Was Your Child’s Cerebral Palsy Caused by Medical Malpractice?

Posted on behalf of James Lynch on March 26, 2018  in Medical Malpractice News. Updated on March 2, 2022

medical malpractice case book and gavelCerebral palsy is a permanent medical condition that develops during pregnancy, during the birthing process or shortly after birth. Unfortunately, cerebral palsy often occurs during the birthing process as a result of the attending health care provider’s negligence.

If your child suffers from cerebral palsy and you believe a negligent health care provider is responsible, you may be entitled to compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit.

The New Jersey medical malpractice lawyers at Lynch Law Firm, PC may be able to help you secure compensation if your child was injured by negligent health care providers. We will discuss your child’s condition and determine if it was caused by medical malpractice during a free, no obligation consultation.

Cerebral Palsy Caused by Birth Injury

Cerebral palsy is as a disorder that adversely affects a person’s movement, muscle tone or posture, most often leading to impaired movement, rigidity or looseness of the limbs, causing involuntary movements.

Most people who have this disorder are born with it. However, the symptoms may not be apparent until a few years later when the child does not meet developmental milestones as expected.

The three most common types of cerebral palsy that newborn infants suffer include:

  • Spastic cerebral palsy – This is the most common type of cerebral and is characterized by muscle stiffness and difficulty moving. People with this condition may have difficulty adjusting from one position to another or grasping or letting go of objects.
  • Athetoid cerebral palsy – This type of cerebral palsy accounts for about 10 percent of cerebral palsy cases. People who suffer from this condition experience involuntary movements, difficulty maintaining posture, slurred speech and difficulty swallowing.
  • Ataxic cerebral palsy – Ataxic cerebral palsy causes problems with depth perception and causes tremors, difficulty moving muscles and balancing.

Furthermore, a mother and infant’s health often have a strong influence on whether the infant will develop cerebral palsy. Some potential causes of cerebral palsy include:

  • Maternal infections – This can affect the baby’s development and may cause cerebral palsy. If the pregnant mother develops chicken pox, syphilis or German measles, the infant is likely to be exposed to these toxins and risks developing cerebral palsy.
  • Infant infections – Infants who have severe or untreated jaundice, or suffer from infections that cause inflammation around the brain, are also at risk of developing cerebral palsy.
  • Fetal stroke – Fetal stroke can disrupt the blood supply to the brain.
  • Traumatic brain injury – A brain injury or malformation that occurs while an infant’s brain is developing before, during or after birth can result in him or her developing cerebral palsy. This can affect the infant’s muscle control, coordination, muscle tone, reflex, posture or balance.

Determining if You Have a Case

If a health care provider fails to take proper precautions, monitor a pregnant woman or infant’s health, or makes a negligent mistake that results in an infant developing cerebral palsy, he or she may be held liable for medical malpractice.

Medical malpractice occurs when a health care provider fails to apply medical treatment within the medical community’s accepted standard of care. If a health care provider’s action or inaction results in harming or worsening a patient’s condition, he or she can be held liable.

Some types of negligence that may lead to a medical malpractice claim for cerebral palsy include failing to:

  • Monitor the baby’s oxygen intake during the birthing process
  • Monitor the heart rate of the baby during the birthing process
  • Take prompt action after observing signs of fetal distress
  • Monitor the vital signs of the pregnant mother or the infant during the birthing process
  • Detect problems with the umbilical cord
  • React promptly after diagnosing the mother or infant with an infection
  • Plan for a C-section when the baby is too large to go through the birth canal
  • Properly use forceps or a vacuum during delivery

Compensation for a Cerebral Palsy Birth Injury

If a health care provider’s negligence caused your baby to develop cerebral palsy, you may be entitled to compensation for:

  • Your child’s past and future medical expenses
  • Lost income caused by your child’s condition
  • Your child’s loss of earning capacity due to cerebral palsy
    Pain and suffering that your child may experience

  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Payment for therapy and your child’s adaptive equipment

Get Legal Help

If you believe that errors in the birthing process, inadequate care from your health care provider or other medical malpractice caused your child to develop cerebral palsy, it is important to get legal help.

Lynch Law Firm, PC’s dedicated New Jersey personal injury lawyers will provide you with a free, no obligation consultation to help you determine if you may be entitled to compensation for your child’s medical condition.

We work on a contingency fee basis, so there are no upfront fees. This means we only require payment for our services if we help you reach a fair outcome for your claim.

Call (800) 518-0508 to find out if you have a case.

* Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances.

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