Baltimore, MD Cerebral Palsy Attorneys
Baltimore, Washington, DC And Prince George’s County Cerebral Palsy Lawyers
When a child is diagnosed with cerebral palsy (CP), the parents are usually eager to discover if the child was born with the condition or if it was caused by an injury during the birth process. At Stecco Law, P.C., we know how devastating a birth injury can be. Our cerebral palsy law team stands by our clients and guide them through the process of obtaining fair and reasonable compensation for their injuries.
What Is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy is a brain disorder that affects motor skills. The majority of cerebral palsy cases develop in utero, but some are caused by severe illness or infection, or oxygen deprivation or injury during the childbirth process.
Cerebral palsy affects the nerves that control the muscles, so those that suffer from it have various kinds of disabilities, including impaired fine and gross motor skills, speech and vision difficulties, learning disabilities, seizure disorders and cognitive impairments. There are different types of cerebral palsy, and the type determines the treatment needed.
Children who suffer from CP exhibit a broad spectrum of symptoms, including:
- Weakness in one or both arms and/or legs
- Shaking or random, involuntary movements
- Difficulty with fine and/or gross motor skills
- Stiff muscles and exaggerated reflexes
- An irregular gait
Every individual is affected differently and to varying degrees of severity. All people with CP have some problems with movement control, while intellectual disabilities and other impairments vary with each case.
At Stecco Law, P.C., we have access to a team of medical experts who consult with us on birth injury cases and provide supporting evidence. While these cases are complex, our birth injury lawyers have the knowledge and experience to facilitate a settlement for you.
What are the different types of cerebral palsy?
There are many different types of cerebral palsy, which can be classified according to motor function or level of severity. The latter includes:
Spastic (stiff muscles). Children who have spastic CP have stiff muscles and awkward movements.
Athetoid (writhing movements). Also referred to as dyskinetic cerebral palsy, this form of the condition is characterized by slow, uncontrolled, writhing movements of the arms, hands, legs and feet. Some children have difficulty breathing and coordinating the muscles required for speaking.
Ataxic (poor balance and coordination). These children walk with an unsteady gait and have difficulty with precise motor movements such as those used to write or button a shirt.
There are various health conditions associated with CP:
- Intellectual disability
- Seizure disorder
- Delayed growth and development
- Spinal deformities
- Vision impairment
- Hearing loss
- Speech and language disorders
- Abnormal sensations and perceptions
- Learning difficulties
- Infections and long-term illnesses
- Dental problems
(Source: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke)
What is the potential role of medical negligence in cerebral palsy?
Because cerebral palsy can be caused during the labor and delivery process, it is possible that negligence and medical malpractice might play a role in the occurrence of the condition. The labor and delivery process is usually quite routine; however, doctors and nurses must still carefully monitor the baby for any signs of distress. The moment there is any sign of distress, the doctor must act quickly and deliver the child right away to prevent brain damage or other injury.
If the doctor allows natural labor to carry on for too long when a cesarean-section would save the baby from the stress of prolonged labor, fails to recognize that the baby is presenting in a breech position, or fails to carefully monitor the baby’s heart rate, such failures, among others, could contribute to the brain damage that causes cerebral palsy.
In many states, the statute of limitations for bringing a birth injury action involving medical malpractice ends at age 18, so it is better to act sooner than later if you are looking to get monetary compensation for your child’s birth injuries.
Birth injuries are tragic and challenging for families to bear. If your child has been injured due to the negligence or malpractice of medical professionals, you should consult with our team of malpractice attorneys to find out about your rights and determine the best strategy for your case. Call us at (410) 842-6176 or contact us online to schedule a confidential, no-obligation consultation.
Stecco Law, P.C. takes cases on a contingency fee basis, which means you pay no attorney fees unless we recover on your behalf.