Cerebral palsy is the name of a group of medical conditions affecting growth, development, motor control, and brain function resulting from complications or injury during pregnancy and/or delivery. Cerebral palsy is the most commonly diagnosed motor disability among children born in the U.S. and the effects vary from case to case. This condition arises from abnormal brain development or interference with normal brain development from external causes. Any damage to the developing brain has a very high potential to cause cerebral palsy.
One of the most common causes of cerebral palsy in the United States is birth injury or an injury that a baby sustains during pregnancy or delivery. When a child develops cerebral palsy, it is vital for parents to know when they have grounds for legal action. Although some cases result from unavoidable and unpredictable causes like umbilical cord deformities or fetal posture, many result from medical malpractice during delivery. When medical professionals fail to prevent harm to patients, improperly monitor patients, or are negligent during delivery and cause cerebral palsy in a newborn, the parents have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. If you believe medical malpractice lead to cerebral palsy in your child, speak with a qualified Sacramento cerebral palsy attorney at Rosenthal & Kreeger, LLP.
In California, the statute of limitations for medical malpractice lawsuits is one year from the date an injury occurs or one year from the date a victim discovers the harm from a medical professional’s negligence. In cerebral palsy cases, the statute may begin at the child’s birth if the injury occurred due to delivery or later if the symptoms of cerebral palsy do not immediately manifest.
If a child develops cerebral palsy due to medical negligence, the child’s parents would have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. The plaintiffs must prove that an official doctor-patient relationship existed and the defendant failed to meet the acceptable standard of care for the given situation and directly caused the child’s cerebral palsy.
For example, doctors must monitor a baby’s vital signs and breathing during delivery and a prolonged delivery has the potential to cause brain damage from oxygen deprivation. If a doctor fails to recognize a baby in distress or recommend a cesarean operation when necessary, the child may develop cerebral palsy and the parents would have grounds for a lawsuit.
California also limits the amount of non-economic damages a plaintiff can receive from a medical malpractice case to $250,000. However, there is no cap for economic damages like ongoing medical care, which most children with cerebral palsy require. For additional information regarding damages available to your specific case, consult a Sacramento birth injury attorney.
Cerebral palsy can define any type of damage to the developing brain. In mild cases, a child may have a minor motor control difficulty or develop some cognitive abilities more slowly than other children do. More advanced cases of cerebral palsy can make it impossible for a child to walk and the body may develop improperly as a result. Cerebral palsy is manageable but it does not improve over time. The symptoms of cerebral palsy are permanent in every case.
A child born with cerebral palsy or who develops it due to a birth injury may have difficulty walking, speaking, or performing normal tasks. These children may face developmental delays that can affect them physically, psychologically, and emotionally. Some may require permanent, round-the-clock medical care and assistance to survive. When cerebral palsy develops due to medical malpractice, the plaintiffs may secure several types of compensation. To learn more, reach out to a Sacramento cerebral palsy attorney.
The attorneys at Rosenthal & Kreeger, LLP know how devastating a cerebral palsy diagnosis can be for a family. Children with cerebral palsy face significant challenges for the rest of their lives. When a child develops this condition due to a medical professional’s negligence, our Sacramento personal injury lawyers can help them secure compensation for the costs of this kind of failure. Contact our office today to schedule a free case evaluation of your cerebral palsy claim and our attorneys can let you know how our firm can help.
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