Parents can often become overwhelmed with joy in the delivery room once their baby is born. This means they may be too emotional to check for indications of a birth injury.
If you suspect that your child developed cerebral palsy (CP) due to medical malpractice, you have the right to hire an attorney. Together you can determine whether you have a legitimate case.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
After a cerebral palsy diagnosis, parents may start to recall situations that they thought were normal but were actually signs of medical malpractice. There are several resources parents can take advantage of to determine if they have a CP lawsuit.
To file a lawsuit, a parent must prove that their child’s condition was caused by the hospital’s carelessness (facility or staff). An investigation is necessary to verify that the medical staff or hospital facility exhibited signs of negligence or malpractice. Parents will also have to provide evidence that their child exhibited birth injury symptoms. A cerebral palsy settlement will be determined by the outcome of the investigation.
Medical malpractice is the cause of several neurological and developmental conditions, including cerebral palsy. If you have reason to believe that the doctor, nurse, or the hospital did not deliver the mandatory standard of care for you and your baby, you have a legal right to file a lawsuit.
Birth Injury Symptoms
Birth injuries are nerve or brain damage that occur in utero, during labor and delivery, or shortly after a baby is born. Babies who have nerve or brain trauma at the time of birth have a greater risk of developing neurological conditions like cerebral palsy.
In most cases, prenatal, labor, and delivery doctors will do all they can to ensure your baby is healthy. However, there are still CP cases that result from birth injuries that could have been prevented.
There are several signs parents can look out for, which indicate that their child’s cerebral palsy was preventable. Many early symptoms will show up during the pregnancy or when the baby is delivered, and others will show up shortly after the child is born.
Birth injury symptoms include:
- fractures in the skull
- dangerously low oxygen levels
- low heart rate
- noticeably excessive drooling
- curled hands in a claw shape
- extreme muscular looseness or stiffness
- an arched back when crying or distressed
If your baby displayed any of these symptoms and was diagnosed with CP after a medical evaluation, you should contact a lawyer who has experience dealing with cerebral palsy cases. The lawyer will be able to determine whether the hospital staff or facility could have done something to prevent CP.
Proving Medical Malpractice and CP
Cerebral palsy can develop if there is not enough oxygen in the baby’s brain. This lack of oxygen can damage the neurological system. Insufficient oxygen can occur because of medical mistakes or neglect during pregnancy, labor, or delivery. These medical errors are known as medical malpractice.
Examples of medical malpractice that can cause CP include:
- failure to diagnose and treat infections
- failure to detect fetal heart monitor rates
- failure to schedule and/or perform a C-section if it is medically best for the mother and baby
- failure to see a prolapsed umbilical cord and prevent it from affecting the baby
- failure to use delivery tools like forceps or vacuum extractors properly
Work with an Attorney
It’s always best to work with an attorney when it comes to pursuing a cerebral palsy settlement. Your lawyer can assess all the details of your child’s case to determine if safe practices were implemented during birth and delivery.
The degree of negligence that the medical staff is liable for will determine the amount of your compensation. The sooner you contact a lawyer, the sooner you and your family can receive the settlement you deserve.