Two Critical Steps in Filing a Cerebral Palsy Claim
Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that affect an individual’s movement and muscle tone. In many cases, it is caused by injuries or infections suffered by a developing fetus. Examples of these include material illness during pregnancy, a genetic mutation that affects the fetus’ development, and fetal stroke, which is a disruption of the blood supply to the fetus’ brain.
During birth and in the moments that follow, a newborn is still at risk of suffering an injury that could cause him or her to suffer from cerebral palsy, such as a lack of adequate oxygen during birth or rough handling by health care providers after, causing the newborn’s brain to be injured. When this is the cause of a child’s cerebral palsy, the child’s parent may seek compensation for his or her damages through a medical malpractice claim.
Affected children show symptoms of cerebral palsy during their toddler and preschool years. These symptoms can include lack of muscle coordination, difficulty sucking and swallowing, stiff muscles, and involuntary movements.
Determining That the Condition Is Due to Medical Negligence
If your child’s cerebral palsy was due to a health care provider’s negligence, you can receive compensation for your damages through a medical malpractice claim. But that is the key – how can you know if your child’s cerebral palsy was preventable?
Work with your lawyer to look back over your medical record from your pregnancy and your child’s birth. Was there a delay in your child’s delivery? Was equipment such as forceps or a vacuum extractor used during delivery that could have potentially been used incorrectly, injuring your child? Did you or your child suffer an infection that was improperly diagnosed or not diagnosed at all?
Your child’s pediatrician can play an important role in determining the cause of your child’s condition and supporting your claim. This is done by examining the standard of care you and your child received and data from tests such as an MRI, a PET scan, and an EEG.
Tallying the Compensation Amount to Seek
Once you have determined that you have grounds for a claim, your lawyer can help you determine a fair amount of compensation to seek. Damages for which you may seek compensation include:
- Your child’s medical bills;
- Your child’s need for physical, occupational, and speech therapy;
- Your lost wages if you needed to leave your job to provide full-time care for your child;
- Assistive devices for your child such as a wheelchair and modifications to your home;
- Your pain and suffering; and
- The costs associated with a special education plan for your child.
In New York, there is no cap on the amount of compensation one can receive through a birth injury claim.
Work With an Experienced New York Cerebral Palsy Lawyer
If your child is suffering from cerebral palsy because of a preventable medical error, you could be entitled to receive monetary compensation for your child’s damages. Cerebral palsy can affect an individual for life. Work with a lawyer who understands this and can advocate for you and your child to seek the compensation you deserve. Contact our team of experienced medical malpractice lawyers at Peters Berger Koshel & Goldberg, P.C. today to schedule your initial consultation with our firm.