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Causes of Cerebral Palsy

Birth Injury Lawyers Serving Baltimore Residents

Cerebral palsy may range from mild to severe, and it has many different signs and symptoms. Your child's development is not always a result of medical malpractice, but it is one cause that should be explored if you suspect that your health care providers made mistakes during the pregnancy, during delivery, or just afterward. If you suspect that the cause of cerebral palsy in your child's case is medical malpractice, the Baltimore cerebral palsy attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC may be able to help. The costs of caring for a child with cerebral palsy may be quite significant over the child's lifetime. For many people, a medical malpractice lawsuit is the only way that they can afford the treatments necessary to allow their children to develop to their full potential.

Causes of Cerebral Palsy

There are different types of cerebral palsy, each caused by damage to a different region of the brain. Some types of cerebral palsy include spastic cerebral palsy, ataxic cerebral palsy, and athetoid cerebral palsy. The first, spastic cerebral palsy, is most common, involving rigidity and difficulty moving one's limbs. Ataxic cerebral palsy, which is rare, includes balancing difficulties and difficulties with walking and depth perception. The third form, athetoid cerebral palsy, involves uncontrolled and involuntary movements. Cerebral palsy may lead to a lifetime of disability for a child.

Sometimes cerebral palsy is a result of a maternal infection, an unavoidable aspect of delivery, or something more mysterious. However, in some cases, cerebral palsy is a result of medical negligence. Medical negligence is the failure of physicians, such as obstetricians and gynecologists, to act reasonably competently under the circumstances. Brain injuries sustained because a doctor failed to treat an infection appropriately or failed to take measures to make sure that an infant could breathe during the delivery process may be compensable. For example, if an infant is pulled out of the placenta too forcefully, suffers a head injury from forceps or vacuum extraction, endures an excessively long labor, or is without oxygen for too long, these injuries may cause brain damage that develops into cerebral palsy. Your doctor should be held accountable for mistakes of this magnitude.

Parents may not be able to tell whether there was medical malpractice involved in their child's birth. We can retain knowledgeable and experienced experts to advise us on whether there is a meritorious basis for bringing a claim.

A certificate of merit must be filed within 90 days of filing a complaint or statement of claim. Among other things, the expert must be able to provide an opinion about causation to a reasonable degree of medical probability. Often, birth injury cases become a battle between experts. Even if a plaintiff can establish that there was a breach in the standard of care, they may recover compensation only if that breach was also the proximate cause of the cerebral palsy.

Proximate cause may be established if you can show that after considering all of the relevant factors, the defendant's actions caused or contributed to cause the cerebral palsy. The defendant health care provider's attorney and experts may look at ways in which it is possible that the mother's decision-making during pregnancy was the true cause of her child's cerebral palsy.

Contact a Cerebral Palsy Attorney in Baltimore or Beyond

If you believe that the cause of cerebral palsy in your child's case was a birth injury, you may need to bring a lawsuit. The damages may add up to more than a few million dollars over the course of a lifetime. At Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, our birth injury lawyers understand the challenges faced by individuals and families dealing with cerebral palsy in Maryland and Washington, D.C. Clients do not pay anything for our services unless we obtain a judgment or settlement in your favor. Call us at 1-800-654-1949 or 410-654-3600, or contact us online for a free appointment with a Baltimore cerebral palsy lawyer.

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