Cerebral Palsy as a Result of Birth Injury

Cerebral Palsy as a Result of Birth Injury

Cerebral Palsy Birth Injury Lawsuits in New Jersey

Medical malpractice and poor medical treatment can result in catastrophic yet preventable birth injuries each year. Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a common and serious birth injury that can occur during labor and delivery. Although there are several birth issues that cause Cerebral Palsy, our Cerebral Palsy lawyers will concentrate on the types of birth trauma that cause CP in this section.

What is a Cerebral Palsy?

The terms cerebral and palsy mean "of the brain" and "paralysis," respectively. Cerebral Palsy is a term that encompasses a variety of conditions involving a person's inability to regulate particular muscles. Tremors, seizures, and other deficits are common in people who have CP.

Cerebral Palsy is not the same thing as a disease. Instead, it is a condition that happens when the brain is damaged at or shortly after birth. Furthermore, these are challenges that may continue to have an impact on brain development in the future.

What Causes Cerebral Palsy?

A baby born with cerebral palsy has an injury to their brain that causes problems with movement and coordination. According to the CDC, cerebral palsy affects about 1 in 345 children babies born each year in the United States. Babies with cerebral palsy often have trouble walking, talking, eating, and learning. They may also have seizures.

Causes of cerebral palsy include the following:

  • Premature birth is the most common cause of cerebral palsy. Premature infants are usually smaller than average and weigh less than 2500 grams (8 lbs). These small babies have immature brains and nervous systems. Their brains do not develop properly. This leads to physical disabilities such as cerebral palsy.
  • Low birth weight is another major cause of cerebral palsy in newborns. Low birth weight means that the baby was born weighing less than 2500 grams (about 8 lbs). Babies born very early or too late in pregnancy are at higher risk for low birth weight.
  • Infection is another cause of cerebral palsy, especially in premature babies. Infections can affect the developing brain and lead to cerebral palsy.
  • Trauma is a third possible cause of cerebral palsy injuries. Traumatic events, such as accidents or medical procedures, can injure the brain and lead to cerebral paralysis.
  • Genetic factors play a role in causing cerebral palsy. Some children are born with cerebral palsy due to inherited conditions. For example, a child may inherit cerebral palsy from one parent. 

Symptoms of cerebral palsy vary depending on the type of cerebral palsy. The symptoms depend on what part of the brain is injured.

The main types of cerebral palsy are:

  • Hemiplegia - A condition where there is damage to the left side of the brain. This results in weakness on the left side of the body.
  • Diplegia - A condition caused by damage to the right side of the brain. It results in weakness on the right side of the body. Children with diplegia are unable to walk without assistance.
  • Quadriplegia - A condition where the entire right side of the brain is damaged. This results in total paralysis of the right side of the child's body.

When to File a Cerebral Palsy Birth Injury Lawsuit?

A cerebral palsy birth injury lawsuit involves a person who has been injured due to medical negligence. This type of case may involve a doctor, nurse, hospital, or other health care provider.

Injuries caused by medical malpractice include any injuries that occur after a baby is born. These types of cases often involve a child who was born prematurely or suffered complications during labor.

When a child suffers an injury due to medical negligence, they may file a claim against the negligent party. If the negligent party cannot pay the damages awarded, then the plaintiff may sue them in civil court.

There are three main types of cerebral palsy birth injury lawsuits. They are:

  • Prematurity/Birth Trauma
  • Infection
  • Medication

What Are Common Treatments and Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy?

A child with cerebral palsy needs physical therapy and special education services. 

Physical therapy helps improve mobility and strength. It also teaches parents and caregivers how to care for the child's muscles and joints.

Special education services teach the child how to use their muscles and limbs. These services also teach the child to communicate, such as writing letters and numbers.

Treatment of cerebral palsy involves helping the child learn to move and stand properly. The goal is to prevent further injury to the brain and spine. For example, a child with cerebral palsy may need to learn to sit without support. They may need to learn to walk with crutches or a wheelchair. Other treatments may involve surgery to correct deformities of the bones or muscles.

Medications may be used to control pain, reduce muscle spasms, and treat seizures. Surgery may be needed to repair damaged nerves or remove tumors. The treatment plan for each individual child varies depending on the severity of the problem.

In addition to physical disabilities, children with cerebral palsy often have learning difficulties and behavioral issues. They may also have seizures and intellectual disabilities. Children with cerebral palsy usually develop normally until about two years old. At this point, they begin to show signs of developmental delay. Some children do not walk until they are three years old.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the indications and symptoms of Cerebral Palsy can vary considerably from one person to the next. Some common symptoms include:

  • Muscular contractures—tightening of joints due to immobility
  • Joint deformities
  • Limb length discrepancy
  • Muscle weakness
  • Seizure disorders
  • Intellectual disability
  • Behavioral problems
  • Learning disabilities
  • Visual impairment
  • Hearing impairment
  • Communication impairments

Get Legal Help for Your Cerebral Palsy Birth Injury

Families should contact a lawyer immediately if they suspect their child has been injured due to medical malpractice. Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor fails to provide adequate care to a patient.

Doctors must follow certain procedures and standards of practice to ensure patients receive proper treatment. When these procedures are violated, doctors can face lawsuits for negligence. The goal of a lawsuit is to hold negligent parties accountable for their actions.

Our birth injury lawyers at Garden State Justice Group understand the emotional and financial stresses that may come from a birth injury. Our legal team offers compassionate and professional care dedicated to getting you the compensation you deserve for your claim. Call today for a free consultation.

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Shane Sullivan, Esq.
Date Published: April 27, 2022
Shane Sullivan, Esq. is a New Jersey Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer that represents those who were injured or the family's of those killed by the negligence of others in personal injury lawsuits throughout New Jersey.
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