Mixed cerebral palsy is one of several types of cerebral palsy, which is caused by brain damage in connection with the prenatal period, during birth, or just afterward. Mixed cerebral palsy occurs when there is brain damage to multiple brain areas, and generally symptoms will be present based on which areas are affected. Symptoms may include involuntary movement, imbalance, lack of coordination, and floppy or spastic muscles. In some cases, mixed cerebral palsy is a result of medical malpractice. If your child suffers from mixed cerebral palsy, and you believe that it might have been caused by the acts or omissions of your obstetrician, the experienced Baltimore cerebral palsy lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers may be able to help.Mixed Cerebral Palsy
Mixed cerebral palsy is often a mix of spastic, athetoid, and ataxic cerebral palsies. The most common form is a mix of spastic and athetoid. Symptoms may include variations in muscle tone that cause rigidity, floppiness, and jerky movements, as well as imbalance and lack of coordination.
Damage to the motor cortex, pyramidal tracts, cerebellum, and basal ganglia may give rise to mixed cerebral palsy. For example, the motor cortex is the origin of movement, sending signals to other parts of the body that control your motor ability, and if it is damaged, there may be spasticity in the muscles, tendons, or joints. If there is also damage to the cerebellum, an individual may experience issues with balance and coordination of movement, as well as difficulty with fine motor skills, walking, and posture.
These different areas of the brain may be damaged by a traumatic head injury just after birth, infections before or after birth, or a lack of oxygen during birth. Risk factors that increase the chance of mixed cerebral palsy include a failure of the placenta, bleeding in the baby’s brain, and severe jaundice that goes untreated. A lack of oxygen during birth may indicate medical malpractice.
In many cases, children are not diagnosed for up to 18 months. It is not always immediately clear why a child developed mixed cerebral palsy, and in some cases, children with developmental delays do recover and eventually develop normally. Nonetheless, if you are concerned that your child's cerebral palsy was a result of medical negligence, you should consult an experienced attorney. The Maryland statute of limitations related to child and adult claims against a health care provider are different and may affect your case. Additionally, it is important to start treatment right away and to determine whether you will have the resources to engage in the full range of treatment that your child needs over their lifetime.
Expert testimony will be necessary to establish medical malpractice. Among other things, it is necessary to present a certificate of merit within 90 days of filing your complaint. A valid certificate of merit is normally provided by a board certified obstetrician or gynecologist. The certificate will include the expert's opinion within a reasonable degree of medical probability that a treating physician deviated from the applicable standard of care and that this caused the harm, and a statement that the expert does not devote more than 20% of their professional activities each year to personal injury litigation.
Damages, once liability is established, may include both economic and noneconomic damages. In Maryland, economic damages are not capped and include all tangible losses that flow from your child suffering from mixed cerebral palsy, including medical costs, future lost wages, lost earning capacity, the cost of a lifelong aide in serious cases, and household services. Noneconomic losses like pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment are capped under Maryland law.Enlist a Baltimore Lawyer for Your Cerebral Palsy Case
If your child was diagnosed with mixed cerebral palsy, you may need to bring a lawsuit to make sure that your child receives the lifetime treatment necessary to reach their full potential. The cost of medical care, nursing services, physical and occupational therapy, prescriptions, and possibly surgery will likely exceed several million dollars. At Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers, our Baltimore cerebral palsy attorneys understand the significant challenges faced by individuals and families dealing with cerebral palsy in Maryland and Washington, D.C. We do not recover any fees or expenses unless we obtain a judgment or settlement for you. Call us at (800) 654-1949 or (410) 654-3600, or contact us online for a free consultation with a birth injury attorney.