Signs of Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy, a collective term for disorders affecting movement and muscle tone, often arises from brain damage that occurs during a pregnancy or delivery. The impact becomes evident in infancy or toddlerhood, with varying degrees of severity and implications for a child's life. Cerebral palsy can be a lifelong condition, necessitating ongoing treatments and, at times, additional interventions for associated issues like deafness, blindness, or epilepsy. In certain instances, cerebral palsy is the unfortunate outcome of a healthcare provider's failure to provide competent care to the mother or baby; in such cases, the provider may be liable for medical malpractice. If you recognize signs of cerebral palsy in your child and suspect malpractice in the prenatal or labor stages, it is in your best interest to seek the advice of an attorney. The dedicated Baltimore birth injury lawyers of Arfaa Law Group take pride in helping people harmed by medical negligence protect their interests, and if you hire us, we will aggressively pursue the best possible outcome in your case.Recognizing Signs of Cerebral Palsy
Signs of cerebral palsy typically emerge during infancy or toddler years; impaired movements are a common hallmark of the disorder. It is crucial to consider cerebral palsy as a potential diagnosis when observing certain symptoms, including developmental delays or limbs that are either excessively rigid or floppy. Weak limbs and fidgety or clumsy movements may also indicate cerebral palsy.
Additional symptoms of cerebral palsy include floppiness, spasticity, reduced range of motion at the joints, exaggerated reflexes, unusual postures, involuntary movements, unsteady walking, difficulty focusing, trouble swallowing, and uncontrolled movements. Eye muscle imbalance is also a potential indicator of cerebral palsy.Holding Healthcare Providers Accountable After a Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis
Cerebral palsy generally causes permanent deficits that require lifelong care and intervention. As such, if a doctor's actions contributed to a child developing cerebral palsy, the child’s parents will often pursue damages in a birth injury lawsuit.
In order to recover damages, a plaintiff must demonstrate the defendant’s fault. Generally, this is achieved via a negligence claim. In order to establish negligence in the realm of medical care in Maryland, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant owed them a duty to abide by the prevailing standard of care. This standard is the care that a competent doctor working in the same practice area would provide when presented with a similar set of facts. The plaintiff then has to prove that the defendant breached the standard of care and that the breach directly resulted in the harm in question, namely the birth injuries. Finally, the plaintiff has to establish that they sustained actual damage due to the birth injury.
In order to establish each element of negligence, the plaintiff is required to produce evidence to show a deviation from what reasonably competent doctors in the same location and specialty would have done. For instance, if a prudent obstetrician-gynecologist would have opted for an emergency C-section to prevent fetal brain damage, and the defendant failed to do so, it could constitute a breach. Evidence is also needed to link the defendant’s acts to the plaintiff’s harm. Typically, such evidence comes in the form of testimony from a medical expert with experience working in the same practice area as the defendant.
The damages awarded in birth injury cases can vary but generally include compensation for the financial losses the plaintiff suffered, which can include the costs of past and future medical care, expenses paid out-of-pocket for medical devices and other necessities, and loss of earnings. Compensation is also often awarded for the intangible harm caused by the defendant’s negligence, such as mental and emotional anguish, suffering, and pain.Consult a Capable Baltimore Attorney
If you have concerns that your child is exhibiting signs of cerebral palsy in Maryland, it is advisable to consult an attorney to determine if you may be able to pursue claims in a birth injury lawsuit. The capable Baltimore birth injury lawyers of Arfaa Law Group possess the skills and experience needed to prevail in cases against negligent providers, and if you retain our services, we will advocate aggressively on your behalf. We regularly represent people in birth injury cases in Baltimore, where our office is located. You can contact us through our form online or at (410) 889-1850 to set up a conference.