Caused by abnormal brain development or brain damage, cerebral palsy is a type of movement disorder that may range widely in severity and symptoms depending on the part of the brain affected and the extent of damage.
While some cases of cerebral palsy cannot be prevented, there are others that are caused by medical negligence. These cases can involve brain damage sustained during or after childbirth because of the negligence or wrongdoing of a doctor, anesthesiologist, nurse, or other medical professional or facility.
The following mistakes/errors can cause brain damage, leading to cerebral palsy:
- Delayed C-section
- Mismanagement of shoulder dystocia
- Delayed response to childbirth complications
- Failure to recommend a C-section in a high-risk delivery
- Misuse of vacuum extractor or forceps
- Any other deviations from standard care
Since 1975, Decof, Barry, Mega & Quinn, P.C. has represented families across Rhode Island in birth injury lawsuits. These are highly technical cases and are exceedingly difficult to prove, but our lawyers have persevered time and time again to help injured children receive the support they need for their lifelong care.
Contact our firm at (401) 200-4059 for a free consultation and discuss your options and rights after a cerebral palsy diagnosis.
The Three Main Types of Cerebral Palsy
There are three primary types of cerebral palsy, which may range from mild to severe depending on the extent of damage to the brain:
- Spastic cerebral palsy, which is typically characterized by stiffness and difficulty moving limbs.
- Athetoid cerebral palsy, which is characterized by uncontrolled, involuntary movements.
- Ataxic cerebral palsy, which is generally characterized by difficulty walking, with balance, and with depth perception.
If your child has been diagnosed with any type of cerebral palsy, do not wait to consider your legal options. The cost of treatment and ongoing care can quickly add up to hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars over your child’s life. A Rhode Island cerebral palsy attorney can help you pursue fair compensation.
If your child was diagnosed with cerebral palsy after a difficult delivery, you may be wondering what caused their condition and if you are eligible for compensation.
When it Comes to Cerebral Palsy, What is the Difference Between a Birth Defect and a Birth Injury?
Birth defects arise prior to birth and birth injuries occur during the birthing process.
In many cases, children are born with cerebral palsy, but instances of birth injury tend to be more obvious. When a birth injury inspires a child’s cerebral palsy, it is due to oxygen deprivation or brain compression during birth. Cerebral palsy sometimes occurs as a result of birth asphyxia, which can be caused by a delayed C-section or improper monitoring of vital signs.
Many children who are born with cerebral palsy have additional conditions, such as epilepsy or autism spectrum disorder. If your child is otherwise healthy, their injury may have been caused by medical negligence.
Will Cerebral Palsy Affect My Child’s Quality of Life?
Yes. If your child’s disability is not severe, they may be able to enjoy life, but they will also face pain and challenges. If your child’s condition is more serious, they may not be able to walk, and their chances of living past age 20 will be lessened. In either case, treatment options can help, but they can also be expensive. Filing a successful birth injury claim will help preserve your child’s access to care and increase their quality of life.
What is the Statute of Limitations For Filing a Birth Injury Claim Related to Cerebral Palsy?
Because cerebral palsy affects independent movement, many children are not diagnosed with the disorder right away. In Rhode Island, however, you must file your birth injury claim within 3 years of the medical error, per Courts and Civil Procedure, Chapter 9.
Fortunately, the state makes an exception for cases “which could not in the exercise of reasonable diligence be discoverable at the time of the occurrence of the incident which gave rise to the action.” Essentially, this means that you will have 3 years from the time of your child’s diagnosis to pursue a birth injury claim for cerebral palsy.
As soon as you suspect your child is suffering from a birth injury, though, you should seek medical attention and contact an attorney. The sooner your legal team can investigate your claim, the more evidence they will be able to gather on your behalf.
If you have further questions about cerebral palsy as a birth injury, or want to begin your case, simply request a free consultation with our experienced attorneys.
Learn more about your case and how we can help by calling (401) 200-4059.