Cerebral palsy (CP) is a common birth injury to a child’s brain, causing a range of disabilities that will vary depending on the severity of brain damage. It is a movement disorder, affecting muscle tone, reflexes, posture, speech, and mobility, ranging from mild impairment to total disability. In some children, it may cause cognitive impairment, seizures, deafness, blindness or impaired eye function, or difficulty swallowing.
Cerebral palsy is characterized by:
- Abnormal muscle tone
- Decrease in muscle mass
- Abnormal reflexes
- Poor balance and coordination
- Impaired motor development
- Lack of fine motor skills
- Awkward gait
- Joint and bone deformities
Cerebral palsy can be treated, but not cured. It is a lifelong condition often requiring ongoing physical therapy, assistive devices such as braces and wheelchairs, medication, surgery, and special care. This specialized care will cost millions of dollars.
Your child deserves the best care and financial compensation to cover this – for life. If your child developed cerebral palsy as a result of medical malpractice, Cullan & Cullan is here to seek justice. Our Phoenix cerebral palsy lawyers can take the necessary steps to investigate your claim and then fight for complete monetary damages from any and all at-fault parties. We have the legal and medical experience to win these complex, challenging cases.
To learn more, call (602) 900-9483 for a free consultation with one of our attorneys.
Prevalence & Causes of Cerebral Palsy
In the U.S., more than 200,000 children are diagnosed with cerebral palsy annually. Far too many of these injuries were caused by medical malpractice before, after, or during the birthing process.
Common causes include:
- Failing to diagnose a disproportion between the baby’s head and the mother’s pelvis
- Failing to diagnose an infection or other medical problem
- Failing to identify a breech presentation
- Delaying the delivery of a distressed baby who may be experiencing oxygen deprivation
- Improper use of forceps or vacuum extractor
- Failing to recognize umbilical cord prolapse or other cord problems
- Failure to properly monitor mother and baby
- Failure to diagnose and promptly treat jaundice, resulting in kernicterus
Was My Child’s Cerebral Palsy Caused by Medical Malpractice?
Doctors, midwives, hospitals, and other healthcare professionals owe a duty to their patients to provide safe medical care. If a doctor or other healthcare professional fails to provide an appropriate standard of care, and the patient suffers harm as a result, it is medical malpractice.
Obstetricians, nurse-midwives, obstetrical nurses, and others who perform prenatal care and/or who work in the delivery room and fail to deliver an appropriate standard of care, resulting in harm to the baby, must be held liable for the patient’s catastrophic damages.
The best way to learn whether you have a valid medical malpractice case for your child’s birth injuries is to consult an experienced Phoenix cerebral palsy attorney who has the knowledge, experience, and resources necessary to conduct a forensic investigation and determine the cause of your child’s injury.
Elements Required to Prove a Cerebral Palsy Birth Injury Case
To succeed in a birth injury claim involving cerebral palsy, you will need to show that:
- A duty of care existed (you were the doctor’s or hospital’s patient)
- The doctor, hospital, or other professional breached that duty
- The breach was the direct cause of your child’s cerebral palsy
- You and your child incurred damages as a result of the cerebral palsy, including damage to the child’s quality of life as well as medical expenses and other costs
The Quality Legal Counsel You Need
If your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and you believe it was caused by a medical error at birth, you should talk to an experienced birth injury attorney.
At Cullan & Cullan, we not only have a nuanced understanding of the law as it pertains to cerebral palsy and birth injuries, we also have the medical knowledge it takes to:
- Understand the standard of medical care that is expected during the birth process in Arizona or elsewhere
- Zero in on where the standard of care deviated from the norm and how the error or deviation caused the damage to your child’s brain and the resulting disability
Our attorneys are also medical doctors. We have investigated thousands of birth injury cases. We have the combination of training, experience, and knowledge that will ensure that your case is handled with the utmost professionalism. We understand the heartbreak and challenges of raising a child with serious disabilities, and we are deeply committed to justice. You want to give your child the best life possible, and holding the doctor or hospital accountable for their errors can provide you with the means to do so.
We are here to help. Call Cullan & Cullan at (602) 900-9483 today to schedule a free consultation.
Frequently Asked Questions
What damages can be claimed in a cerebral palsy lawsuit?
In a cerebral palsy lawsuit, damages that can be claimed typically include medical expenses, ongoing therapy and rehabilitation costs, pain and suffering, lost earning capacity, and other related expenses. The specific damages depend on the circumstances of the case and the extent of the harm caused by medical negligence.
How long do I have to file a cerebral palsy lawsuit?
The statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in Arizona is two years. It is important to consult with a cerebral palsy lawyer promptly to understand the time limit applicable to your situation as there may be exceptions based on the specifics of your case. Waiting too long could result in the loss of your right to pursue legal action.
How long does a cerebral palsy lawsuit typically take to resolve?
The duration of a cerebral palsy lawsuit can vary significantly depending on various factors, such as the complexity of the case, the willingness of the parties to negotiate, and the court's schedule. Some cases may be resolved through settlement negotiations, while others may proceed to trial, which can further extend the timeline. Generally, these lawsuits can take several months to a few years to reach a resolution.
How do I know if I need to hire a cerebral palsy lawyer?
It is advisable to consult with a cerebral palsy lawyer if you suspect that medical negligence or malpractice may have caused your child's cerebral palsy. A lawyer experienced in cerebral palsy cases can evaluate the facts, guide you through the legal process, and help determine if pursuing a lawsuit is appropriate in your situation.
What should I do to prepare for my initial consultation with a cerebral palsy lawyer?
To prepare for your initial consultation with a cerebral palsy lawyer, gather all relevant documents related to your child's medical history, including medical records, test results, and any correspondence with healthcare providers. Additionally, note down any questions or concerns you have about your potential case. Being organized and well-prepared will help the lawyer better understand your situation.
What questions should I ask when consulting with a cerebral palsy lawyer?
During your consultation with a cerebral palsy lawyer, consider asking questions such as:
- Do you have experience handling cerebral palsy cases?
- What is your assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of my case?
- What potential outcomes or compensation can I expect?
- How will you communicate with me throughout the process?
- What fees and costs are involved in pursuing a cerebral palsy lawsuit?
- Can you provide references from previous clients or case results?