Cerebral Palsy Lawyers in Baltimore
Cerebral Palsy is the most common type of birth injury. It is a broad term that encompasses a group of chronic “palsies” or disorders impairing control of movement as a result of any factor done during childbirth that leads to brain damage.
In the United States it is estimated that 2 to 3 births in 1,000 will have Cerebral palsy which comes out to about 10,000 new cases each year. CP is a non-progressive brain disorder. The damage to the brain will not continue to worsen over time, but it is likely that the symptoms will change; some getting better, some getting worse. Most babies that have CP are born with it, but for some it can be a result of trauma during birth such as hypoxia or not getting enough oxygen to the brain.
Economic Statistics for Cerebral Palsy Patients
- Medical costs are 10 times higher for children with cerebral palsy
- Medical costs are 26 times higher for children with cerebral palsy who have an intellectual disability
- The total lifetime care costs of to take care of a child with cerebral palsy currently exceeds $1 Million
Causes of Cerebral Palsy
Birth injuries that can result in cerebral palsy include:
- Misuse of assisted delivery tools
- Negligently allowing the baby to be deprived of oxygen
- Prolonged labor
- Failing to conduct a timely C-section or failing to schedule a C-section if needed
- Failure to diagnose infections in the mother, like meningitis
Although any type of birth injury is devastating, cerebral palsy (CP) remains one of the most severe health disorders that stems from birth injuries. In most cases, CP leads to devastating health issues and disabilities that last a lifetime. Since there is no cure for CP, these permanent disabilities not only place infants at risk for serious medical problems, but the financial aspect of taking care of children with CP is more than the average family can afford.
CP will vary in severity, ranging from light involuntary movements while carrying out daily activities, to complete loss of movement. There are numerous reasons in which birth injuries contribute to the development of CP, including physicians who fail to:
- Detect, diagnose, and treat maternal infections
- Properly monitor fetal heartbeat
- Detect umbilical cord problems, such as a prolapsed umbilical cord
- Detect maternal and/or fetal distress, and in turn fail to schedule and carry out an emergency cesarean surgery (C-section)
- Properly use birth-assisting tools during childbirth by applying too much force or improper pulling
There are Three Main Types of Cerebral Palsy: Spastic, Athetoid and Ataxic
Spastic is the most common type of cerebral palsy. It accounts for 80 percent of the CP cases. Symptoms include jerky movements, muscle tightness and stiff joints. This type makes simple actions such as walking or picking up small objects small objects. Some children with spastic CP may develop coexisting conditions including ADHD or epilepsy.
Athetoid, also known as Dyskinetic cerebral palsy is characterized by involuntary movements. Children with this type of CP fluctuate between high muscle tone which causes stiffness and sore joints and low muscle tone which causes a kind of “floppiness” in limbs.
Ataxic cerebral palsy is the least common type accounting for only 5-10 percent of cases. Ataxia meaning lack of coordination causes balance and coordination problems and as well as tremors and speech problems.
How Can An Attorney Help Families Facing Cerebral Palsy?
The symptoms of cerebral palsy are not birth defects. Cerebral palsy happens as the result of injury suffered in utero or during birth. Cerebral palsy is characterized by developmental problems that often last for the child's entire life. Parents do not have to face the struggles this birth injury causes alone.
A cerebral palsy attorney can help you:
- Identify liable parties and establish medical negligence or malpractice
- Secure just compensation for the lifetime of specialized medical care needed to treat cerebral palsy
- Assess any pain and suffering caused by the injury that resulted in a CP diagnosis
- Set up trust funds, Social Security benefits, and other sources of funding to cover ongoing living expenses
- Negotiate settlements on behalf of patients with disabilities due to cerebral palsy
- File lawsuits against hospitals, physicians, or other healthcare providers responsible for an infant’s injury resulting in CP
- Investigate records related to treatment provided at birth or during pregnancy leading up to delivery
- Pursue financial compensation through state or federal government programs
- Help families understand their legal rights throughout the entire process
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