New York Cerebral Palsy Lawyer
Serving New York, New Jersey, & Connecticut
Cerebral palsy is a condition affecting the nervous system of infants and young children. Although adults suffer from cerebral palsy as well, they would have received a diagnosis before the age of five. Infants can develop the condition while still in their mother’s womb or during the birth process due to a lack of oxygen or other serious complications. Raising a child with cerebral palsy is neither easy nor inexpensive. If you feel that the actions of medical staff caused damage to your child’s brain, you have the legal right to work with a New York cerebral palsy lawyer to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
The symptoms of this neurological condition can cause mild to severe impairment. Some of the most common ones include:
- Ataxia, a term that refers to the inability or difficulty in performing controlled movements due to lack of muscle coordination
- Dragging a foot or leg when walking
- Inconsistency in muscle tone
- Spasticity, which means that the baby or child has tight and stiff muscles or overactive reflexes
- Walking on the tiptoes
- Walking with a noticeable bend
Some children with cerebral palsy will never learn to walk or perform the most basic functions for themselves while others need only minimal extra guidance. While it is possible for some symptoms to improve with time, cerebral palsy has no cure. This can be a devastating reality for parents to accept. This is especially true when the brain damage leading to cerebral palsy was avoidable had the medical practitioners performed their duties correctly.
We invite you to contact the cerebral palsy lawyers at Jacob Fuchsberg Law Firm to learn more about moving forward with a lawsuit if you feel that a medical error was the direct cause of your child’s cerebral palsy diagnosis.
The Causes of Cerebral Palsy
Medical errors made during the birth process can have devastating lifelong consequences for the newborn baby.
The following are some of the most common forms of medical malpractice that can cause parents to reach out to a cerebral palsy attorney for help.
- Applying too much force to the infant’s head during delivery
- Failure to note indications that the mother, infant, or both are in distress
- Failure to order and complete a Cesarean section in a timely manner to prevent damage to the infant’s brain
- Improper or lack of fetal monitoring
- Improper use of tools to expedite the birth process such as forceps and suction
- Incorrect use of an epidural
Signs and Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy
The signs of cerebral palsy are not always evident immediately after birth. For example, speech delays or lack of speech development comes much later. However, reduced muscle tone, issues with coordination, and abnormal reflexes typically appear before the age of six months. Some of the specific ways to spot these problems in a baby up to six months old include the lack of ability to support his or her head at the expected time, the baby pushes away when people attempt to hold him or her, and the body feels stiffer than normal.
Between six and nine months of age, a child with cerebral palsy will have difficulty rolling over, making a fist with the hands, and bringing the hands to the mouth. A baby over the age of 10 months old with this condition will struggle to use his or her legs when attempting to crawl and will not crawl in a straight line as a neurotypical child would do.
Here are some other symptoms you may notice during infancy and as your baby progresses to the toddler and preschool years:
- Appearing to favor one side of the body
- Besides walking on tiptoes, your child may walk with an asymmetrical, crouched, or wide gait or he or she may display a scissors gate where one leg crosses over the other
- Eating and sucking difficulty
- Excessive drooling
- Fine motor skill problems such as the lack of ability to pick up a dropped raisin or crayon
- Hearing loss
- Intellectual disability
- Involuntary movements
- Motor skill delays in addition to crawling
- Psychiatric disturbances
- Swallowing problems
- Urinary incontinence
- Vision disturbance
While the above list is extensive, it is by no means exhaustive. You have the legal right to contact a cerebral palsy lawyer if your child has this condition regardless of his or her individual symptoms.
Different Types of Cerebral Palsy
Your child may develop one of four types of cerebral palsy due to medical malpractice. These include:
- Ataxic: This is a rare type of cerebral palsy that impacts five to 10 percent of people with the condition. It primarily causes a disturbance in depth perception and problems with balance. It can affect both fine and gross motor development. The most common symptoms associated with ataxic cerebral palsy include poor coordination, shaking, tremors, and unsteady gait.
- Athetoid: Also known as dyskinetic cerebral palsy, this type affects up to 10 percent of the population who have this condition. It develops due to injury to the cerebellum and basal ganglia areas of the brain, both of which help to control body movement. The most prominent feature of athetoid cerebral palsy is the frequent moving or writhing of arms, hands, legs, and feet. The person may have facial contortions, thrust the tongue, and mispronounce words as well.
- Mixed: Affecting another 10 percent of people with cerebral palsy, the mixed type means that the person has one or more of the four types simultaneously. The most common type of mixed cerebral palsy is athetoid and spastic.
- Spastic: As the most common form of cerebral palsy, the spastic type affects between 70 and 80 percent of people with the condition. The most typical symptoms of spastic cerebral palsy include abnormal gait, contractures, crossed knees, exaggerated and jerky movements, joints that will not fully extend, limited mobility, and stiff muscles.
Regardless of the type of cerebral palsy, your child has, you will need additional medical intervention and financial resources to help him or she achieve the highest possible quality of life. Our cerebral palsy lawyer New York outlines some of the types of compensation you may be eligible to receive below.
Compensation for a Cerebral Palsy Injury
Cerebral palsy attorneys can assist you whether it was a doctor, nurse, anesthesiologist, or other medical professional who caused your child’s brain injury and subsequent cerebral palsy. The purpose of the compensation is to provide your family with resources to obtain future healthcare for your child and acknowledge the extreme hardship the diagnosis has created for your entire family.
Below are some of the most common categories of financial compensation in a cerebral palsy medical malpractice lawsuit:
- Cost of medical care and equipment for the duration of your child’s life
- Diminished quality of life for your child with cerebral palsy
- In-home nursing care services
- Loss of future earning potential
- Lost wages for you and the child’s other parent when bringing your child to medical appointments
- Modifications you must make to your home and vehicle to accommodate your child’s wheelchair if applicable
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
The jury may also consider several other categories of economic and non-economic damages. For example, you may receive compensation for a change in the relationship with your spouse due to the stress of your child’s medical needs or a different parent-child relationship than you would have had if your child did not sustain a brain injury due to a medical provider’s negligence.
Free Consultation – New York Cerebral Palsy Attorney
Did Your Child’s Birth Injury Stem From Medical Negligence?
At the Jacob Fuchsberg Law Firm in New York City, we understand the overwhelming nature of a birth injury. Our attorneys are knowledgeable and compassionate and have the birth injury litigation experience to handle many cases most firms cannot.
We can help you find answers to important questions like:
- How do late decelerations in an infant’s heart rate relate to brain injury?
- What neonatal funds are available for children suffering from cerebral palsy?
- Who will pay for the cost of my child’s long-term care?
- How do you prove that negligence caused brain injuries?
- How will the hospital be held accountable?
- Every case is different. We can provide the legal guidance you need.
Contact us to discuss your concerns in confidence at 212-869-3500. Our New York City birth injury lawyers represent injured clients on a contingency fee basis, which means you will not pay legal fees unless we recover compensation for you and your family. Serving New York State, Connecticut, and New Jersey.
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