Can Cerebral Palsy Be Linked to Medical Malpractice?
Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a congenital disorder that affects an individual’s muscle movement, tone, and posture. Because it hinders the body’s ability to move in a coordinated manner, people that are diagnosed with CP may need assistance with bodily functions such as breathing, eating, and motor skills. Since CP is often caused by brain damage that occurred either before or during a child’s birth, early detection can help parents establish a medical malpractice lawsuit. If you suspect that a doctor, nurse, physician, or medical staff member acted negligently during your pregnancy or at the time of birth, it is important to speak with an experienced birth injury attorney.
What Can Cause Cerebral Palsy?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), CP is the most common motor disability found in children. Although the explanation of CP is not always known, there are several causes that can be linked to the disorder, such as:
- Genetic illness
- Low birth weight
- Untreated jaundice
- Premature birth
- A stroke in the womb or after birth
- Lack of oxygen reaching the brain
- Infections during pregnancy
- Medical problems faced by the mother during pregnancy
The failure of medical professionals to act accordingly throughout pregnancy or the birthing process can also lead to CP. For instance, if infections or changes in heart rate go undetected, the doctor or nurse may be held liable. Furthermore, the careless actions of a medical staff member may lead to CP. Improper tool use, medication errors, or administrative mistakes can be linked to medical malpractice.
Can I File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
In order to determine if negligence caused your child’s CP disorder, evidence will need to be established. For any medical malpractice claim to be successful, the plaintiff must demonstrate that:
- A professional relationship existed with the doctor, nurse, or medical staff member.
- A negligent action was performed by the medical professional.
- The negligent action contributed to the CP diagnosis.
In Illinois, it is important to note that a birth injury medical malpractice claim must be filed within eight years of the child’s injury. In addition, a claim cannot be made after a child turns 22 years old.
Contact a Joliet Birth Injury Lawyer
The financial impact of a CP diagnosis can be staggering. The CDC estimates that the lifetime cost to care for an individual with CP can be upwards of $1 million. If you believe that your child’s CP was caused by medical malpractice, compensation may be owed. To better understand your legal position, it is important to contact the knowledgeable Will County personal injury attorneys at Schwartz Injury Law. To schedule a free consultation, call our office at 815-723-7300.