Cerebral palsy and other birth injuries are often the result of a health care provider’s careless mistake. Caring for a child with cerebral palsy can be extremely challenging, due to the resources required. At Lebowitz & Mzhen, our experienced birth injury lawyers are dedicated to helping families in Baltimore pursue the compensation they deserve to plan their child’s future properly. If you or someone close to you has been harmed as a result of a health care provider’s negligence, it is important to speak to an attorney who can help you understand your rights.Seeking Compensation for Cerebral Palsy Caused by Professional Negligence
Cerebral palsy is a broad term for a number of disorders that impair the motor functions and development of a child. The condition is caused by brain damage during the birthing process or shortly afterwards. We have found that the average lifetime cost for an individual with cerebral palsy exceeds several million dollars. This number represents costs well above those incurred by an individual who does not have a disability. Medications, surgery, nursing services, counseling, physical therapy, occupational therapy, assistive devices such as wheel chairs, special beds, Hoyer Lifts and transportation, social work, language and speech therapy, and assistance with schooling are just some of the costs associated with caring for a child with cerebral palsy. The needs for children born with birth trauma, such as Cerebral palsy, are lifelong needs that often grow larger as the child becomes an adult.
If you believe your child’s cerebral palsy was a result of medical negligence, you may be able to file a malpractice lawsuit against the at-fault party. Medical malpractice cases are simply civil negligence cases involving a health care professional. Medical negligence occurs when a health care professional fails to use the required level of care and causes injury or harm to a patient. A number of medical professionals may be liable for negligence, including doctors, nurses, specialists, and hospitals.
In order to establish a medical malpractice case, the plaintiff must demonstrate four main elements. The health care provider must have owed the patient a duty of care and must have breached that duty with some careless conduct. This generally means that the defendant did not provide the same level of care to the patient that the typical medical professional in the same specialty and geographical area would have provided to a patient in a similar situation. Also, the health care provider’s breach must have been the direct cause of the patient’s harm, and damages must have resulted. These can be economic costs like expenses for future medical treatment or lost earning capacity, and they can also include the child’s subjective pain and suffering.
In Maryland, there is a specific procedure that must be followed for lawsuits filed against health care professionals. Prior to a lawsuit filed in the appropriate Court, the case must first be filed as a Statement of Claim, with a Certificate of Qualified Expert and Expert Report, with the Maryland Health Care Alternative Dispute Resolution Office. At its heart, the law requires that a physician in the same medical speciality as the Defendant health care provider explain the way in which the Defendant health care provider has failed to act with reasonable competence, and then, what injuries and damages flowed to the patient from the health care providers substandard medical care.
In cases involving birth trauma, such as cerebral palsy, it is often the case that the Defendant health care provider ignored fetal monitoring strips that reflected fetal distress that resulted in lack of oxygen being delivered to the infant. Without oxygen, vitals organs, such as the baby's brain, are often permanently damaged.Discuss Your Medical Malpractice Claim with a Baltimore Lawyer
At Lebowitz & Mzhen, our medical malpractice attorneys have nearly two decades of experience helping Baltimore residents protect their rights. We understand that this is a stressful time, and you can expect compassion from our entire team. We also serve individuals from other areas of Maryland and Washington, D.C. To set up a free, no-obligation consultation, call our toll-free number at 800-654-1949 or our local number at 410-654-3600. You can also contact us online.