Damages for Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy, a broad term encompassing a group of disorders affecting movement, balance, and posture, is one of the most prevalent movement disorders affecting children. Tragically, these conditions can be the result of healthcare provider negligence, occurring before, during, or after childbirth. As a parent of a child of cerebral palsy, the emotional toll of realizing that your child's life could have taken a different trajectory is compounded by the financial challenges of providing the necessary care over a lifetime. As such, it is important for many parents to hold the healthcare provider responsible for their child’s harm accountable for their losses. If you are interested in pursuing damages for cerebral palsy, it is imperative to consult an attorney as soon as possible. The assertive Baltimore birth injury attorneys of Arfaa Law Group have the knowledge and experience needed to demonstrate the negligence of careless physicians, and if we represent you, we can guide you through the complex process of navigating a birth injury case.Complications Caused by Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy, a lifelong condition impacting movement and muscle tone, often stems from damage to the developing brain during pregnancy or birth. Symptoms of cerebral palsy typically emerge in infancy or the toddler years. They often manifest as impaired movements, spastic limbs, and exaggerated reflexes. In addition to physical manifestations, cerebral palsy may also lead to intellectual disabilities, epilepsy, difficulties in communication, and a range of neurological issues affecting hearing and vision.Recovering Damages for Cerebral Palsy in Maryland
Under Maryland law, the severity of cerebral palsy and the associated needs of the affected child, among other things, determine the recoverable damages. Prior to recovering damages, however, a plaintiff must demonstrate that their losses were caused by medical malpractice. In most cases, this means they must prove the defendant’s negligence.
In Maryland, a plaintiff alleging a doctor’s negligence caused a birth injury must offer proof that the defendant owed them a duty. Typically, the duty owed is to abide by the relevant standard of care, which is the care that a competent professional working in the same specialty would provide when faced with a similar set of facts. Next, the plaintiff has to show that the defendant departed from the standard of care or breached the duty owed. Lastly, the plaintiff has to establish that the defendant’s deviation from the standard of care caused the plaintiff to bear measurable losses. This means that the plaintiff must prove that, but for the defendant’s actions, the plaintiff would not have sustained injuries.
In most birth injury cases, the plaintiff will need to hire one or more experts to testify at trial regarding what the standard of care requires a doctor to do, the ways in which the defendant failed to uphold the standard of care, and how such failures directly attributed to the plaintiff’s injuries.
If a plaintiff proves a defendant’s negligence caused a child to suffer cerebral palsy, they may recover a variety of economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages may encompass past, present, and future medical costs, lost income due to caregiving responsibilities, and expenses related to assisted living devices and medical equipment. Calculating the extent of economic damages involves careful consideration of medical bills, lifelong care plans, prescriptions, lost wages, and any impact on earning capacity and often requires expert testimony.
Maryland law also allows for the recovery of non-economic damages, addressing the intangible losses incurred. These may include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, permanent disability, and mental anguish.Consult a Trusted Baltimore Attorney
Witnessing a child grapple with medical issues stemming from cerebral palsy can be heart-wrenching, and many parents seek to hold the healthcare providers who contributed to their child’s health concerns accountable. If your child developed cerebral palsy due to the oversights of a treatment provider, it is smart to meet with an attorney to discuss your options. The trusted Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers of Arfaa Law Group can inform you of your rights and aid you in pursuing the maximum damages for cerebral palsy recoverable under Maryland law. We often assist families in birth injury cases in Baltimore, where our office is located. You can reach us through our form online or at (410) 889-1850 to set up a meeting.