Cerebral palsy is the loss or impairment of motor functions that can be caused by injury to the brain - sometimes due to surgeon malpractice. Medical malpractice law can be used to seek the compensation needed to pay for the long-term care and assistance of cerebral palsy sufferers. However, the condition does not always reflect medical negligence, so families need to retain experienced legal advice before undergoing a complex process to file a medical malpractice claim or lawsuit.
Cerebral palsy can be caused before, during or after birth. According to the Mayo Clinic, some of the most common causes are:
- Random mutation of the genes controlling brain development
- Infections in pregnant mothers that affect the fetus
- A lack of oxygen to the brain, which can result from difficult labor or delivery
- Traumatic head injuries to infants who fall or are injured in motor vehicle accidents
Doctors can potentially be negligent when they fail to recognize risk factors and warn or treat patients to correct certain issues, before, during or after birth, as follows:
- Before birth, doctors need to address maternal health concerns ranging from smoking and toxic exposure to viral or bacterial infections.
- During birth, they need to use vacuums and forceps judiciously while monitoring oxygen levels.
- After birth, physicians need to assess and address a variety of risks from infant infections to factors, such as premature births, low birth weights, breech births and multiple babies.
Keep in mind that a significant time period may elapse between the birth and the time you notice development delays or a myriad of other symptoms associated with muscle coordination, tremors and more. While these delays can add challenges to investigating the causes of cerebral palsy, it is important to contact an experienced Illinois or Wisconsin birth injury lawyer to discuss your concerns and learn your legal options.