Chicago Cerebral Palsy Lawyer

Chicago Cerebral Palsy Lawyer

Dedicated Chicago Cerebral Palsy Lawyer Helping with Cerebral Palsy Lawsuits

A life-long nervous system condition, Cerebral Palsy strikes in children, unborn babies or infants.

Symptoms can range from minor to severe. This tragic disease makes muscle coordination and movement extremely difficult, resulting in coordination difficulties, such as ataxia (failure to perform controlled movements because of inadequate muscle coordination), spasticity (over-active reflexes and tight or stiff muscles), a bent walk, dragging of one leg or foot while walking, walking on tiptoes, and inconsistent muscle tone.

Your Cerebral Palsy Attorney’s Role

Medical malpractice claims involving birth injuries are challenging, but obtaining the compensation to which your child is entitled can make a significant difference in your ability to provide them with the care they need and their ability to move forward into their best future when the time comes. This is what makes working closely with a trusted medical malpractice lawyer so important, and you can rely on yours to ably take on all the following critical tasks:

  • Communicating with the involved insurance company on your behalf, helps to ensure that you won’t be tricked, coaxed, or cajoled into making a statement that goes on to harm your claim
  • Helping you better understand what you’re up against and helping you successfully navigate the legal process while dodging the common pitfalls
  • Gathering all the relevant evidence necessary to build your strongest claim, which often involves taking the testimony of each member of the medical team along with delving into the practices at the medical facility in question
  • Effectively negotiating with the insurance company for a settlement that addresses the covered losses you’ve experienced in their entirety
  • Preparing to take your case to trial and being ready to do so in the event that the insurance company refuses to engage in productive or fair negotiations

Identifying Cerebral Palsy

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shares that cerebral palsy (CP) refers to a suite of disorders that affects the sufferer’s ability to control their movements and to maintain their posture and balance. Further, CP is the most common motor disability seen in children. Because CP is often caused by damage to a fetus’s developing brain over the course of pregnancy or during labor and delivery, it is sometimes associated with birth injuries and medical malpractice.

If your child suffered CP as a result of a medical professional or medical facility’s negligence, you should not wait to consult with an experienced Chicago medical malpractice attorney.

While CP is sometimes caused by a birth injury, it’s not always identifiable at birth. Some signs that CP may be an issue in a newborn, however, include the following:

  • Your baby feels stiff or floppy.
  • Your baby overextends their back or neck when cradled in your arms – as if pushing you away.
  • When you pick your newborn up, their legs stiffen and either cross or scissor.

As the child gets older, common signs of CP include:

  • Failing to hit their motor or movement milestones, such as rolling over, sitting, standing, and walking
  • Being unable to bring their hands together
  • Having difficulty bringing their hands to their mouth
  • Reaching out with only one hand while the other one remains fisted

With time, more marked symptoms of cerebral palsy can develop.

When CP takes longer to diagnose, it can be more difficult to identify it as a birth injury, but a seasoned medical malpractice lawyer with extensive experience handling these challenging claims has the experience and legal insight to help.

Cerebral Palsy: A Lifetime of Effects

Cerebral palsy is associated with a lifetime of challenges for those affected by it, and while every person’s experience is unique, the effects generally break down into the following basic categories.

Muscular Consequences

CP can lead to the following muscular consequences:

  • Difficulties associated with walking
  • Difficulty controlling one’s bodily movements
  • A permanent shortening of muscles
  • Permanently stiff muscles or muscle rigidity
  • Problems related to coordination
  • Reflexes that are overactive generally
  • Involuntary movements
  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Paralysis on one side of the body

Developmental Consequences

CP often leads to developmental consequences such as the following:

  • Failure to thrive
  • Slow growth
  • Learning disabilities
  • Speech delays, disorders, or stuttering

General Health Consequences

Those afflicted with CP can also face a lifetime of problematic general health concerns such as the following:

  • Difficulty swallowing, drooling, or both
  • Constipation, urine leakage, or both
  • Physical deformity
  • A scissor gait or a spastic gait
  • Seizures
  • Hearing loss
  • Tremors
  • Teeth grinding
  • Difficulty raising each foot

All of the potential effects of cerebral palsy can affect your child’s entire future. They might have more struggles in school or with physical activities, affecting their overall potential for success and independence as an adult. They might need to rely on medical equipment and other assistance.

If your child’s impairments are due to birth injuries, your family deserves substantial financial support from the liable medical professionals or facilities.

The Doctor’s Mistake in Judgement

Often, CP is caused by an error in judgment made on the part of the doctor or another attending medical professional during prenatal care or the labor and delivery process. Common examples include:

  • Employing excessive force with birth assisting tools, such as forceps or the vacuum extractor
  • Failing to adequately monitor the mother for signs of infections that are dangerous to the fetus throughout the pregnancy
  • Failing to adequately monitor the baby for distress and fetal vital signs and failing to act on signs of danger
  • Failing to deliver the baby as promptly as necessary, which can lead to oxygen deprivation
  • Making mistakes in the administration of anesthesia
  • Failing to effectively and efficiently treat jaundice, which can trigger kernicterus – a form of brain damage
  • Failing to perform a medically indicated C-section or waiting too long to perform it
  • Making surgical errors during the performance of a C-section.

An error or oversight on the part of the attending doctor or another medical professional can leave your child with a lifelong disability. Seeking just compensation can play a critical role in your ability to guide your little one on the journey toward regaining their health and well-being to the degree possible.

Medical Professionals Are Held to a Careful Standard of Care

Anyone can make a mistake, and doctors are no different. We look to medical professionals, however, to provide us with essential care that is predicated on their extensive training and credentials. As a result, they are held to a serious standard of care that – very generally – means they are required to make decisions and to take actions that other reasonable medical professionals would make or take in similar situations. This is why medical malpractice cases involving CP tend to hinge on the testimony of other medical professionals in the same field of medicine.

The Elements of Your Cerebral Palsy Claim

In order to bring a successful medical malpractice claim, specific elements must be accounted for, including:

  • The attending medical professional owed you a duty of care. When you are treated or cared for by a medical professional – such as during the labor and delivery process – the duty of care you are owed is well established.
  • The attending medical professional breached this duty of care, which means they failed to provide you with the level of care that you were owed. This is where another doctor in the same field will likely need to weigh in.
  • The attending medical professional’s error in judgment – or negligence – was the direct cause of your or your child’s injuries, which in your case is your child’s CP.
  • The injuries sustained caused your child to suffer losses that are addressed by the law and are called legal damages.

Your Legal Damages

The legal damages – or compensation for your attendant losses – you can seek in a cerebral palsy claim that is related to CP can include all the following:

  • Your child’s current and ongoing medical expenses related to their CP, including any required surgeries
  • Your child’s mobility aids
  • Your child’s lost future wages and earning potential
  • Your child’s occupational, physical, and speech therapy
  • Any special education your child requires
  • Any equipment needed to transport your child
  • Your child’s medications
  • Any adaptive equipment or clothing your child requires

In some claims, the parents can also seek compensation for the immense emotional pain and suffering they experience in the face of their child’s life-altering birth injury. It’s important to emphasize that CP is a permanent condition that requires a lifetime of treatment and care, and your cerebral palsy lawyer will strive to ensure that your complete losses are well represented.

Turn to an Experienced Chicago Cerebral Palsy Lawyer for the Guidance You Need

The accomplished Chicago cerebral palsy attorneys at Malman Law have a wealth of experience successfully guiding complex birth injury cases involving CP toward advantageous outcomes that honor our valued clients’ rights and support their brightest futures. Claims involving birth injuries are some of the most tragic we take on, and we’re committed to focusing the full force of our more than 20 years of experience on fiercely advocating for compensation that fairly addresses your losses.

We’ve recovered many millions of dollars for our clients, and we welcome the chance to also help you. Your claim is important, so please don’t wait to contact us online or call us for more information today.

Steve Malman

Malman Law’s founder Attorney Steven Malman has over 30 years of experience handling personal injury, nursing home, medical malpractice, truck accidents, car accidents, premises liability, construction, and workers’ compensation cases in Chicago, IL.

Years of experience: +30 years
Justia Profile: Steve Malman
Illinois Registration Status: Active and authorized to practice law—Last Registered Year: 2024

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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by President and Founder, Steven J. Malman who has more than 20 years of legal experience as a personal injury attorney.