Some health issues ravage bodies by some unfortunate combination of genetics, behavior, or random misfortune. Cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and Cystic Fibrosis are common examples.
But a disorder like cerebral palsy (CP) is different. The global prevalence of CP ranges from roughly 1.5 to just over four per 1000 live births, with the United States averaging between two and three. It’s the most common motor disability in childhood, and nearly 765,000 adults and children have at least one symptom in the U.S., with an additional 10,000 infants developing the condition each year.
Thankfully, the disorder is not progressive. It does not get worse over time, and depending on the severity, life expectancy is not generally affected.
It is, however, often caused by medical malpractice. Recent estimates place responsibility at about 10% of all cases. One in ten. That may not sound like much, but in the United States that amounts to 1000 new cases annually as a direct result of doctor error or negligence.
That’s too much. And no one should have to suffer on account of someone else’s mistake.
Cerebral palsy can affect gross motor skills, manual ability, and cause a wide range of physical and even cognitive impairments. It’s brought on by a brain injury either before, during, or shortly after birth. Many of the underlying causes of the injury can not be detected or prevented.
But many can. And in those instances, the condition is a result of medical malpractice.
A competent and skilled doctor is aware of the risk factors. They take proactive steps to either avoid or treat them. But doctors are not infallible.
Any disruption to the normal development of the brain can result in CP. Infections in the womb, poor nutrition, issues with the placenta or umbilical cord, exposure to drugs or alcohol, and genetic disorders during pregnancy. General complications, improper use of delivery tools (such as forceps or vacuum extraction), and oxygen deprivation during birth. Untreated jaundice, seizures, serious head injuries, bad infections, brain hemorrhages, and asphyxia after birth. Any one of these largely preventable or treatable scenarios can lead to the development of cerebral palsy.
The key word here is preventable. Proper medical care and attention should identify, treat, and correct each one of them.
Depending on the severity of the condition – which can range from minor to debilitating – the lifetime cost of caring for someone with CP can reach in excess of one million dollars. In cases caused by malpractice, you shouldn’t be held financially responsible for that. A cerebral palsy malpractice suit can help alleviate the cost of medical care, therapy, lost wages, pain, and suffering.
If your child has been diagnosed with CP, and you have reason to believe that the doctor or healthcare professional was negligent in their conduct, you owe it to yourself and your family to seek justice and compensation. A financial award does not fix everything, but it does improve the quality of care you can afford, and reduces stress associated with dealing with the disorder on a day-to-day basis.
Some instances of cerebral palsy are not preventable. They are unfortunate but blameless circumstances.
But when they are avoidable, a knowledgeable cerebral palsy attorney can help you get the compensation you deserve. Duffy & Duffy, PLLC has years of experience bringing successful CP lawsuits. We understand the complicated terminology, the frequent defense strategies used by lawyers representing doctors and hospitals, and will act as your lead on the investigation, case preparation, and court procedure. With our help, you can deal with the consequences of someone’s mistake in the best way possible.
Contact us today. We’re on your side.