According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, it is estimated that approximately 10,000 babies each year will be affected by cerebral palsy. Most children will be diagnosed with cerebral palsy between two and three years of age. Parents may notice developmental delays or become aware of physical or mental struggles that their child is experiencing. Concerned parents may have their child examined by a doctor and be faced with a cerebral palsy diagnosis. Cerebral palsy occurs while the brain is still being developed and can occur before, during, or after the child is born. There are several known causes of cerebral palsy, and these causes include: infections during pregnancy, premature birth, or blood disease.
While cerebral palsy can be a natural result of the gestation and birthing process, some cases of cerebral palsy result from birth injuries due to medical malpractice.
Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or other medical provider acts in a negligent manner and an injury occurs as a result. There may be warning signs that something went seriously wrong, such as a longer than normal labor, the child required oxygen after birth, or the child suffered an apparent birth injury. Parents in Maryland and Washington D.C. will want to keep an eye out for these reds flags, which may indicate medical malpractice occurred. In the United States, approximately 3 out of every 1000 babies born will develop cerebral palsy. Even one case of cerebral palsy caused by medical malpractice is one too many.
Children born with cerebral palsy will face a lifetime of challenges. While many of the children affected by cerebral palsy have a normal intellect and are only limited by their physical handicaps, others face both physical and mental handicaps. Children diagnosed with cerebral palsy will require special medical treatment, such as surgery, medications, and physical therapy. These children may also require speech therapy and the use of supportive technology, such as customized wheelchairs and voice communication enhancers. All of these special needs can place a heavy burden on the finances of these children’s caretakers.
It is estimated that the average lifetime costs of caring for a child with cerebral palsy is $500,000. When cerebral palsy occurs as a result of medical malpractice, the child and their family may be entitled to financial compensation by those responsible for the injury. If you live in the Washington D.C. area or in Maryland and have a child that has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, contact the law firm of Robinson and Associates for a free, no obligation consultation.