Los Angeles Cerebral Palsy Lawyer - California CP Medical Malpractice
Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a condition that varies in intensity with symptoms that range from mild to severe and in its most serious form may be classed as a catastrophic injury which frequently alters the lives of both the victim and their immediate family forever. There is no real cure for cerebral palsy which is caused by a permanent injury to the brain. A California medical malpractice lawyer may be able to obtain compensation for personal injury as a result of cerebral palsy caused by negligence however it is a fact that the majority of cases occur naturally with no known cause that cannot be classed as clinical error. Whilst CP compensation cannot make up for the brain injury, it can make life easier for the victim and their family when coping with the condition in the long term. If you would like to speak to an experienced Los Angeles cerebral palsy lawyer with no further obligation just call us now.
Confidential Helpline (913) 967-0809
Standard of Care
Medical malpractice is any act or omission which falls below the standard of a reasonably competent doctor in that particular field of medicine. Often there are several acceptable ways of doing something and there may be no negligence if the chosen method fails whereas alternate treatment may have succeeded provided that the failed option is supported by a substantial body of medical opinion.
Confidential Helpline (913) 967-0809
If you believe that your child's CP was caused by clinical error and you would like free advice from a specialist California medical malpractice lawyer then just complete the contact form or email our offices and a Los Angeles attorney who is a member of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA), will telephone you to discuss your child's potential claim.
Confidential Helpline (913) 967-0809
Physicians Overview of Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is often abbreviated to "CP" and is a common congenital disorder. Congenital disorders are those disorders a child is born with but they are not necessarily genetic. CP affects a child’s ability to move his or her arms and legs, the tone of the muscles (which become stiff) and the coordination. Babies with cerebral palsy can also have speech and swallowing problems, vision problems, hearing problems and problems with learning or thinking. It all depends on which areas of the brain are damaged and on how much of the brain is damaged.
When Does CP occur?
Cerebral palsy is most likely to happen to a child before birth or during the birth process but it can happen if there is injury to the brain before the age of 2-3 years of age. Cerebral palsy is brain damage and, because the brain does not regenerate itself, it is not particularly curable; however, therapy can improve the way the child functions. Fortunately, the brain is plastic (malleable) and can sometimes take up the slack to take the place where areas have been damaged.
Major Types of CP
Approximately half a million people of all ages in the US have cerebral palsy. Because cerebral palsy is not progressive nor is it particularly lethal, kids with cerebral palsy usually grow up to become adults with the disease. There are three major types of cerebral palsy:-
- Spastic Cerebral Palsy - the muscles are very stiff and do not move much on their own.
- Athetoid Cerebral Palsy - there are abnormal and uncontrolled movements of the arms, legs or face.
- Ataxic Cerebral Palsy - affects the child’s depth perception and balance/coordination.
In many cases, the entire body is affected and the child has difficulty standing, walking, using his or her arms and legs, eating/swallowing, bladder control, breathing and bowel control. Mental retardation and developmental difficulties are common. There is also a fourth category of this condition known as mixed cerebral palsy which is a combination of the aforementioned common types of CP.
Sometimes, the actual cause of cerebral palsy is not known. It can occur while the child is in the womb due to a maternal infection or any type of low oxygen situation occurring in the womb before birth. It can be due to prematurity. These babies, weighing less than 3 pounds or so, can have bleeding in the brain that leads to cerebral palsy. Any child that is a multiple also carries the extra risk of cerebral palsy.
Cerebral palsy can be due to a birth injury. If the baby lacks oxygen during the birth process for more than just a minute or two, there can be brain injury leading to cerebral palsy. Babies can get cerebral palsy after birth due to shaken baby syndrome or other form of child abuse, meningitis, severe malnutrition, lead poisoning or motor vehicle accident. If this condition is caused as a result of a birth injury it is actionable in a court of law. To see if your child is entitled to a compensation you should contact a Los Angeles cerebral palsy lawyer as soon as you have a confirmed diagnosis - there are time limits.
There is no specific blood or urine test for cerebral palsy. The diagnosis may not even be seen on brain scanning. It is usually diagnosed by a trained neurological specialist or pediatrician who notes increased muscle tone, paralysis, abnormal movements and other signs of the disease. If a child fails his or her developmental milestones, an evaluation for cerebral palsy may need to be undertaken.
It is sometimes difficult to recognize cerebral palsy while the child is an infant besides noting a lack of ability to achieve infant milestones. The spastic muscle tone and coordination difficulties often do not develop until the child is at least one year of age.
Cerebral palsy, unfortunately, is not really preventable except for things like having good prenatal care, a healthy delivery and restraining the baby properly in a car seat. If you do what you can to prevent preterm birth, your chances of having a baby with cerebral palsy are much diminished. Maintain health dietary and exercise habits in pregnancy, get appropriate pregnancy care, stop medications that might cause cerebral palsy, and know the signs and symptoms of preterm labor. This is about the best you can do to prevent cerebral palsy before the baby is born.
Pre-natal & Post-natal Care
In labor, you need to have a qualified birth attendant and the means to have an immediate cesarean section should the baby experience fetal distress. Your birth attendant must know the signs of fetal distress and must be able to manage the condition quickly. If there is a problem that needs to be investigated, you should contact a Los Angeles cerebral palsy lawyer as soon as you have a confirmed diagnosis. There are time limits that even the very best medical malpractice attorney will not be able to resolve - dont delay, act now.
After the baby is born, you need to protect its head and brain. You should never shake a baby, no matter how frustrated you are. You should install your baby’s car seat correctly and always put your baby in the car seat when driving, using the recommended methods. Lead exposure in the home can cause cerebral palsy so you need to get sources of lead out of the house. Make sure the child is immunized as some of the immunizations protect the child against infections that may lead to brain injury and cerebral palsy.
Categories of Diability
Not every child with cerebral palsy has a serious case of the disease. Some have mild stiffness and uncoordinated movements, while others are blind from brain damage affecting the visual centers, deaf, speech complications, drooling from being unable to swallow, sleep problems, behavioral issues and weak or brittle bones, osteoporosis. Many kids with cerebral palsy also develop a seizure disorder and some have mild, moderate or severe mental retardation.
Because there is no cure for cerebral palsy, treatment is directed at improving function. Most kids with cerebral palsy get physical therapy to improve movement and ambulation. They also commonly get braces to prevent bending of the joints in an abnormal way. They receive occupational therapy to learn how to use the hands as effectively as possible. Speech therapy is recommended for those who have speaking or swallowing problems. Behavioral therapy is used to handle the behavioral issues these kids often have. The child may have surgery in order to allow the muscles to become more functional. Medications are used to protect the child from seizures and to reduce the spasm of the muscles.
Most kids with cerebral palsy have an entire health team of doctors, social workers, and therapists in order to provide the family with coordinated assistance in managing the child with cerebral palsy. To see if your child is entitled to a compensation you should contact a Los Angeles cerebral palsy lawyer as soon as you have a confirmed diagnosis - there are time limits.