According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), approximately one in every 525 babies is born with cerebral palsy annually in the United States. While not every case is related to medical malpractice, some unfortunately are.
A cerebral palsy diagnosis can mean a lifetime of medical expenses, therapy appointments, and emotional struggles for the child and the family. Fortunately, a seasoned malpractice attorney may be able to help under such circumstances. If your child’s cerebral palsy is the result of a doctor’s mistake, a compassionate Newburgh cerebral palsy malpractice lawyer could work with you to fight for compensation.
What Causes Cerebral Palsy?
Medical errors during fetal development, delivery, or in the immediate newborn period all have the potential to result in cerebral palsy. More specifically, this condition can be caused by:
- Bleeding in the brain before birth, during birth, or after birth
- Diminished blood flow to vital organs
- Seizures at birth or in the first month of life
- Genetic conditions
- Traumatic brain injuries
Certain mothers are more at risk of having a baby who develops cerebral palsy. These include those who are pregnant with more than one baby, have seizures or thyroid disorders, have Rhesus disease, receive certain vaccines or develop certain diseases while pregnant, or come into contact with a toxic substance like mercury.
What Are the Requirements for Filing a Cerebral Palsy Malpractice Case?
By hiring an experienced Newburgh cerebral palsy malpractice attorney, plaintiffs could better ensure that their case meets the filing requirements. Cases that do not meet such requirements are at risk of being delayed or thrown out by the court. Two of the most important filing requirements for a malpractice case are the statute of limitations and the certificate of merit.
Plaintiffs have a finite time period to file a cerebral palsy malpractice case. For most plaintiffs, the applicable time period is two years and six months from the date of injury, according to New York Civil Practice Law & Rules §214-a. Missing this filing deadline would likely leave a plaintiff unable to recover monetary damages for their injuries.
How Does a Certificate of Merit Impact a Cerebral Palsy Malpractice Claim?
Any type of malpractice case in the State of New York must also be filed with a certificate of merit, as outlined in NY CPLR §3012-a. If filing the certificate of merit with the lawsuit would make it difficult to file the case within the period granted by the statute of limitations, the court might grant an extension of up to 90 days.
The certificate of merit is a document in which a cerebral palsy malpractice lawyer in Newburgh attests that they consulted a doctor in the same field as that in which the allegedly negligent party practices, and that this doctor agreed that malpractice may have occurred. If the attorney makes three individual attempts to meet with such a medical expert but is unable to do so, this could also qualify as a valid attempt to fulfill this requirement.
Hire a Newburgh Cerebral Palsy Malpractice Attorney to Help
Most children diagnosed of cerebral palsy will have physical and cognitive challenges for their entire lives and may never be fully independent. While you cannot change the negligence of medical professionals, you could hire a Newburgh cerebral palsy malpractice lawyer to help you hold them responsible for their actions. Call today to learn more about your legal options.