Babies subjected to a birth injury are many times victims of medical malpractice. Any error committed by a doctor, nurse, midwife, or other healthcare practitioner at the time of birth which results in harm to an infant could form the basis of a birth injury malpractice lawsuit. And, while nothing—not the loss of the doctor’s medical licence, a hospital closing or large amount of money–can erase the effects of a birth injury on victims and their families, a jury verdict or settlement can help alleviate future financial stress by lightening the financial burden of ongoing treatment and medical care associated with that birth injury.
Cerebral Palsy is the Most Common Birth Injury
The most common birth injury, cerebral palsy is a condition that will affect a child’s entire life. Cerebral palsy is usually caused through the delivery physician’s failure to recognise signs of fetal distress during labour and delivery. Parents of children born with cerebral palsy face heartbreak and financial hardships that test their moral fortitude and their pocketbooks for life. A child with cerebral palsy requires monitoring and testing throughout their lives that can add up to thousands and thousands of dollars in medical expenses that most families can’t afford on their own.
An infant with cerebral palsy may display symptoms immediately after birth or a few months afterwards. Some of the signs that could indicate that your child has sustained a birth injury of cerebral palsy include:
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Episodes of shrill or weak crying
- Irregular body positions
- Presence of primitive reflexes that remain after the child is three to six months old
- Developmental delays
- Favoring of one side of the body
- Dragging of one side of the body
- Muscle weakness
- Muscle stiffness
- Slow movements
- Abrupt, spastic or involuntary muscle movements
- Difficulty speaking,
- Excessive drooling
- Hearing loss
- Dental Problems
- Mental retardation
- Loss of vision
If you notice that your child exhibits any form of irregular behaviour, you should consult with a physician immediately to determine if cerebral palsy might be an underlying cause of the behaviour. Should cerebral palsy be diagnosed, consider consulting with a medical malpractice lawyer to help determine if your child’s condition is the result of birth injury malpractice. Bring any documentation of your child’s birth as well as medical records to your first consultation appointment for evaluation. Be particularly suspicious if medical records indicate that at birth your child was deprived of oxygen, should have been delivered via caesarean section, had umbilical cord problems, was victim of an untreated infection, showed signs of fetal distress during labour and delivery or was delivered with the use of forceps. All of these situations, or any form of panic that occurred during your birthing experience may indicate that negligence was what caused your child’s birth injury.
A Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Award Can Help with the Financial Hardships of Raising a Child with
Raising a child who suffers from cerebral palsy presents extreme financial hardships on families. Medical malpractice lawyers recognise the hardship that this can have on families and their child and offer legal assistance, many times on a contingency fee basis, to assist in the pursuit of compensation. If you are the parent of a cerebral palsy child and think that negligence may have been the cause, contact a medical malpractice lawyer to learn what compensation you might be entitled to and assistance in the filing of a medical malpractice lawsuit.