Cerebral Palsy Lawyer in Washington, D.C.
Cerebral palsy is a group of devastating disorders that affect a person’s movement, muscle tone, and posture. Sometimes, these disorders have natural causes, such as gene mutations that lead to abnormal development. Other times, a doctor’s negligence during birth can result in cerebral palsy. For example, when a doctor does not provide the necessary standard of care during birth and delivery, the infant may suffer a brain injury from a lack of oxygen to the brain, which can result in cerebral palsy.
The treatment for cerebral palsy is extensive. It includes physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, and recreational therapy. These therapies are often lifelong, and they are very costly. When the disorder is due to a doctor’s negligence, patients suffering from cerebral palsy and their families can file a claim for compensation.
At The Law Offices of Dr. Michael M. Wilson MD, JD & Associates, we focus exclusively on birth injury and medical malpractice claims. Attorney Michael M. Wilson is also a doctor, so he has an in-depth understanding of both the medical issues and legal issues involved in these complex cases. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation, and learn how a Washington, D.C., cerebral palsy lawyer can help your family.
- 1 What Are Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy?
- 2 What Are Common Causes of Cerebral Palsy?
- 3 What Are the Long-Term Effects of Cerebral Palsy?
- 4 What Are Treatment Options for Cerebral Palsy?
- 5 What Damages Can You Recover in a Cerebral Palsy Case?
- 6 Get Help from a Washington, D.C., Cerebral Palsy Injury Lawyer
What Are Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy?
The symptoms of cerebral palsy vary greatly from one person to another. The most common symptoms include movement and coordination issues, which can result in:
- Muscles that are either too limp or too rigid
- Exaggerated reflexes
- Balance and coordination issues
- Involuntary movements and tremors
- Measured movements
- A delay in reaching certain development milestones, such as pushing up on the arms or crawling
- Using one side of the body more than the other, such as only using one hand or allowing one leg to drag while crawling
- Issues with walking, including walking on toes, crossing the knees while walking, or having an asymmetrical gait
- Issues with swallowing or drooling excessively
- Speech issues, such as difficulty talking
- Difficulties learning
- Problems with fine motor skills, such as buttoning clothes
Cerebral palsy affects everyone differently. Some people may experience only a few symptoms, while others may experience many. Additionally, cerebral palsy can affect only one limb or one side of the body, or it can affect the entire body. Due to the fact that cerebral palsy shows up in infancy or early childhood, symptoms may become more pronounced as the child ages or may become less apparent.
What Are Common Causes of Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy is a disruption in brain development that usually occurs even before the child is born. However, there are certain causes of brain development issues that could lead to cerebral palsy. These include:
- Gene mutations: Any mutation in a person’s genes could lead to cerebral palsy.
- Maternal infections: When a woman gets an infection while she is pregnant, this can lead to abnormal brain development, which could result in cerebral palsy.
- Fetal stroke: A baby still in the womb can suffer a stroke when the blood supply to the baby’s brain is disrupted.
- Bleeding into the brain: A child can suffer from bleeding into the brain either before birth or as a newborn.
- Infant infections: When a newborn suffers from an infection, it can cause inflammation in the brain.
- Traumatic head injury: These typically occur after birth and may be the result of an auto accident or a fall.
- Lack of oxygen: When there are complications during labor and delivery, it can result in a lack of oxygen to the brain, which can cause cerebral palsy.
While not all of these cases can be prevented, there are ones that can. For example, doctors and healthcare professionals are expected to know how to handle complications during delivery so infants do not suffer from a lack of oxygen to the brain.
What Are the Long-Term Effects of Cerebral Palsy?
Just as the symptoms of cerebral palsy vary from person to person, so do the long-term effects of cerebral palsy. Some people may struggle with movement for the rest of their lives, while others will never be able to walk. People with cerebral palsy may struggle with education, communication and building relationships, employment, and living independently. Those with severe cases may require 24-hour care.
What Are Treatment Options for Cerebral Palsy?
Children suffering from cerebral palsy will need a long-term care plan. Treatment options for cerebral palsy include:
- Medications: Medication can help reduce muscle stiffness as well as treat pain and manage other complications.
- Muscle and nerve injections: These injections can also help loosen stiff muscles. Children who need these typically require them every three months.
- Physical therapy: This therapy may include exercises that help train the muscles and improve flexibility, balance, mobility, and motor development.
- Occupational therapy: To help children gain independence and allow them to perform daily activities and keep with their routine around the home, occupational therapy can be very effective.
- Speech and language therapy: Children with cerebral palsy often have difficulty speaking. Speech and language therapy can help them with this skill, and some children even learn sign language so they can better communicate.
- Recreational therapy: Recreational activities, such as horseback riding, can be a great help to a child with cerebral palsy. By doing something they love, it not only improves their mental health and emotional well-being, but also helps them develop skills, such as motor skills.
Due to the fact that the effects of cerebral palsy vary so widely, treatment plans must be tailored to each specific case.
What Damages Can You Recover in a Cerebral Palsy Case?
If your child’s cerebral palsy was the result of medical malpractice, you can pursue full compensation for past, current, and future losses. This compensation can help you care for your child and give him or her the best life possible. Some of the common types of compensation you may be able to pursue through a cerebral palsy lawsuit include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages when a parent has to leave work to care for a child
- Therapy costs
- Assistive equipment, including wheelchairs and soundboards
- Home accommodations
- Special education costs
- Future medical costs
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
After reviewing your specific case, our Washington, D.C., cerebral palsy lawyer can advise on the damages that may be available to you.
Get Help from a Washington, D.C., Cerebral Palsy Injury Lawyer
Please know that if you have a child with cerebral palsy, you are not alone. Help is out there. To learn about your legal rights, call our Washington, D.C., cerebral palsy injury attorney at The Law Offices of Dr. Michael M. Wilson MD, JD & Associates. We can review your case for free, answer your questions, and explain your legal options.