What is medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when a hospital, doctor, or other health care professional causes injury to a patient through a negligent act, according to the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys (ABPLA).
A cerebral palsy medical malpractice claim must prove that:
- There was a violation of standard of care
- The injury was caused by negligence
- The injury resulted in significant damage to the child
Unfortunately, injuries caused by medical malpractice can result in developmental and neurological complications, such as cerebral palsy. If you suspect that a delivering doctor, nurse, or medical facility fell below their required standard of care, you may have the right to pursue a lawsuit.
There are a number of resources to determine if you are eligible to file a cerebral palsy medical malpractice lawsuit. The best way to learn if you may have a case is by receiving a free legal case review.
Symptoms of a birth injury
A birth injury is a specific type of brain or nerve damage that occurs before, during, or shortly after childbirth. Children that sustain birth trauma have a higher risk of developing conditions related to permanent neurological damage such as cerebral palsy.
There are several early signs and symptoms of a brain injury that parents and caregivers can look out for.Common birth injury signs and symptoms include:
- Arched back while crying
- Excessive drooling
- Hands curled into claw-like shape
- High-pitched crying
- Low heart rate
- Low oxygen levels
- Muscle stiffness or looseness
- Sensitivity to light
- Weak or absent reflexes
These birth injury symptoms may indicate the presence of cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, brain damage, and other preventable conditions.
You may be able to take legal action if your child had any birth injury symptoms and was later diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Contacting an experienced cerebral palsy lawyer is the first step in determining whether your child’s condition was caused by medical malpractice.
Forms of cerebral palsy malpractice
Cerebral palsy can develop from several different forms of medical negligence or malpractice. Brain damage causing cerebral palsy can be the result of medical errors or neglect that occurred before, during, or shortly after the birthing process.Some examples of medical malpractice that are common causes of cerebral palsy include:
- Failure to detect and/or properly treat infections
- Failure to detect fetal distress such as lack of oxygen (hypoxia)
- Failure to schedule or perform a necessary cesarean section (C-section)
- Failure to detect a prolapsed umbilical cord
- Improper use of delivery tools, such as vacuum extractors and forceps
The infographic below includes data from a study by the TDC Group highlighting the contributing factors of injury for the neonate age group of less than one month old.
Contributing factors for neonate age group (<1 month):
If you have any reason to believe your child’s condition was preventable, get a free cerebral palsy case evaluation to find out if you may be eligible for compensation to pay for your child's medical expenses.
Proving hospital negligence
Medical malpractice lawsuits can be filed against an individual physician or against the hospital as a whole. Hospital negligence directly holds the hospital liable for its own acts of neglect.
Hospitals are expected to have policies and practices in place to avoid any instances of patient neglect. They are also expected to provide a safe and sterile environment for all patients.
Additionally, hospitals are responsible for hiring medical staff with appropriate medical care education, training, and licensing. The hospital can be held legally accountable if a medical staff member does not meet the requirements to practice.
Hospitals can also be held responsible for any birth injury caused by a lack of on-duty medical professionals in order to maintain quality patient care. It is the hospital’s responsibility to ensure there are enough staff members at all times to ensure all patients are safe.
How can a case evaluation help me?
A case evaluation is the first step in filing a cerebral palsy medical malpractice lawsuit. A lawyer will analyze the details of your case to determine whether you are eligible to file a cerebral palsy negligence claim.
The best cerebral palsy lawyers will evaluate your case for free and do not require any upfront costs.
Case evaluations should be conducted with an experienced cerebral palsy law firm. Experienced lawyers can build a strong cerebral palsy claim and get your family financial compensation to help pay for your child’s treatment.
Filing a cerebral palsy claim
Once you get a free consultation from an experienced attorney, they can help you formally file your cerebral palsy medical malpractice claim.
Your birth injury attorney will take care of all the paperwork and legal heavy lifting to file your claim so you can focus on caring for your child.
Your lawyer will collect prenatal and birth records, medical bills, photographs, imaging test results, and other forms of documentation to file your cerebral palsy medical malpractice claim. A lawyer will work to find enough evidence to make your case as strong as possible.
According to the TDC Group, the average medical malpractice payout for children under one year old was $936,843.
It is incredibly important to file your cerebral palsy claim within your state’s statute of limitations. This law puts a time limit on how long you have to file your lawsuit. The TDC Group reported that 76.7% of pediatric medical malpractice claims were filed within three years of the injury.
Find out if you have a legal case
The best way to know whether you are eligible to file a cerebral palsy lawsuit is to contact a lawyer to get a free case evaluation.
Negligent medical professionals should be held responsible for their malpractice. Working with an experienced cerebral palsy law firm will ensure your case is being evaluated by medical malpractice experts.
Get a free case review today to learn more about cerebral palsy medical malpractice and find out if you are eligible for financial compensation.