Birth injuries and cerebral palsy

A young woman expressed sheer joy when her father surprised her in the hospital with a visit from her boyfriend. The 14 year-old is fighting a lifetime battle against cerebral palsy and was in the midst of a long hospital stay. At the hospital the young woman underwent dual hip replacement and femur alignment surgeries, according to a recent report by the Huffington Post.

The father set up the visit to lift her spirits and, according to the report, her resulting happiness was contagious. The father has "poured a fortune" into his child's care and is concerned that he will not be able to afford the care she needs. Unfortunately, his story is not uncommon. Those who suffer from cerebral palsy can require a wide range of medical treatments, often costly.

Birth injuries can lead to cerebral palsy

The experts at Mayo Clinic explain that cerebral palsy is a disorder that impacts a person's movement, muscle tone or posture. The disorder is the result of an injury that occurs to the brain before it is fully developed. According to these medical professionals, the disorder is often the result of a birth injury.

Symptoms can include:

  • Exaggerated reflexes and involuntary movements
  • Floppiness
  • Abnormal posture

These same experts note that symptoms may not be apparent until a child reaches his or her preschool years.

Remedies available to help cover the cost of treatment

Since the disorder is often connected to a birth injury, compensation may be available to help cover the cost of medical treatments. In order to receive this help, victims must establish that medical malpractice occurred.

Medical malpractice can occur in a variety of situations. This can include a physician who failed to provide proper care or a hospital that did not adequately train its staff. Generally, these cases proceed under the legal theory of negligence. In a med mal case, negligence occurs when a physician who is treating a patient fails to meet the applicable standard of care and this failure leads to an injury. In a birth injury case for cerebral palsy, parents told researchers with The Journal of the American Medical Association that the following factors often contributed to filing a medical malpractice suit:

  • 33 percent of those who responded said they filed a suit after advised by a "knowledgeable acquaintance"
  • 24 percent filed after they recognized a cover-up
  • 24 percent of parents moved forward with a suit after recognizing they would need money, likely to cover the cost of additional medical care for the injured child

These are just a few reasons that could prompt a suit. If you believe that your child was injured contact an experienced birth injury attorney to discuss your case.