Did Your Child Suffer Cerebral Palsy Injuries?
A newborn diagnosed with cerebral palsy faces a lifetime of potential physical, cognitive and emotional challenges. Upon learning of their child’s cerebral palsy diagnosis, a baby’s parents often cycle through a range of emotions, from concern about the expense of caring for a child with cerebral palsy to anger and despair over what they think they could have done differently to prevent the condition from emerging.
In some cases, there is nothing parents or others could have done. The brain damage and malformation typical of cerebral palsy can occur before, during or after birth due to a range of factors beyond the mother’s or anyone else’s ability to control.
This is not always the case, however. Sometimes, the medical evidence suggests that a preventable factor – a bad decision or careless action by a medical professional, for example – caused a newborn to develop cerebral palsy. In those tragic circumstances, the child and parents may qualify to receive compensation to help them pay for the child’s current and future needs.
Our attorney represents victims of preventable cases of cerebral palsy in Baltimore. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn about your rights. From our Baltimore office, we represent people in Maryland and Washington, D.C.
About The Spector Law Group
Spector Law Group is a Baltimore law firm that provides representation to victims of preventable medical injuries. We have secured millions of dollars in compensation for clients injured because of medical malpractice and negligence in medical settings.
Representing children with preventable cerebral palsy constitutes a core focus of our law practice. Our recent case results include a $10.8 million jury award for a child who developed cerebral palsy after a medical professional failed to diagnose and treat the child’s mother for a uterine rupture during pregnancy and two multimillion-dollar settlements for children who developed cerebral palsy from medical malpractice while their mothers were in labor. We also accept cases from other attorneys who cannot take on complex medical malpractice cases.
We cannot guarantee results in every case that involves a child who developed cerebral palsy. Our clients can take comfort, however, in knowing that our team has a thorough understanding of the medical science of cerebral palsy that enables us to spot, investigate and pursue justice in cases in which doctors could and should have prevented a child’s cerebral palsy.
Overview Of Preventable Causes Of Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy (CP) is a group of disorders characterized by malformation of a fetus’s or newborn baby’s developing brain. It affects the muscle tone, movement, balance and posture of those afflicted with it and can result in profound, lifelong disabilities and medical complications.
The vast majority of CP cases are congenital, meaning that they result from causes that arose before the baby was born. The remaining small percentage of cases are acquired, meaning they have causes that occur more than 28 days post-birth.
Preventable Causes Of Congenital Cerebral Palsy
Parents of children with cerebral palsy often feel overwhelmed because someone could have prevented it, particularly health care professionals who made bad or dangerous decisions that set their baby on a course to developing the disorder.
A careful investigation of the circumstances of pregnancy and birth can help to answer that question. In many cases, an investigation can identify the probable causes of a child’s case of congenital cerebral palsy and the specific decisions or actions of a doctor or other medical professional that increased the risk of or directly triggered those causes.
- The medical team’s failure to spot and address key risk factors of a fetus developing congenital cerebral palsy, which include premature birth, low birth weight, fetal stroke, infections during pregnancy and jaundice.
- The medical team’s failure to treat complications in childbirth that increase the risk of cerebral palsy, such as a detached placenta, uterine rupture or disruption of the fetus’s oxygen supply during labor and delivery.
- The medical team’s mistakes in performing pregnancy, labor or delivery-related medical procedures, which could lead to any of the conditions above.
Pregnant women put their faith and trust in medical professionals to keep their baby safe and healthy as it grows in the womb. An expecting mother can do everything right – from taking her prenatal vitamins to cutting out unhealthy foods or habits, staying healthy and reporting unusual symptoms to her doctor – and still, if the medical professionals fail to provide her and her unborn child adequate care, the child could face undue, preventable risks of developing cerebral palsy.
At Spector Law Group, we represent Baltimore mothers, fathers and newborns who fall victim to preventable medical negligence that contributes to the development of congenital cerebral palsy in a fetus.
Through numerous cases, our team has gained detailed knowledge of the sorts of errors, misjudgments, oversights and poor decisions that medical professionals can make that may put an unborn child at an unreasonable risk of suffering from that life-altering disorder. Contact us today to learn how we can put that knowledge to work for you and your child.
Preventable Causes Of Acquired Cerebral Palsy
As noted above, cerebral palsy can also emerge in young babies who suffer injuries or illnesses that interfere with their brain development.
The two most common causes of acquired cerebral palsy are:
- Traumatic brain injury, which infants could suffer, for example, in motor vehicle accidents, knocks and falls or domestic violence incidents.
- Illness, infection or organ malfunction that causes swelling or bleeding in an infant’s brain, such as meningitis or a childhood cardiovascular disease.
Acquired cerebral palsy frequently emerges from these causes as a result of someone’s wrongful and careless actions or decisions. A drunk driver, for example, may crash his car into a vehicle carrying a newborn. A daycare provider may fail to stop a newborn from swallowing an object that cuts off the child’s oxygen supply. A doctor may fail to recognize and treat a childhood illness or health complication.
The team at Spector Law Group represents families whose children suffer from preventable injuries or ailments that lead to the development of acquired cerebral palsy. Baltimore parents and children should seek full and fair compensation when someone’s wrongful, dangerous decisions or actions lead to the development of a costly, debilitating disorder. Contact us to learn how we can help if your child has developed acquired cerebral palsy from a preventable accident or condition.
Costs Of Cerebral Palsy
Families with a child afflicted with cerebral palsy face potentially significant financial burdens. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the lifetime costs associated with caring for and living with cerebral palsy run well over $1 million. Those expenses arise from the wide range of needs that apply specifically to individuals with cerebral palsy, and to the limitations the disorder may impose on that person and the person’s family.
These costs include:
- Medical care and medication to treat cerebral palsy symptoms and health complications stemming from its effects
- Assistive care and support, such as for occupational and physical therapists, in-home caregivers and specialized programs
- Mobility and other physical assistance devices, such as wheelchairs and durable medical equipment, that afford people with cerebral palsy some degree of independence
- Home and vehicle modifications necessary to accommodate the physical limitations of and medical equipment used by people living with cerebral palsy
- Loss of income resulting from family leaving the workforce to care for a child with cerebral palsy and from the likely limitations on the child’s own ability to earn a living in adulthood
Few families of children who develop cerebral palsy have the financial resources available to cover these costs, at least not in full. Even if insurance covers some costs, parents often struggle to afford their child’s basic needs, much less the kinds of extra support that every parent wants for their child.
Parents of children suffering from a preventable case of congenital or acquired cerebral palsy should not have to bear these costs on their own. At Spector Law Group, we fight to secure full and fair compensation for Baltimore families struggling under the weight of caring for a child with cerebral palsy.
Seeking Compensation For A Preventable Case Of Cerebral Palsy In Baltimore
Baltimore families have the legal right to hold individuals, businesses and others financially accountable for unreasonably dangerous decisions or actions that contribute to causing a case of cerebral palsy in an unborn or newborn child. An experienced cerebral palsy lawyer from Spector Law Group can help.
Every matter we handle that involves a preventable case of congenital or acquired cerebral palsy has unique facts. No two families know the same pain and uncertainty over their children’s diagnosis, nor do they walk the same journey toward adapting to and thriving despite cerebral palsy.
By the same token, Baltimore families may have diverse legal options for securing compensation to help them pay for their children’s needs and future.
At Spector Law Group, we aim to identify and pursue the option(s) that best suit each client’s priorities; however, our services on behalf of clients often include:
- Investigating the circumstances of a child’s development of cerebral palsy, including reviewing medical records and (when necessary) consulting with experts in the field to identify wrongful decisions and actions that may have contributed to the cause.
- Analyzing who faces legal liability for contributing to the cause of a child’s congenital or acquired cerebral palsy. We may, for example, determine that a doctor, medical practice or hospital should bear financial responsibility for the child’s disorder, or we may conclude that legal liability lies with someone outside a medical setting. We may even conclude that multiple parties owe a family compensation.
- Preparing and filing legal actions and insurance claims tailored to secure the maximum available compensation for a child’s and family’s past, current and future needs.
- Negotiating with insurance companies, defense lawyers and others in hopes of securing a fair and reasonable settlement of our clients’ claims.
- Going to court to prove liability and damages to a judge and jury, when we and our clients conclude that represents our strongest option for securing maximum compensation.
As noted above, we cannot guarantee results for clients facing the challenges of living with cerebral palsy. We can, however, point to our strong reputation and track record of success, which can work to our clients’ advantage when it comes to getting them the money that they need and deserve.
That compensation may include payment for:
- The economic costs of caring for and living with cerebral palsy, as outlined above.
- The noneconomic costs that children with cerebral palsy and their families face every day, such as physical discomfort, emotional suffering, diminished quality of life, and strained and broken personal relationships.
- Punitive damages, which Baltimore courts will sometimes award when extreme and outrageous decisions or actions on the part of the at-fault individual, business or entity led to a child developing cerebral palsy.
Steps You Can Take Today
News of a cerebral palsy diagnosis hits Baltimore parents hard. Suddenly, they find their hopes and dreams for their child’s future dashed, and they often experience extreme emotional turmoil and financial uncertainty. They may not know who to trust for answers and support.
If you find yourself in that distressing, confusing situation, then taking the following steps may help you regain a sense of control:
- Focus first on your child’s care and needs. Do as your child’s doctors instruct to the best of your ability. Explore early intervention resources to make sure your child receives needed services and support.
- Write down what doctors tell you and save your records. Keep track of exactly what you learn from your and your child’s medical team about the diagnosis. Take particular note of anything that the medical professionals say about what they suspect was the cause of cerebral palsy developing in your child. Write it down word-for-word if possible.
- Contact an experienced Baltimore cerebral palsy lawyer at Spector Law Group right away. We can help you make sense of what doctors tell you about your child’s condition and what it means for your legal rights to seek compensation to help you pay for your and your child’s current and future financial needs.
A Baltimore Cerebral Palsy Lawyer Who Understands And Cares
Your child’s cerebral palsy diagnosis should not lead your family into financial ruin. You deserve compensation, and Spector Law Group can help. Contact us today at 410-671-5605 for a free, no-obligation case consultation.