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Cerebral Palsy Experienced Legal Help


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7/30/2015
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Cerebral Palsy Medical Malpractice Lawyer in St. Louis

 

Every year in the US, around 10,000 babies develop cerebral palsy, a serious and lifelong condition that significantly degrades the quality of life. Since money damages can be immense in the event of medical malpractice, it is usually a mistake to accept a quick settlement from the responsible hospital or doctor’s malpractice insurance company.  

 

What is Cerebral Palsy?

 

Cerebral palsy is a permanent and chronic condition affecting muscle coordination and body movement in varying degrees. It can be caused by brain damage occurring either before, during or after birth. Fortunately, it is not a progressive disease, meaning that it typically does not get worse over time (even though cerebral palsy can cause secondary conditions that get worse). Unfortunately, cerebral palsy is incurable.

 

Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy

 

Symptoms of cerebral palsy include:

 
  • Exaggerated reflexes
     

  • Uneven muscle tone
     

  • Clumsiness; lack of muscle coordination
     

  • Involuntary movements such as tremors and shaking
     

  • Drooling or difficulty swallowing
     

  • Eating difficulties
     

  • Speaking difficulties
     

  • Delays in reaching development milestones such as sitting, crawling, etc.
     

  • Writhing (spastic) motions
     

  • Favoring one side of the body over the other

 

Medical Malpractice and Cerebral Palsy
 

Since cerebral palsy is caused by brain damage that may around the time of birth, a great number of cerebral palsy cases can be traced directly to medical malpractice. Consequently, your doctor may be reluctant to quickly admit this diagnosis out of fear of a lawsuit. Nevertheless, certain actions taken by medical professionals and hospitals “give the game away” in terms of indicating that cerebral palsy is likely or suspected. These red flags include the following circumstances, among others:

 
  • A cesarean section birth or a birth assisted by forceps or vacuum suction
     

  • CPR was administered immediately after the birth
     

  • A specialist is assigned to treat your baby
     

  • An MRI or brain scan was required
     

  • Your baby has seizures within 72 hours of birth

 

How a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Can Help

 

Cases don’t win themselves. Representing yourself, whether in court or in negotiations with a medical malpractice insurance company, is a bad idea because evidence is everything in a court of law, and because insurance companies will not settle for a dime more than they have to. Since the development of cerebral palsy does not by itself establish medical malpractice, a good malpractice attorney will spare no effort to assemble admissible evidence that clearly ties the causes of the cerebral palsy to acts of medical misconduct. This work requires assembling a team of experts including an obstitrician, neonatal nurse, neonatologist, neuroradiologist, pediatric neurologist, life care planner and an economist to prove a claim of negligence and the resulting harms and losses.


Although some cerebral palsy malpractice cases are settled, insurance companies are often highly resistant to settling for more than a fraction of your claim’s value until you file a lawsuit and submit strong admissible evidence supporting your claim. Hiring a personal injury lawyer is no time to cut costs -- your baby will require a lifetime of support and medical assistance, and you have one shot at the legal system to make sure that your child gets the care and support deserved.

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