The amount of treatment that will be necessary for a child with cerebral palsy may only be determined on an individual basis. For example, some children may only need a modest amount of physical therapy, while others may need physical therapy, occupational therapy, medication, speech therapy, and even surgery. Treatment and therapy for cerebral palsy may be quite expensive. We can put together all of the relevant medical records and consult experts to determine whether you may have a case. At Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, our Baltimore cerebral palsy lawyers may be able to help you bring a medical malpractice lawsuit for the full range of damages that your child incurred, including treatment and therapy for cerebral palsy.Treatment and Therapy for Cerebral Palsy
Not all instances of cerebral palsy are results of medical malpractice. The first step is to establish liability. To establish your health care provider's liability, we will need to show the standard of care, a defendant health care provider's breach of the standard of care, and the injuries and damages that resulted from the medical negligence. The standard of care may be broadly defined as what a reasonably competent physician or nurse would do under the same or similar circumstances.
For example, it may be a breach of the standard of care to fail to appropriately monitor a baby's heart rate while in the womb. If a baby is suffering from lack of oxygen, this will be reflected in the heart rate. Doctors who notice that there is a problem must follow certain steps to fix the problem, including performing a C section if necessary. Other possible breaches of the standard of care include the inappropriate use of forceps or other birthing tools, a failure to schedule a C section, or a failure to make an appropriate medical diagnosis. Whichever the act or omission was that led to the cerebral palsy, it must be likely that the act or omission caused your child to develop cerebral palsy.
Once liability is established, it is important to illustrate the total damages, which will include both economic and noneconomic losses. Economic damages include treatment and therapy for cerebral palsy so that your child can manage as independently as possible and have as healthy a life as possible. We can retain experts not only to establish that the cause of the cerebral palsy was medical malpractice but also to discuss the degree of harm and the necessary treatment.
Treatments vary depending on the type of cerebral palsy, the level of disability, and any co-occurring conditions like behavioral disorders or epilepsy. Each child is unique in which treatments will work. Often, it is necessary to consult a team of multidisciplinary specialists as well as the child's pediatrician to figure out which treatments a child may need now and in the future. In addition to the pediatrician, other specialists whom it may be necessary to retain include a physical therapist, a neurologist, an occupational therapist, a speech therapist, an ophthalmologist, an otolaryngologist, or a surgeon.
Children with cerebral palsy usually need physical therapy as a first step, but the types of physical therapy that will be necessary depend on which parts of the brain and motor activity are affected. The therapist will start by assessing your child's motor capabilities. Once you become aware of your child's cerebral palsy, it is important to start physical therapy as soon as possible. This may prevent future complications, such as contractures in the case of spastic cerebral palsy. Your child may also need orthotics. The rules related to a parent's and child's claims against a health care provider may be complex, making it important to speak to an attorney right away.
Unlike noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering, economic damages are not capped in Maryland. Economic damages may include not only medical care but also the loss of wages that the child would have likely earned in adulthood, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, assistive equipment and technology such as a wheelchair, changes to the home to accommodate the child's needs, and the costs of special education.Protect Your Rights by Contacting a Cerebral Palsy Lawyer in Baltimore
If your child needs treatment and therapy for cerebral palsy, a lawsuit may be the only way that you can afford these significant costs. When a child suffers from cerebral palsy, they may need millions of dollars of care over the course of a lifetime. At Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, 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 secure a judgment or settlement for you. Call us at 1-800-654-1949 or 410-654-3600, or contact us online for a free consultation with a birth injury attorney.