Birth injuries can cause our youngest loved ones to suffer for the rest of their lives. A birth injury that affects the brain can cause cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that affects a child’s ability to move, balance, and stand. Since there is no cure for cerebral palsy, an injured child will be forced to deal with the injury for life.
If your child has cerebral palsy a negligent medical professional may be to blame. Contact our San Diego cerebral palsy injury lawyers to learn about the benefits of filing a lawsuit for damages. The financial award you receive can help to cover medical expenses and compensate for your child’s limited ability to earn money in the future. Our attorneys understand how caring for a child with special needs can complicate life. We are here to help make things a little bit easier. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.
Cerebral Palsy in San Diego
Cerebral palsy is a non-degenerative neurological disorder that develops before or during birth. Non-degenerative simply means that the damage to the brain will not get worse over time. The disorder is characterized by difficulty controlling movement, posture, and balance.
There are four main types of cerebral palsy:
- Spastic Cerebral Palsy: Accounts for 80 percent of all cerebral palsy cases. Symptoms include stiff muscles and spastic, jerky movements.
- Athetoid Cerebral Palsy: Symptoms include sudden involuntary movement and defined muscle tone.
- Ataxic Cerebral Palsy: Accounts for 10 percent of all cerebral palsy cases. Symptoms include difficulty walking, shaking, and difficulty balancing.
- Mixed Cerebral Palsy: Diagnosed when children demonstrate symptoms that fall into multiple categories.
While some individuals with cerebral palsy can maintain fairly normal lives, many will require assistance with everyday tasks. It is not uncommon for individuals with cerebral palsy to rely on medical aids to help with movement and balance.
How Our Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help Your Family
It can be devastating to learn that your child has developed cerebral palsy because of a brain abnormality or injury. The costs of your child’s disorder will likely only add to the stress you experience. The CDC reports that the medical costs of a child with cerebral palsy are 10 times greater than a child without. If your child also has an intellectual disability, medical costs can be 26 times greater than those for a child without. Fortunately, you have the right to file a lawsuit for damages if someone else caused your child’s brain injury.
If you want to focus on your child and maximize your compensation, you need to hire an attorney. Here’s how our San Diego birth injury lawyers will help you get the money you deserve:
Hold Negligent Parties Responsible: We will find out what caused your child’s injury and identify who is to blame. We’ll demand compensation from anyone who contributed to your child’s cerebral palsy.
Protect You From Insurance Companies: Insurance companies will try to take advantage of your stress and emotions. They may offer you a quick payout to make your case go away. While this money is enticing, it will not be enough to cover all of your costs. Our lawyers will make sure that you don’t fall victim to an insurance company’s manipulative tactics. We will hold them accountable for the negligent actions of their clients.
Value Your Claim Properly: How much is your cerebral palsy injury case worth? There are a lot of factors that go into determining its value. We have excellent relationships with many experts in San Diego who help us to analyze and value your case. We approach negligent parties with evidence and the input of experts, which makes it difficult for them to pay anything less than you deserve.
Focus On Your Family: The best way we can help you is to give you the time you need to focus on your family. You need your family, and they need you. Concentrate on your child’s needs while we handle all aspects of your legal claim.
Causes of Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that occurs when the brain is injured before, during, or immediately after birth. Factors that may cause or increase the risk of cerebral palsy include:
- Oxygen deprivation
- Limited blood supply to the brain
- Breech birth, and
- Forceps or vacuum delivery.
Cerebral Palsy Often a Consequence of Medical Negligence
While some cases occur because of an untreatable abnormality, others are the result of medical negligence. In San Diego, doctors and medical professionals are held to a higher standard of care than most. Why? We trust them with problems that we are not remotely qualified to diagnose or treat. We put our lives (and our children’s lives) in their hands.
What is the standard of care for medical professionals in California? A doctor (or other professional) is expected to demonstrate the “level of skill, knowledge and care in diagnosis and treatment” that another qualified doctor in the same field would use in “similar situations.” If a doctor fails to live up to this high standard they can cause serious harm. When harm results, they can be liable for injuries.
Examples of medical negligence that could contribute to a birth injury and cerebral palsy include:
- Missing an important diagnosis during prenatal visits
- Failing to address infections during pregnancy
- Failure to monitor and/or recognize fetal distress
- Improper technique when using forceps or a vacuum to assist a birth
- Failure to correctly identify a child’s position in the uterus, or
- Delaying or failing to perform a timely C-Section.
Medical negligence can occur when you are pregnant and seeking prenatal care, or during the delivery itself.
Damages Available in Cerebral Palsy Cases
The financial costs of cerebral palsy can be overwhelming. Filing a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages can make your life a lot easier. Our attorneys will aggressively pursue both economic and non-economic damages on your behalf.
Economic damages are paid to help you with the financial costs of your child’s injury. Their purpose is to put you and your family back in the financial situation you were in before the injury occurred. Commonly awarded economic damages in cerebral palsy cases include those for:
- Medical bills
- Bills related to medically-necessary travel
- Medical devices
- Therapy, and
- Reduced earning capacity.
These damages will be limited to your actual and projected costs. You can’t recover more in economic damages than you need.
Non-economic damages are paid to help you and your family cope with injuries that may not have a direct financial cost. Commonly awarded non-economic damages in cerebral palsy cases include those for:
- Chronic pain
- Emotional trauma and distress
- Embarrassment, and
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
At Injury Trial Lawyers, we work with experts to make sure that all damages are valued properly. We will fight to make sure that you get the money you deserve.
Statute of Limitations for Cerebral Palsy Injury Cases
California law limits the amount of time you have to file a claim for damages after an accident or injury. Fortunately, the state provides a bit of breathing room for injuries that are sustained before or during birth. Birth injury lawsuits must be filed before your child turns eight.
While this may seem like a lot of time, it’s important to act quickly. Contact our San Diego birth injury lawyers as soon as you know that your child has suffered an injury. We will make sure that your claim is filed on time. You don’t want to miss out on the compensation you need because the statute of limitations has expired.
Speak with our San Diego Cerebral Palsy Injury Attorneys
Does your child have cerebral palsy? Do you believe that the disorder was caused because your child was injured before, during, or immediately after birth? If so, you may be entitled to compensation. Our San Diego cerebral palsy attorneys are here to help you hold medical professionals responsible for their negligence. Call Injury Trial Lawyers today to schedule a free consultation. We will review your case and help you understand your legal options.