development.
- Failure to identify factors that made your pregnancy “high-risk,” and treat you accordingly.
- Failure to monitor the baby during labor and delivery and identify signs of distress.
- Failure to perform an emergency C-section or waiting too long to perform one when the baby is in distress.
- Improper use of forceps or a vacuum extractor during delivery.
- Failure to diagnose and treat your baby after delivery for seizures, jaundice, or meningitis.
Our experienced, distinguished medical experts and cerebral palsy lawyers in Columbus can conduct extensive research on your medical records to uncover any evidence that healthcare providers fell below the accepted standard of care during your pregnancy or when delivering your baby.
Proving Your Child’s Needs
The second step in proving your case is proving the amount of compensation your child will need to meet his or her lifetime needs. Substantial sums may be required to meet the lifetime needs of a person with cerebral palsy.
These may include:
- Medical, surgical, and psychiatric treatment.
- Physical, occupational, and speech therapy.
- Medications and medical equipment (e.g., hospital bed, medical lift, wheelchair, braces, etc.).
- Renovations to your home and modifications to your vehicles.
- Educational services.
- Care in a group home.
Identifying these needs and placing a dollar value on them requires assistance from an expert called a life care specialist or life care planner. At Rourke & Blumenthal, we work with a renowned life care specialist and skilled medical experts to determine exactly what compensation will be needed for the rest of your child’s life. We invite you to learn more about our recordof successfully representing parents and children in birth injury cases.
Contact a Columbus Cerebral Palsy Lawyer Today!
Our personal injury attorneys can help you determine if negligent care before, during, or after delivery contributed to your child’s cerebral palsy. At Rourke & Blumenthal, we promise you an opportunity to speak directly to an attorney. You will not be screened and turned away by a paralegal or secretary.
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