Medical Malpractice Attorneys representing injured clients in Somerset County and across Central New Jersey
Cerebral palsy is a disorder that affects a person’s ability to move and control their muscles. This usually is the result of damage to the brain during pregnancy, birth, or shortly after birth. Many children who suffer from cerebral palsy would have been born healthy if not for complications during pregnancy or birth. These complications may include infections, lack of oxygen and bleeding in the brain that may go undiagnosed. The results can be tragic and lead to life-long complications.
Statistics of Negligence Causing Cerebral Palsy Across the Country
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 10,000 infants in the United States each year are diagnosed with cerebral palsy with an additional 1,200 to 1,500 pre-school aged children found to have this condition each year. Though not all causes of this childbirth injury are known, it is accepted that there are many situations in which a child’s cerebral palsy is due to medical malpractice and thus could have been avoided.
Medical malpractice or negligence that can be the cause of CP include leaving the baby in the birth canal for too long, untreated seizures, improper use of forceps, and failure to detect a prolapsed umbilical cord, among others. All of the above causes can be avoided and, in these cases, CP prevented if a doctor is following normal procedures and expected standards of care.
Medical Malpractice Claims and Cerebral Palsy
It is entirely possible that in reality, it was medical malpractice or negligence that is the cause of your child’s birth defects. However, due to the sometimes unknown causes of cerebral palsy, only someone well-versed in childbirth injuries and medical malpractice cases can determine if, in fact, your hospital or doctor is responsible for your child’s cerebral palsy injury.
You will need a knowledgeable and skilled medical malpractice attorney if you plan to make the claim that a hospital, obstetrician or nurse behaved in such a way as to cause your child’s cerebral palsy.
Pursue Legal Action in Your Negligence or Malpractice Case
- Establish duty of care: Duty of care is usually proven by the fact that the hospital or doctor agreed to provide prenatal care or help deliver your baby. This agreement means that all medical staff automatically takes on the legal responsibility of meeting the accepted standards of medical care during your prenatal period as well as throughout your hospital stay.
- Prove a breach of duty. The two elements needed to prove a breach of duty and establish negligence or medical malpractice are: 1) the acceptable standard of care 2) that the doctor’s or the hospital’s actions were below the established acceptable standard and, as a result, caused the childbirth injuries.
- Establish cause: After the acceptable standard of care is established and it is proven that this standard has not been met, the next phase is to demonstrate that the breach in the standard of care is in fact the cause of your child’s cerebral palsy.
- Prove fault: It is necessary to prove that your child does in fact have cerebral palsy in order to validate your legal claim. Furthermore, it must be proven that your doctor’s inaction or negligence was the cause. For example, if your baby was left in the birth canal for too long and this resulted in the deprivation of oxygen to the child’s brain and the doctor failed to remedy this causing your child to develop cerebral palsy.
Needless to say that given all of the elements that need to be satisfied in order for your claim to be successful, the aid of an experienced and qualified medical malpractice attorney is not only recommended but a necessity.
Contact a Trusted Somerset County Malpractice Attorney to get help today
Brian J. Levine is a legal professional who has been providing Counsel for clients with medical assistance cases in Somerset County, Bridgewater, New Brunswick, and Somerville in NJ for over 30 years.
For professional advice and consultation regarding filing a medical malpractice claim in regards to a cerebral palsy case please contact the Law Office of Brian J. Levine by calling 908-524-0123 for a free no-obligation consultation.