The Brad Hendricks Law Firm
Is Someone in Your Family Experiencing Cerebral Palsy Due to Medical Malpractice?
Cerebral palsy is a movement disorder that may or may not be accompanied by significant loss of intellectual functioning. It may have genetic causes, but it may also result from an injury to the brain in the form of direct trauma or injury resulting from lack of oxygen to the brain before or during labor.
Some cases of cerebral palsy are related to circumstances surrounding the baby’s delivery. Most frequently that involves a situation where the fetus is not tolerating labor and his/her heart rate becomes abnormal. Electronic fetal heart monitoring is used nationwide to detect the fetus that is in or is going into “fetal distress” and is a recognized basis for action by the medical team managing the labor. If recognized methods for dealing with fetal distress are not successful, then expedited delivery is normally necessary for the protection of the fetus. Thus, many cases of malpractice (medical negligence) involve failure of the nurses and/or doctors to respond to fetal heart rate patterns that indicate the fetus is in trouble.
How a Cerebral Palsy Attorney at The Brad Hendricks Law Firm Can Help
Cerebral palsy that has its origin during the development of the fetus is generally not preventable. There may be genetic abnormalities or other problems that cannot be prevented. But when the cerebral palsy can be traced to events during labor and delivery, then there is good medical evidence that it is often preventable with appropriate medical care. Identifying instances of cerebral palsy that were caused by events during labor and/or delivery often focuses on whether there was evidence of fetal distress prior to or at the time of delivery.
Cerebral palsy can be mild and only affect muscle coordination and have minor consequences to intelligence, or it can be profound, leaving the baby in a vegetative state with no muscle control and mental retardation. Depending on the severity of the cerebral palsy, future care needs may cost in the millions of dollars. Some parents do not realize the financial consequences of cerebral palsy until the time has passed to protect their rights. Timely legal action must be taken within the appropriate statute of limitations period that applies to the state where the birth took place. Because of statutes of limitation, it is vital that an experienced legal team evaluate birth injury cases as soon as possible.
It is natural for parents, confronted with a baby that may have a birth injury, to hope for the best and not think of the worst. Parents are naturally optimistic, and healthcare providers do not want to take away hope or paint a possible “bad case” scenario. Also, the younger the child is, the harder it is for health care providers to predict the future needs of the child. But if the future needs do not become apparent until after the statute of limitations has expired, then the right to claim important damages may have been lost—or even the right to sue at all. Attorneys must have ample time to gather records, obtain expert opinions, and take action before the statute of limitations expires and valuable rights are lost. So clearly, any indication of a birth injury needs prompt evaluation by an attorney.