Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC represents people with congenital disability injuries that occurred before, during and after birth and other types of professional medical negligence. Our law firm has collected a series of cerebral palsy injury FAQs related to the medical and legal aspects of an accident involving medical malpractice. Should you have additional questions, we invite you to contact our office for a free review of your legal rights.
Cerebral Palsy FAQs
If a doctor diagnoses a child with cerebral palsy (CP), the parents are often overwhelmed with numerous questions on what they should expect to maintain the health of their loved one, and how to handle their financial burden. Typically, there are many uncertainties when the child's condition affects the family's life.
The congenital disability injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC have compiled a comprehensive list of the most frequently asked questions involving cerebral palsy malpractice and posted the answers below. Many families use this information to determine how to take legal action for justice and to obtain the financial compensation they deserve for their injuries and damages.
How did my newborn develop cerebral palsy?
Medical science has yet to identify one specific reason why every child develops cerebral palsy. However, just because doctors do not understand every way it can occur, they know numerous ways children do develop the medical condition.
The child can sustain a brain injury at birth caused by oxygen deprivation that eventually leads to cerebral palsy. In some cases, the condition develops during pregnancy where the fetus is deprived of oxygen or experiences brain compression caused by a known or unknown factor.
Is CP a genetic condition?
No. There are no genetic markers for cerebral palsy in any individual's DNA that can be handed down from one generation to the next. Instead, the condition is often experienced before, during or after the child's birth when the newborn experiences oxygen deprivation or some form of brain compression injury.
Is cerebral palsy considered a disability or disease?
Many disabilities are associated with cerebral palsy. This medical condition is not usually identified as an illness that was caused by genetic predisposition or exposure to viruses and bacteria. Instead, the disability is the result of oxygen deprivation or brain injury that did not occur through a contagious illness.
Is cerebral palsy defined as a muscle disorder?
Doctors often recognize cerebral palsy in maturing children who have a challenging time maintaining balance and coordinating muscle movement, believing the problem is a muscle disorder. However, usually, it is a brain injury that develops cerebral palsy where there is some form of damage to the brain's cerebellum that controls motor function. If the portion of the brain responsible for the body's muscular system is damaged or dormant, the child will experience a lack of coordinated muscle movement, specificity or inactivity.
Is CP considered a degenerative disease?
No. CP is not considered a degenerative condition the tends to worsen over time. Instead, the symptoms of cerebral palsy are known to improve over time through the help of healthcare specialists including orthopedic surgeons, occupational therapists, psychologists, language therapy, speech therapy, and consistent exercise.
Is CP considered lethal?
Children and adults do not die from CP. However, the death of many individuals with CP are usually the result of an arising complication from other conditions associated with their severe disabilities. Some complications that lead to death include the child's inability to feed themselves or from being underweight or malnourished. The lack of the child's muscle control could cause a life-threatening head injury without the use of proper safety equipment.
How long are children with cerebral palsy expected to live?
The life expectancy of individuals with CP varies greatly. If the newborn has other disabilities concurrently with cerebral palsy, the many challenges of their survival could claim their lives in a matter of days. That said, many children suffering severe disabilities and symptoms associated with cerebral palsy live long and healthy lives. Statistically, there is a 95% probability that the child will live past 20 years of age and maintain a relatively healthy life even though they have incredible challenges.
What are the work challenges involved with cerebral palsy?
Since the passage of the ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act) and the enactment of other state and local laws, businesses are required to make significant accommodations to individuals facing day-to-day functional challenges. These changes have made considerable improvement in making it easy for individuals with cerebral palsy to earn a living in nearly any workplace.
Is CP painful?
Every individual's cerebral palsy disability is different with unique challenges. However, most children with CP in their early years will experience relatively little pain from their condition. That said, as they begin to grow into adulthood, they may experience intense pain in the back, ankles, knees and hips. Doctors often treat mild to severe pain and discomfort using preventative measures that might include correcting musculoskeletal abnormalities during the child's early years.
What is the cure for cerebral palsy?
Medical science has yet to find a cure for cerebral palsy. There is a lack of an effective curative treatment because the brain abnormality or brain damage that lead to CP was caused by an irreversible problem. Fortunately, equipment innovations and advancements in medical science have made significant improvements in the quality of life the child or adult with CP experiences.
Do some women have a condition that increases the potential of having a baby with CP?
Yes. Statistics revealed that women suffering from a seizure disorder, mental retardation, or thyroid disorder have a very slight increased potential for birthing a baby with cerebral palsy compared to women without one or more of these conditions.
Could the child develop CP if the mother consumed alcohol during pregnancy?
Consuming alcohol during pregnant can significantly increase the potential risk of complications that involve cerebral palsy and other known congenital disabilities. To date, medical science has yet to establish a safe level of consuming alcohol while pregnant. Because of that, expectant mothers avoid drinking alcohol entirely until after the child is born and breastfed.
What problems associated with CP do children experience during the early years?
Many children with CP experience one or more of the severe problems associated with the condition that includes:
- Meningitis and other life-threatening infections
- Brain hemorrhage
- Asphyxia (a lack of oxygen) caused by accident including drowning
- Traumatic head injuries caused by abuse, vehicle accidents or falling
How do doctors treat cerebral palsy?
As a widespread medical disorder, CP displays itself in various symptoms including spastic movements, loss of muscle function, and lack of nerve sensation. Because of that, doctors will recommend various treatments that could include:
- Antispasmodic drugs
- Occupational therapy
- Physical therapies
- Orthopedic surgery
- Specialized equipment including braces that assist with movement
- Medicine-associated surgical procedures
- Selective dorsal rhizotomy, a neurosurgical operation that destroys problematic spinal cord nerve roots
What type of assistance is available for children with CP?
Various programs are available to assist individuals with cerebral palsy including beneficial local programs detailed at CerebralPalsy.org. Most available local programs are easy to identify based on city and state.
Is it crucial to identify what caused the child's cerebral palsy?
Most definitely. Typically, the cause of the child CP is the result of the doctor's improper actions or mistakes that occurred before, during or after the child's birth. Common doctor errors and mistakes with the development of CP include:
- Fetal distress during labor and delivery
- The doctor misused forceps or vacuum extraction devices during the delivery
- Prescribing a dangerous drug during the mother's pregnancy
- Administering a dangerous medication during labor or delivery
- Failing to diagnose obvious complications that could have prevented the child's oxygen deprivation or brain compression
How can cerebral palsy be prevented?
There are many steps can be taken to prevent the development of cerebral palsy before or during delivery or after the child is born. Many problems could be avoided if the doctor receives sufficient training and experience in delivering any type of birth including performing a timely C-section or using birthing tools correctly.
What assistive equipment is available for CP patients?
Doctors will recommend a range of adaptive equipment and aids that are available for all individuals with physical limitations and disabilities. The most popular adaptive equipment and mobility devices include:
- Crutches and walkers
- Tricycles and bicycles specifically designed for the child or adult's physical limitations
- Power, manual and sport wheelchairs
- Voice synthesizers
- Simple boards to help communicate
- Keyguards and head sticks to talk by pressing on computer keyboards
- Grab sticks
- Electronic door openers
Will my insurance policy pay for ongoing cerebral palsy expenses?
Possibly, the extent of coverage you receive is based on the details of your insurance policy. Unfortunately, many families' insurance carriers are unable or unwilling to cover the ongoing expenses associated with doctor bills, extensive therapies and adaptive equipment involved in treating CP.
Can I expect Social Security Insurance to cover my cerebral palsy expenses?
Unfortunately, Social Security insurance and other benefit programs do not cover all the ongoing costs associated with providing care to a child or adult was cerebral palsy. However, the Social Security agency does pay a tiny fraction of the monthly expenses within a limited range of benefits.
Should I sue my doctor for malpractice?
If you believe that your child suffered an injury at the hands of your doctor while his or her mother was expecting or during labor, delivery and after the birth, then yes, you should consider suing for malpractice. Receiving financial compensation for an incident caused by the negligence of another will help your family afford the excessive cost and ongoing expenses of raising a child with cerebral palsy.
How much is my case worth?
Every case is different and each child's past, current and future needs are unique. Our attorneys fight for all available benefits when presenting the evidence in front of a judge and jury or negotiating a settlement with an insurance company's lawyers. We seek to recover all your monetary damages including:
- Past and current medical expenses
- The cost of future care that last the child's lifetime
- Family out-of-pocket expenses
- The cost of counseling and special education
- Funds to cover physical, occupational and speech therapies
- Money for future surgical needs
- Funds to pay for equipment and supplies including braces and wheelchairs
- Home care costs
- Non-tangible damages including the family and child's pain, suffering, mental anguish, and emotional distress
Can I handle the case on my own?
Probably not. There are numerous factors in building a successful case for compensation to ensure you prove your claim in a court of law. An attorney working on your behalf can review medical records, speak to eyewitnesses, and investigate your claim for compensation to determine every defendant in the case. Identifying who is at fault for causing your child's injuries will ensure your family receives adequate monetary recovery.
How much does your law firm charge to review cases?
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is a personal injury law firm that specializes in medical malpractice cases. We provide every potential client an initial case consultation at no charge. Our team of attorneys will review your evidence, listen to your complaints, and offer numerous legal options on how to proceed. You are under no obligation to use our legal services and representation.
We are financially strapped. How can we afford to hire an attorney?
The medical malpractice attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers accept all wrongful death lawsuits, medical malpractice cases and personal injury claims for compensation through contingency fee agreements. This arrangement postpones the payment of all our legal services until after we have successfully resolved your legal matter in a court of law or through a negotiated out-of-court settlement.
Our legal team successfully prosecutes medical malpractice cases in Illinois. Our attorneys have a comprehensive understanding of complex civil tort law and will handle every aspect of your case from filing the necessary paperwork before the state statute of limitations expires. We are compassionate about your need to receive financial compensation now and will do everything in our power to make sure your case is resolved appropriately in a timely manner. Contact us now at (888) 424-5757 so we can begin working on your case today.
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