Information About Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is a general medical name for a range of neurological disorders. These conditions develop in infancy and can affect a wide variety of abilities and functioning, including:
- Bladder and bowel control;
- Sensory abilities;
Once cerebral palsy develops, it is not curable and the impairments will be permanent throughout the child’s entire life. Treatment and therapy can often help to improve certain functioning, though the condition will never be completely cured.
There are many varying degrees of cerebral palsy. For example, some children with cerebral palsy may have a disrupted gait when they walk while others may not be able to walk at all and may have to rely upon a wheelchair for mobility their entire lives. In addition, some may be able to thrive in school and others may suffer from profound cognitive disabilities.
Cerebral Palsy Can be Caused by Medical Negligence
- Failing to diagnose and treat an infection in the mother;
- Brain trauma due to forceful pulling or pushing on the baby;
- Trauma due to misuse of vacuums or forceps;
- Oxygen deprivation due to improperly handled complications during birth;
- Enduring the labor process for too long;
- Failure to order an emergency C-section if needed.
Not all mistakes during birth can give you the right to file a medical malpractice claim. Instead, you must prove that the medical professional failed to provide the required standard of care for your child. Determining whether the error rose to the level of medical negligence often requires the opinions of medical experts.
If you can prove that a doctor was negligent, you can hold that doctor liable for the following:
- Medical expenses for your child’s condition (past and future);
- Lost opportunities due to cerebral palsy;
- Lost enjoyment of life;
- Pain and emotional trauma.
The value of these losses will vary determining on the severity of your child’s cerebral palsy.
Time Limits To File a Claim
In Oregon, there is a deadline for filing legal claims that is called the statute of limitations. For birth injury cases, the claim must be filed two years from either of the following:
- The date the injury occurred;
- The date the injury was discovered (or should have reasonably been discovered).
The latter is important because, in some cases, cerebral palsy can be mild, causing it to go undetected or mistaken for another type of impairment or condition. In some situations, cerebral palsy may not be properly diagnosed until your child reaches school age and undergoes comprehensive testing of physical and cognitive capabilities. In these cases, you will still have the opportunity to file a legal claim for medical malpractice if your doctor’s errors caused the condition.
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