New Jersey Cerebral Palsy Lawyer
Currently, 800,000 individuals live with cerebral palsy in the United States, and roughly 8,000 children receive cerebral palsy diagnoses each year. One out of every 278 children in the United States has some type of cerebral palsy, and the condition entails a wide range of possible symptoms and effects. Between 30% and 50% of children with cerebral palsy develop a seizure disorder from the condition. Proper long-term care for a child with cerebral palsy can cost $6 million or more. The team at Meirowitz & Wasserberg, LLP, knows the difficulties that parents and children with cerebral palsy have; a compassionate New Jersey cerebral palsy lawyer at our firm can help you understand your legal options.
Understanding Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is a condition resulting from brain damage before or during childbirth. Several things can cause cerebral palsy, and the condition manifests differently for each child born with it. Although cerebral palsy sometimes occurs naturally, it is also a common result of medical negligence so speaking with a skilled New Jersey medical malpractice lawyer can prove to be helpful if you suspect negligence. Some things that can cause cerebral palsy in newborns include:
- Poor patient monitoring. Doctors must consistently monitor their patients to identify signs of fetal distress or other complications as soon as possible.
- Inadequate prenatal care. An expecting mother’s attending physician must provide an acceptable level of prenatal care to prevent injuries to the mother or her child.
- Oxygen deprivation. Doctors must safely deliver babies, and this includes monitoring fetal heart rates and oxygen levels and accounting for variables such as nuchal cords or a mother’s inability to deliver vaginally due to narrow hips or other anatomical features.
- Failure to perform a Caesarean section procedure. If a mother cannot deliver naturally, a Caesarean section is a safe alternative if the attending physicians identify the need for a Caesarean section as soon as possible and perform the procedure safely.
- Failure to treat infection. An infection in the mother or her unborn baby can result in cerebral palsy if left unidentified and untreated.
- Surgical instrument injuries. Some surgical tools, including vacuum extraction devices and forceps, can cause cerebral palsy when used incorrectly or with excessive force.
Physicians categorize cerebral palsy into four types, each with unique concerns for parents. Spastic cerebral palsy affects about 70% of all cerebral palsy cases and involves underdeveloped limbs, limb contractures, and hemiplegia. Paraplegia, diplegia, and quadriplegia are also common possibilities for this type of cerebral palsy. Athetoid cerebral palsy affects about 20% of cerebral palsy cases and involves slow, involuntary movements of the limbs. Ataxic cerebral palsy affects 10% of cases and results in poor muscle coordination, weakness, and fine motor skill impairment. Finally, some children develop mixed cerebral palsy, a combination of two or more of any of the other types of cerebral palsy.
Filing a Lawsuit for Cerebral Palsy in New Jersey
Parents of children who develop cerebral palsy from medical negligence can secure compensation for their resulting immediate and long-term expenses related to the condition through medical malpractice claims.
The first step in filing any medical malpractice claim is proving that an official doctor-patient relationship existed between the plaintiff and defendant. This means the plaintiff and his or her New Jersey personal injury attorney must offer the court a record indicating the doctor agreed to treat the plaintiff and the plaintiff agreed to treatment. Next, the plaintiff must show the court how the defendant’s actions caused cerebral palsy. Finally, the plaintiff must prove that the cerebral palsy in question resulted from the defendant’s negligence and not some other cause, and the plaintiff must prove the extent of the resulting economic damage. Treating cerebral palsy is quite expensive, so plaintiffs stand to receive substantial settlements or case awards in most cerebral palsy cases.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Caring New Jersey Cerebral Palsy Attorney
New Jersey parents whose children experienced birth injuries resulting in cerebral palsy need reliable legal representation. The medical malpractice claims process is notoriously complicated, and the right lawyer will be able to navigate the legal process and secure compensation for client damages. At Meirowitz & Wasserberg, LLP, we understand how difficult a cerebral palsy diagnosis can be to accept for parents, and we also understand the financial difficulty cerebral palsy presents to parents. Contact us today for a free consultation with one of our attorneys and we can let you know what to expect from a lawsuit in your situation.