Was your child born with cerebral palsy? Do you suspect that childbirth injuries caused their disorder? If so, now is the time to call an Albany cerebral palsy birth injury lawyer.

If your obstetrician caused a childbirth injury or failed to diagnose your child with cerebral palsy, they may have committed malpractice. State law allows families injured by medical malpractice to sue their doctor for related financial losses.

Children with cerebral palsy often require a lifetime of costly medical care. Filing a legal claim may help you get the financial compensation you need to provide for their care. To find out whether you be could be entitled to compensation, call an Albany cerebral palsy birth injury lawyer today. A compassionate medical malpractice attorney could review your case and help you recover the damages you deserve.

How Cerebral Palsy Occurs

Cerebral palsy is not a singular disease, but rather a group of neurological disorders that limit a person’s mobility and balance and severely affect their posture. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cerebral palsy is the most common juvenile motor disability, afflicting one out of every 323 American children.

What Causes Cerebral Palsy?

One of the primary causes of cerebral palsy is birth complications. Children who are oxygen-deprived before or during childbirth face an increased risk of cerebral palsy.

Fetal distress can cause such oxygen deprivation, so it is vital for obstetricians and gynecologists to carefully monitor any signs of fetal distress during pregnancy. Professional standards of care dictate what doctors should do if they discover the fetus is in distress.

If a doctor fails to comply with those standards and the baby develops cerebral palsy due to oxygen deprivation, the doctor has committed malpractice. Too often, birth injuries caused by doctors result in fetal distress and oxygen deprivation, which in turn lead to cerebral palsy. When this happens, one may want to seek the services of a dedicated lawyer.

How is Cerebral Palsy Treated?

Currently, there is no cure for cerebral palsy. Medical treatment can vastly improve the life of a child with cerebral palsy, but those suffering from the disorder often require a lifetime of specialized care. Because cerebral palsy severely limits a child’s mobility and balance, the common treatment is physical therapy.

Other treatments for cerebral palsy can include:

  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Surgery
  • Treatment by a neurologist
  • Long-term medications
  • In-home care in some cases

Managing the Financial Burdens of Cerebral Palsy

These treatments can greatly improve the child’s quality of life, and help them function in their daily lives. Even with health insurance, however, such care can be incredibly expensive.

Parents with children suffering from cerebral palsy often face overwhelming financial stress due to these medical costs. No parent should have to worry about whether they can afford their child’s medical treatment.

If a doctor’s mistake caused their child’s cerebral palsy, parents can sue for financial compensation for their child’s medical care. An Albany cerebral palsy birth injury lawyer could help parents get the financial resources they need to take care of their child.

When Can Cerebral Palsy Can Lead to a Negligence Claim?

Not every instance of cerebral palsy in a newborn will result in a viable claim for monetary damages. To hold the doctors accountable, a plaintiff must establish that their child’s cerebral palsy occurred as the result of negligence. Typically, this involves a medical error that occurred shortly before or after the birth of the child.

There are different incidents where cerebral palsy could be directly attributed to the negligence of a doctor or medical professional. These errors could involve the failure to notice a dangerous symptom in the mother or a delay in ordering an emergency c-section.

Sometimes cerebral palsy occurs as the result of the medical team’s slow response to complications. This can occur during labor or even in the moments following birth.

What makes or breaks these cases is whether the doctor and nursing staff provided the level of care that is standard during labor and delivery. If they failed to meet these standards, they could be liable for any birth injuries that occurred.

The Certificate of Merit and Cerebral Palsy Malpractice Claims

When a plaintiff pursues a medical malpractice lawsuit related to cerebral palsy, they must jump through hoops that are not present for most personal injury lawsuits. Chief among these additional requirements is something known as the certificate of merit.

The certificate of merit is a document that must be filed alongside a medical malpractice lawsuit. This document is executed by the plaintiff’s attorney, and it should establish that the attorney sought the counsel of a medical professional prior to filing the lawsuit. The doctor in question should practice in the same field as the defendant and have similar experience. This document should also establish that, after reviewing the medical records of the plaintiff, the doctor found grounds for a viable malpractice lawsuit.

Alternatively, the certificate could also state that an Albany cerebral palsy attorney was unable to secure the counsel of an appropriate medical professional. However, the attorney must attest that they made a good-faith effort to comply. That means there must have been three separate attempts with three different doctors that were ultimately unsuccessful.

There is an exception that applies in certain cases, however. While the certificate generally must be attached to the lawsuit at the time of filing, the court has the power to grant an extension. This is valuable in cases where the statute of limitations is approaching and the plaintiff has not yet secured a medical expert.

Compliance with the certificate of merit is vital. A plaintiff that fails to attach it to their lawsuit or seek an extension is likely to see the case dismissed by the court. Given the importance of the certificate of merit, it could be valuable to rely on legal counsel that has handled cerebral palsy cases in the past. An attorney that was successfully prepared a certificate of merit could increase the chances of compliance in a new lawsuit.

Talking to an Albany Cerebral Palsy Birth Injury Attorney

If your child developed cerebral palsy as the result of a birth injury, you can file a lawsuit on their behalf against the gynecologist or obstetrician responsible for the injury. This lawsuit could result in much-needed financial compensation for you and your family.

Medical malpractice cases involving minors are complex because parents must prove the costs of care their child will likely need in the future. An experienced Albany cerebral palsy birth injury lawyer could help parents calculate such costs with the help of medical experts.

If you live in the Albany area, call now to discuss your cerebral palsy birth injury claim with an accomplished attorney.