Birth Injuries: Cerebral Palsy

By Greg Kohn

Do I have a legal claim if my child is diagnosed with cerebral palsy?

Cerebral palsy can be a debilitating condition that will impact your child for a lifetime. Each year, about 8,000 children are diagnosed with cerebral palsy, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cerebral palsy can have many possible causes, with birth injuries comprising one of the most prominent causes of this serious condition. Our New Jersey medical malpractice and wrongful birth attorneys discuss some facts about cerebral palsy and your potential legal rights if your child is diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

Cerebral Palsy Explained

Cerebral palsy is a medical term that describes the impairment of motor functions or loss of motor functions due to brain damage. Cerebral palsy can affect body movement, coordination, muscle control, balance, reflexes, posture, and much more. Cerebral palsy impacts both gross and fine motor skills, along with oral motor functioning.

Diagnosing Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy may not be apparent at the time a child is born. Most parents will begin to suspect something is amiss with their child when the child fails to meet certain developmental milestones. Babies with cerebral palsy may be delayed in holding their heads up, sitting on their own, rolling over, eating, sucking, and the like. Parents concerned about their child’s development should contact their child’s pediatrician as soon as possible.

Medical Malpractice and Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy can be caused by a wide array of medical mistakes made during the pregnancy or birth of an infant. Medical malpractice cases may be filed by the parents of children with cerebral palsy based on the following factors:

  • Delays in performing a medically necessary cesarean section;
  • Failure to diagnose and treat infections during the pregnancy;
  • Excessive force exerted on the infant during delivery;
  • Failure to use a fetal heart monitor during labor and delivery;
  • Negligent use of delivery tools like forceps or vacuum.

Medical malpractice claims based on cerebral palsy can be complex and will require the assistance of a skilled attorney with experience in this particular field. Contact our New Jersey medical malpractice lawyers as soon as possible after your child’s diagnosis to protect your legal rights.

About the Author
Greg Kohn is a partner at Nagel Rice and specializes in complex civil litigation cases, including professional malpractice, personal injury, class actions, wrongful death, products liability, and commercial litigation.  He has extensive experience representing clients in both state and federal court. Greg has tried many jury trials to verdict and has recovered over $50 million in settlements and verdicts in all types of personal injury matters including automobile accidents, wrongful death cases, slip and falls, and other catastrophic injury cases. Greg also handles medical malpractice cases, involving misdiagnoses, wrongful birth, and delayed cancer diagnosis. If you have questions regarding this article, you can contact Greg here.