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Diagnosing Cerebral Palsy

Attorneys Helping Parents with Injured Children in Baltimore

A difficult labor and delivery can be concerning for an infant’s parents, as they may worry that problems during the birthing process caused their child to suffer harm. While some birth injuries are immediately evident, others, like diagnosing cerebral palsy, are generally only discovered following comprehensive testing. It is critical that children with cerebral palsy receive an accurate diagnosis that is not delayed, as it can cause lifelong detriments and require costly care. If you believe your child may have suffered cerebral palsy due to a doctor’s errors, you should consult a lawyer regarding your rights. The knowledgeable Baltimore birth injury attorneys of Arfaa Law Group take pride in helping families contending with devastating birth injuries fight to hold the medical providers that caused their losses accountable.

Diagnosing Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is not a singular ailment but is a group of disorders that cause physical difficulties. The symptoms affecting people with cerebral palsy can range in type and severity; however, people with cerebral palsy generally have issues with balance and movement and may also have problems hearing, speaking, and seeing properly. Cerebral palsy can also cause cognitive issues, seizures, joint problems, and spasticity, and uncontrollable movements. Cerebral palsy is often caused by events that occur shortly before or during birth, and obtaining a prompt diagnosis is essential to improving and maintaining an affected child’s health. There is not a singular test that screens for cerebral palsy, however. Rather, if doctors have concerns with an infant’s delayed development of motor skills or issues with movement, posture, or muscle tone, they may order a multitude of tests to determine if the child has cerebral palsy. Such tests may include MRIs of the child’s brain, x-rays, CT scans, and electroencephalograms. The infant may also need to undergo genetic or metabolic testing as well.

Pursuing Claims Following a Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis

After a child receives a cerebral palsy diagnosis, the child’s parents will often question what factors caused the disorder. In some instances, cerebral palsy is caused by genetic factors. In many cases, though, it is caused by the errors of the medical professionals that treated the child’s mother during her pregnancy or the child’s birth. For example, delays in performing a c-section, a vacuum or forceps assisted delivery, and other actions that result in oxygen deprivation and brain injuries often lead to cerebral palsy. Careless doctors can also cause a delay in accurately diagnosing cerebral palsy, which can result in the child being deprived of necessary care for an extended period of time. Thus, it is not uncommon for the parents of a child who has cerebral palsy to pursue medical malpractice claims against the healthcare providers that caused their child’s harm.

In Maryland, a plaintiff seeking damages for a birth injury must show that the defendant medical professional had a duty to provide treatment that aligned with the standard of care, which is the care that a reasonable professional working in the same specialty would provide under similar circumstances. The plaintiff must also show that the defendant breached the duty by failing to provide treatment that met the standard of care. Finally, the plaintiff must prove that it was the defendant’s breach and not some other factor that led to the plaintiff’s harm. A plaintiff that successfully proves a defendant’s negligence caused a birth injury may recover compensation for the financial and emotional damages they suffered. Notably, both an injured child and the child’s parents often have the right to pursue claims, but there are different time limitations as to when their claims must be filed.

Meet with a Seasoned Attorney in Baltimore

A timely diagnosis is critical to obtaining the specialized care a child with cerebral palsy needs. If you think or know your child has cerebral palsy due to a medical error, it is prudent to meet with a lawyer to assess your potential claims. The seasoned attorneys of Arfaa Law Group possess the skills and knowledge needed to help people prove liability in malpractice lawsuits. If we represent you, we will fight diligently to help you pursue any recoverable damages. We frequently assist people in birth injury lawsuits in Baltimore, where we have an office. You can reach us to schedule a confidential meeting by calling 410-889-1850 or by using our form online.