The day of your baby’s birth may be one of the most important – and stressful – days of your life. We all hope that the birth of our child will go smoothly and that everyone will be able to go home happy and healthy. However, birth injuries stemming from complications and negligence can often ruin those hopes. In some cases, the injuries your baby sustained may be serious enough to cause cerebral palsy or other health conditions.
If your child suffers from cerebral palsy because of a birth injury or mistake during their delivery, our attorneys may be able to help. The Dallas and Arlington, Texas cerebral palsy birth injury attorneys at The Queenan Law Firm represent injured newborns and their families in lawsuits against negligent doctors and caregivers who injured them during delivery. For a free legal consultation on your case, contact our attorneys today at (817) 476-1797.
Common Birth Injuries that Cause Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is a condition causing motor control issues. This condition often gets worse with time, starting with minor issues and growing to potentially cause an inability to walk or other serious motor control issues and partial paralysis. It often stems from injuries sustained at birth, whether through unavoidable birth complications or avoidable birth injuries.
If your doctor caused your child severe injuries resulting in brain trauma, your child might develop cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy stemming from before or during birth is known as “congenital” cerebral palsy, but your child could also suffer “acquired” cerebral palsy if they are injured after being born. Acquired cerebral palsy may be caused by negligent handling or dropping an infant, potentially causing serious brain trauma, broken skull injuries, and other effects.
Injuries during the delivery often stem from a doctor’s mishandling of a baby. Sometimes, difficult deliveries cause injuries because the baby is too big to fit through the birth canal, and undue pressure could cause the child to lose oxygen flow through a compressed umbilical cord or cramped carotid artery. In these cases, cerebral palsy could develop from brain injuries caused by the lack of oxygen. Other times, the injuries are caused by a doctor’s negligent attempts to extract the baby.
One common cause of head injuries and cerebral palsy is mishandling of the baby with forceps. Forceps are metal tongs used to help pull the baby from the birth canal. They are often pressed on the child’s head and clamped closed, which is medically necessary in some cases. However, when doctors use forceps, they increase the risk of injury – and if the forceps are used unnecessarily or incorrectly, the injuries may be the doctor’s fault.
Proving Fault for Birth Injuries in a Cerebral Palsy Case
No matter how the birth injuries occurred, it is vital to analyze whether they were caused by reasonable healthcare measures or whether they resulted from inadequate, negligent care. If the doctor’s care was professional and reasonable, the injuries may be considered standard “complications” that were unavoidable. However, if the birth injuries can be attributed to the doctor’s mistakes in judgment or lacking skill, you may be entitled to file a medical malpractice lawsuit for their negligent care.
Proving the doctor’s negligence will rely upon whether the care they provided was reasonable or not. If the doctor made a decision to use forceps when other doctors would typically use natural birth or a C-section, injuries stemming from the use of forceps or refusal to perform an emergency C-section might be the doctor’s fault. Similarly, if the doctor mishandled the forceps, any injuries stemming from the mishandling should be their fault.
To prove what’s reasonable during medical care, you often need to hire a medical expert to testify in your case. This expert is typically another doctor who performs similar procedures who can testify as to when and how your doctor committed errors and mistakes. The jury can usually take the expert’s testimony as fact when deciding your case.
Damages in a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit for Cerebral Palsy
To complete your case, you will need to prove what damages you suffered. These damages are commonly financial in nature, including the medical bills for your child’s additional care. They can also be intangible damages, such as pain and suffering.
Economic damages most often include medical bills and lost wages in a medical malpractice injury case. The damages for medical care are broad and can cover the cost of additional hospital stays, surgery, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and other care needs like wheelchairs and home hospital care. They can also involve future damages, such as wages your child might miss in their adult life if their cerebral palsy causes permanent disabilities that interfere with their ability to work.
The damages for pain and suffering cannot be shown by financial records or bills, but you can still sue for these damages. Pain and suffering damages can be claimed by testifying about how the injury affected your child and will continue to affect them in the future. The suffering from cerebral palsy can include physical pain and suffering as well as emotional distress and mental anguish caused by the injury and disability.
Call Our Dallas and Arlington Birth Injury and Cerebral Palsy Attorneys for a Free Consultation
If your child suffered cerebral palsy from suspected birth injuries, talk to an attorney today. Our Dallas and Arlington cerebral palsy and birth injury attorneys can help you understand what your case might be worth and how to proceed with filing a claim against the negligent doctor that injured your child. For a free legal consultation, call The Queenan Law Firm at (817) 476-1797 today.