Cerebral Palsy Resulting From Medical Malpractice

Cerebral Palsy Birth Injury

Receiving a diagnosis of cerebral palsy for your child can feel like the floor has dropped out from under you. The confusion, concern, fear, and anger can be overwhelming. You likely have a million questions running through your mind. How did this happen? What kind of care will my child need? What will their future look like? What options do we have?

As you process the news, you may discover that your child’s cerebral palsy resulted from preventable mistakes during labor and delivery – in other words, medical malpractice. The swirling emotions intensify even more. Pursuing justice can restore a sense of control and protect your child’s future wellbeing. Arm yourself with practical knowledge, connect with support communities, and consider legal action. You don’t have to weather this storm alone.

Stalwart Law Group has decades of experience guiding clients through birth injury cases. Our team of talented and dedicated attorneys are available to give you personalized and strategic attention. Call our offices today at 310-954-2000 for your free consultation. 

Pregnant mom holding stomach with birth injury

What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy is a broad term referring to a group of disorders impacting muscle tone, movement, and motor function. It stems from abnormalities or damage to the developing brain, typically before birth as the brain is still forming neurological connections. Several factors can cause cerebral palsy, such as genetics, maternal infections or illnesses, placental issues, or complications during labor and delivery.

Sometimes physicians fail to promptly identify warning signs of fetal distress like abnormal heart rates or misinterpret monitoring data. Errors managing umbilical cord complications or utilizing proper medical procedures during delivery can also contribute to oxygen deprivation resulting in brain damage.

When preventable medical errors like these lead to a child developing cerebral palsy, the family has legal rights to pursue compensation through a birth injury lawsuit.

Do I Have Grounds to File a Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit?

In a medical malpractice case, prove must be presented showing the healthcare provider breached the established standard of care expected of a reasonably competent doctor. Their negligent actions or failure to act accordingly caused injury to the patient – in this case, brain damage leading to cerebral palsy diagnosed after birth.

Families often question events surrounding labor and delivery when learning of their child’s diagnosis. However, medical records may be confusing or misleading about what exactly happened. An experienced birth injury attorney can help assess what went wrong and whether you have a viable case. They know what red flags to look for in records that suggest malpractice.

A birth injury attorney can also help determine who should be named liable in a lawsuit – the obstetrician, nurses, anesthesiologist, pediatrician, hospital, etc. Sometimes multiple parties share in responsibility for mistakes made.

What Legal Protections Exist for My Child?

Laws aim to deter preventable medical harm by holding providers financially accountable through malpractice lawsuits. Filing suit also helps ensure higher future standards of care for other patients.

The legal timeframe to pursue a case, called the statute of limitations, differs somewhat state-by-state:

  • In California, you typically have until the child’s 8th birthday to file a cerebral palsy lawsuit.

  • Some states may extend limits until age of 10 or 12 years in cases involving minors.

Successful verdicts or pre-trial settlements can provide restoration for the lifelong implications of cerebral palsy. Financial compensation often covers:

  • Past and continuing medical expenses

  • Specialized therapy/equipment

  • Costs of caregiving

  • Loss of parental earnings

  • Adaptations to ease disability

  • Pain and suffering

Damages may also factor in the child’s reduced life expectancy from health complications, compromised quality of life, and estimated costs of future care needed into adulthood.

Why Legal Representation Matters

Trying to handle a cerebral palsy case alone can be extremely difficult, especially under emotional duress. Medical records teem with complex technical language, and healthcare facilities often push back strongly against lawsuits.

A cerebral palsy attorney well-versed in birth injury litigation will handle the painstaking work of:

  • Identifying case merits by forensically assessing medical records

  • Consulting medical experts to interpret what went wrong

  • Proving malpractice causation

  • Filing paperwork and legal claims properly

  • Negotiating fair compensation or take the case to trial

They also know all the procedural nuances specific to medical malpractice and cerebral palsy cases in your state. An experienced lawyer provides invaluable guidance so you can focus on your child’s needs.

Steps to Take After Suspecting Medical Errors

If you believe physician negligence during pregnancy, labor or shortly after birth may have caused your child’s cerebral palsy, important first steps include:

  1. Consult a cerebral palsy / birth injury attorney – they can initiate an investigation into what happened and advise if you have grounds to pursue a claim. Time-sensitive filing deadlines get put in motion.

  2. Gather copies of all medical records related to your pregnancy, labor, delivery and your child’s neonatal care immediately after birth. This provides documentation to help build a case.

  3. Connect with community support groups for parents of children with special needs. They can offer encouragement, resources and tips for navigating your journey.

  4. Learn about available assistance programs like California Children’s Services (CCS) that can help fund medical care, equipment costs and therapy for kids with cerebral palsy.

What Settlement Funds Can Provide Families

Caring for a child with lifelong disabilities is enormously expensive. Statistics indicate over $1 million in medical and non-medical costs throughout adulthood. Securing compensation through a cerebral palsy lawsuit can greatly ease financial stressors. It empowers families to give their child the brightest future possible.

Some life-changing things lawsuit damages may provide for:

  • Building wheelchair ramps and home modifications

  • Specialized pediatric care with top experts

  • Cutting-edge therapies and equipment

  • Accessible family vehicles/transportation

  • Live-in nursing care

  • Trust funds for continued care as an adult

  • Education at specialized schools

  • Vocational rehabilitation

Relieving practical burdens allows parents more freedom to simply enjoy their child. No amount of money can erase a diagnosis, but it can profoundly shape a child’s quality of life.

newborn baby feet with cerebral palsy birth injury


1. How can I confirm if my child’s cerebral palsy resulted from medical errors? 

Consult with an experienced birth injury attorney to conduct a detailed investigation into what happened and determine if medical negligence caused your child’s condition.

2. What essential steps should I take first?

Immediately gather all medical records, get knowledgeable legal advice on potential case validity, and connect with community support groups. Timeliness matters.

3. What damages can a settlement provide for a child long-term? 

Funds secured support specialized medical care, therapies, equipment, home modifications, education, future living expenses and more aimed at increasing independence.

4. How much compensation is typical in these cases? 

Verdicts and settlements vary widely depending on case specifics – some cerebral palsy verdicts have exceeded $20 million recently in California. Discuss reasonable expectations with your lawyer.

5. Why does legal representation make a difference? 

Birth injury lawyers specifically focusing on birth injury and cerebral palsy thoroughly understand medicolegal intricacies applicable to your individual state, critical to case success.

A Path Forward with Hope

The pain of seeing your child struggle fuels your determination to get justice and equip them to thrive. You may feel tossed about in uncertainty now, but there are knowledgeable, compassionate professionals ready to guide you. Seasoned medical experts and attorneys with experience in cerebral palsy and birth injury litigation will shoulder the burden with you through turbulent times ahead.

While every case follows its own course, one truth remains steady – as the parent, by law you can pursue recompense and a brighter tomorrow for your child affected by devastating medical oversights. The winds may whip up your anguish, but always remember your footing stands firm in seeking accountability and hope.

Stalwart Law Group has decades of experience guiding clients through birth injury cases. Our team of talented and dedicated attorneys are available to give you personalized and strategic attention. Call our offices today at 310-954-2000 for your free consultation. 

* The articles provided on the Stalwart Law website are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be used as professional legal advice or as a substitute for legal consultation with a qualified attorney.  

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