When a child is born with Cerebral Palsy (“CP”), it is important that you seek legal help immediately to determine what caused him or her to develop this condition. While CP can have a genetic origin or be associated with an unavoidable delivery complication, some cases are caused by medical errors that occur during the delivery process. When this happens, a family should consider filing a claim against the doctor and/or hospital so that they can afford the medical care that their child will need both now and in the future. At Montlick and Associates, we want to help you to fight for the compensation your child deserves so that he or she can live as normal a life as possible. Contact us today to learn more about how we can make a difference for you.
What is Cerebral Palsy?
While the severity of CP can vary from mild to severe, this condition is caused by the abnormal development of or damage to the brain that can affect a child’s ability to control his or her muscles. In fact, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, (“CDC”) Cerebral Palsy, or CP, occurs in 4 out of every 1,000 live births, and can lead to a number of different symptoms including difficulty walking, spastic muscle movements, poor coordination, muscle stiffness, developmental delay and trouble eating and speaking.
What types of medical errors can cause Cerebral Palsy?
While most cases of CP are either congenital (roughly 85% to 90% of cases, per the CDC) or of an unknown origin, some are caused by medical errors that occur while a woman is pregnant or during labor and delivery. For example, a doctor or midwife could fail to diagnose and/or treat a pregnant woman for an infection such as meningitis, which can lead to CP. Or, a doctor or midwife’s error during delivery can cause a child to suffer from hypoxia, or a lack of oxygen, which can also cause CP. Here are some additional errors that can lead to a diagnosis of CP, among others:
- Premature delivery
- Delayed delivery
- Failure to monitor the heart rate of a child during labor and delivery
- Failure to perform a necessary caesarian section
- Improper performance of a caesarian section
- Misuse of vacuum extractors or forceps during delivery
- Failure to diagnose and treat jaundice
- Leaving a baby in the birth canal for too long
- Failure to immediately address fetal distress
- Failure to respond to a prolapsed cord wrapped around a baby’s neck
How do I know if my baby has Cerebral Palsy?
While the symptoms of CP can vary, generally, the following contains the most common signs to look out for:
- Less than 6 months of age – for children this young, their body tends to feel stiff, their head might lag, and they might push themselves away when being held.
- Older than 6 months but less than 10 months – children with CP in this age bracket could exhibit such signs as fisted hands, an inability to roll over, and have difficulty bringing their hands to their mouth.
- Older than 10 months – babies with CP who are older than 10 months often demonstrate difficulty in crawling, such as crawling in a lopsided manner, or might not be able to crawl at all. Oftentimes, they will scoot on their knees and buttocks rather than crawl.
Do I need a lawyer?
While Georgia law does not require a person to hire a lawyer in order to file a claim for medical negligence, it is nonetheless highly recommended that you do so. An attorney can help maximize your chances of being compensated for your child’s injuries by examining what happened and taking the necessary steps to protect you and your child’s rights.
Put Our Law Firm’s Over 39 Years of Legal Experience to Work For You!
At Montlick and Associates, our firm has been representing those who suffer from birth injuries located throughout all of Georgia and in the Southeast for over thirty years, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.
No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.