Learning that your child has cerebral palsy can be overwhelming for parents. However, many children can live long, healthy lives with the condition. Decades of medical research have provided tremendous information about cerebral palsy, resulting in many more treatment options. However, you still may wonder if a birth injury-related medical error caused your child’s condition and be concerned about their future needs.

What Caused My Child’s Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy has a variety of causes. While medical experts agree that cerebral palsy can be genetic, this type is rare. Most cerebral palsy cases result from abnormal brain development or damage to a child’s developing brain. Brain damage can occur at any time throughout pregnancy, during the labor and delivery process, or after a baby is born. The most common causes of brain damage during labor and delivery include oxygen deprivation or physical trauma.

Doctors often talk about cerebral palsy in terms of “risk factors” that make a cerebral palsy diagnosis more likely. These include:

  • Birth complications.
  • Infections during pregnancy.
  • Jaundice.
  • Low birth weight.
  • Multiple births.
  • Premature birth.
  • Use of fertility treatments before pregnancy.

Cerebral palsy can also be the result of medical negligence related to:

  • Poor prenatal care.
  • Oxygen deprivation.
  • Reduced blood flow.
  • Physical trauma to the baby during the delivery process.

It can be difficult for parents to determine whether a medical provider’s malpractice caused or contributed to their child’s cerebral palsy diagnosis. A dedicated birth injury lawyer can investigate the facts and advise parents about their options.

Understanding Your Child’s Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis

Cerebral palsy presents a range of symptoms, including abnormal muscle tone and posture. Parents or other caretakers of children diagnosed with cerebral palsy can help by ensuring the child obtains the necessary medical treatment, receives the appropriate therapeutic services, and enjoys a supportive environment. However, this requires understanding the diagnosis and how it impacts their life.

Parents of children who exhibit cerebral palsy symptoms should discuss their concerns with a pediatrician. Most children are diagnosed with cerebral palsy by two years old; however, if a child suffers from mild symptoms, their diagnosis may be delayed. Doctors rely on developmental monitoring and screening to diagnose cerebral palsy.

After a child is diagnosed with cerebral palsy, they are often referred to a specialist. Choosing the right specialist is crucial because many children with cerebral palsy also experience other developmental conditions, such as intellectual disabilities, seizures, and problems with vision, hearing, or speech. Depending on a child’s specific needs, this may include a referral to a neurodevelopmental pediatrician, pediatric neurologist, or pediatric physiatrist.

Children with cerebral palsy often need additional help in school. Generally, early intervention programs are available for very young children with cerebral palsy. Once a child reaches preschool, special education programs provide more attention to students needing assistance. State and federal law requires schools to work with parents and children to develop individualized education plans (IEPs) when necessary. Schools may also offer assistive technology, such as communication devices or computer technology, at no cost to parents.

Was a Medical Provider Responsible for My Child’s Cerebral Palsy?

If your child is diagnosed with cerebral palsy, it may have been due to the negligence of a medical professional. Often, labor and delivery errors result in a newborn baby experiencing a deprivation of oxygen, which can lead to cerebral palsy.

At Sommers Schwartz, our Michigan birth injury lawyers proudly represent families in medical malpractice lawsuits stemming from preventable cerebral palsy diagnoses. We can help you better understand the potential causes of your child’s cerebral palsy. But if a medical professional was responsible, we can help you hold them accountable through a Michigan birth injury lawsuit.

If you are successful, your family can recover meaningful compensation, providing you the ability to ensure your child receives the treatment they need for the rest of their life. Damages in a birth injury lawsuit stemming from a preventable cerebral palsy diagnosis may include compensation for:

  • Medical bills.
  • Future medical expenses.
  • Assistive care.
  • A parent’s lost wages to care for their child.
  • Mental anguish.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life.
  • Disability or disfigurement.

Speak With the Birth Injury Lawyers at Sommers Schwartz

If your child was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and you want to discuss your options with a knowledgeable Michigan birth injury lawyer, we are here to help. Contact us to schedule a free consultation. Because we take all cerebral palsy cases on a contingency basis, you won’t pay for our services unless we recover compensation for your child and your family.