Birth Injury Law

Cerebral Palsy: Basic Legal Concepts

How do I know what caused my child's Cerebral Palsy?

Many times a medical professional's negligence or wrongdoing during the delivery of a newborn is the primary cause of cerebral palsy. In order to receive money for the injuries your newborn has, you have to prove that it was the doctor's negligence or wrongdoing that caused the cerebral palsy. However, proving that it was the doctor's negligence or wrongdoing can be extremely difficult without the right attorney.

How Much Can I Get For My Child's Birth Injuries?

There is no exact number for how much your damages could be. However, you can recover things like past and future damages for medical bills, lost wages, reduced earnings capacity, pain and suffering, and sometimes even punitive damages (damages to "punish" the person).

What Are Some Cerebral Palsy Treatments?

The following is a list of treatment methods that seem widely recommended and in use by health care professionals for cerebral palsy:

  • Physical therapy is a very important treatment, provided that it is implemented rapidly following the diagnosis of cerebral palsy. There are exercises specifically designed to maintain muscle tone and prevent muscular atrophy (deterioration resulting from lack of use).
  • Physical therapists can also help children with cerebral palsy in developing and enhancing their motor skills, and other disciplines employ behavior therapy and psychological theory and techniques to complement physical, speech, or occupational development.
  • Pharmacology provides an effective arsenal for use in combating some of the symptoms of cerebral palsy. Prescription drugs are often used to prevent or control the seizures sometimes associated with the disease. Recently developed drugs have proven effective, at least in short-term use, in controlling spasticity by interfering with the process of muscle contractions. The long-term efficacy of these drugs has not yet been established.
  • Intramuscular alcohol injections have also provided short-term relief of spasticity, affording a window of opportunity during which physical therapies to stretch and lengthen the muscle may be conducted.

Surgeons are working on an experimental procedure intended to reduce spasticity in the legs by inhibiting the extent of stimulation of nerves involved in the contractures, but it is too early to assess its effectiveness.

Although there is no known cure for cerebral palsy at present, researchers are actively developing a variety of treatment methods, but their work is focused primarily on the management of symptoms and enhancing the quality of life. Sadly, the damage and resulting symptoms of cerebral policy are irreversible, at least, thus far. The range of treatment for cerebral palsy may include physical therapy, drug therapy, or even surgery, depending on the needs of the individual patient. If your child or a member of your family has cerebral palsy and you believe it is the result of medical malpractice, please consult with a cerebral palsy attorney listed on this site to begin your initial consultation to discuss your litigation options.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.