For many parents, learning that their child has cerebral palsy is a very difficult and stressful experience. There are numerous national and local organizations dedicated to helping families of children with cerebral palsy, such as Bay Community Support Services or United Cerebral Palsy of Central Maryland. These organizations may provide both hope and support as you decide which treatments, therapies, surgeries, or medication to pursue. The costs of cerebral palsy over a lifetime often exceed several million dollars. In addition to obtaining support from organizations, bringing a lawsuit may be a necessary way to obtain the financial support for cerebral palsy that your family needs. At Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, our Baltimore cerebral palsy lawyers have the skills and experience necessary to evaluate your child's medical records and determine whether medical malpractice has occurred. Our firm can also help connect you to community resources.Financial and Community Support for Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is sometimes caused by a preventable birth injury. Doctors or other health care providers may cause cerebral palsy by improperly using forceps, failing to detect an infection during pregnancy, not performing a timely C section when necessary, failing to monitor a mother or baby's heart rate during delivery, failing to notice a complication with an umbilical cord or placenta, or failing to treat severe jaundice in a newborn.
We can consult a qualified expert to determine whether you may have grounds to bring a birth injury lawsuit. A qualified expert is someone who is a licensed professional who is knowledgeable about the accepted standard of care in the same discipline as the defendant. The standard of care consists of the accepted practices of similar health care providers in the same or similar circumstances when faced with a patient with a similar medical history and medical issue to the plaintiff.
If the expert advises us that they believe that your health care provider failed to meet the standard of care and that this was the cause of your child developing cerebral palsy, we will likely move forward with your case. The plaintiff bears the burden of proving these elements, as well as establishing all of the damages.
Within 90 days of filing suit, we will need to file a certificate of merit from an expert. In addition to that expert, usually an obstetrician or gynecologist, we will likely need to retain other experts, such as a neonatologist, pediatrician, pediatric radiologist, life care planner, and economist, to testify about estimated future medical costs and other financial losses.
Economic damages are not capped in birth injury cases. These are services that your child may need, such as the costs for future physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, nursing care, medication, and in some cases, surgeries. Noneconomic damages for the injury itself, as well as pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life, are capped at $770,000 in 2016, and the cap will go up slightly each year.Consult a Knowledgeable Cerebral Palsy Lawyer in the Baltimore Area
Community support organizations may provide encouragement from a network of families who understand what you may be going through after your child receives a cerebral palsy diagnosis. When you are overwhelmed or worried about your child's prospects, talking to others in the same situation may help. At Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, our birth injury attorneys understand the challenges faced by individuals and families dealing with cerebral palsy in Maryland and Washington, D.C. If you suspect medical malpractice, we may be able to help. Our firm provides a free consultation, and we do not recover any fees or expenses unless we obtain a settlement or a judgment in your favor. Call our toll-free number at 1-800-654-1949 or 410-654-3600, or contact us online to set up your appointment with a Baltimore cerebral palsy attorney.