The joyous moments after childbirth can turn into a challenge for your family when your doctor explains that the newest addition to your family has cerebral palsy. In the process, you might suspect that a doctor or medical professional’s actions were to blame for your child’s cerebral palsy.

Here are some usual questions you might have that answers the question, “Is cerebral palsy always a birth injury?” These answers will help you move forward, especially if you are considering filing a labor and delivery lawsuit.

What is a birth injury?

A birth injury that causes cerebral palsy takes place before, during, or immediately after childbirth. When cerebral palsy is due to a birth injury, it is typically the result of negligence on behalf of a medical professional.

A doctor, nurse, or medical facility can fail to detect infections, fail to perform surgery when necessary or to an adequate standard of care, or can fail to detect any number of childbirth complications. Brain and nervous system injuries during birth are most likely to develop into cerebral palsy.

Are birth injuries different from birth defects?

With that in mind, is cerebral palsy always a birth injury? It is not always the case that cerebral palsy is due to the negligence or reckless actions of a physician. Sometimes, cerebral palsy is the result of non-preventable genetic disorders.

When cerebral palsy is not the fault of a doctor and a birth injury is not to blame,  medical professionals are not liable for the disorder.

Are there certain symptoms that make it easy to tell whether my child’s cerebral palsy is due to a birth defect or birth injury?

It can be incredibly difficult to prove whether your child’s cerebral palsy is the result of an injury or a defect. However, there are specific symptoms you should look for after childbirth that can help you determine whether an injury is to blame. Most commonly, your child will have seizures, a low heart rate, low oxygen levels, or fractures when the cerebral palsy is due to medical malpractice.

Some other warning signs include physical traits, like having an arched back while crying, muscle stiffness, or hand curling. Additionally, you might notice that your child is overly sensitive to light, has difficulty swallowing, or seems to have impaired motor functions.

Will I notice all the symptoms of cerebral palsy immediately after childbirth?

Unfortunately, some birth injuries and birth defects take several years to develop. Generally, developmental problems show up one to two years after birth.

Several symptoms can take two years or longer to present themselves. Here are some symptoms of birth injuries that you might notice when your child is one to two years of age:

  • Difficulty moving, sitting, standing, or walking without assistance.
    Issues with motor skills, such as the ability to hold an object or pass it from one hand to another.
    Inability to eat or drink without assistance.
    Failure to achieve certain developmental milestones or memory issues.
    Inability to control muscles.

These are just some of the symptoms you might observe between the ages of one and two, and they can also be signs of a birth defect. Therefore, it is important to speak with an attorney if you believe that any of these symptoms were due to the negligence of a medical professional during pregnancy.

Do I have a case if my child’s cerebral palsy diagnosis was due to a birth injury?

If you believe that a physician’s negligence, carelessness, or recklessness caused your child’s cerebral palsy, you might be able to recover damages for medical care, cost of education, and other living expenses. However, it is important that you can prove that a physician or medical facility is at fault for your child’s diagnosis.

Unfortunately, that is no small task to prove in court.

The first thing you should do is speak to medical malpractice attorneys that specialize in birth injuries and cerebral palsy. Representatives at Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey and Fronrath will be happy to have a no-obligation consultation with you and explain your rights.

To begin, contact us using the live chat feature on our website, or call us at (561) 655-1990. We will make this process simple for you by handling the investigation, medical research, and court arguments so that you can hold any negligent parties accountable. Contact us today!

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