The Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy in Newborns & Your Legal Options | Belt, Bruner & Barnett Personal Injury Lawyers

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The Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy in Newborns & Your Legal Options

May 10, 2023 | Birth Injury

Cerebral palsy is the most common motor disability in childhood. Approximately one to four children in every 1,000 live births are affected by cerebral palsy, and rates are even higher in children born prematurely.

Even though cerebral palsy frequently occurs in newborns, symptoms can be hard to identify. Parents should know the signs of cerebral palsy since early intervention and treatment are vital. If a medical error caused your child’s cerebral palsy, you could pursue legal action against the liable party and recover compensation for the child’s medical expenses and other damages.

What Causes Cerebral Palsy in Newborns?

Cerebral palsy is caused by brain damage or abnormal brain development, usually before birth. However, cerebral palsy can occur at birth or in early infancy. Genetic mutations or maternal infections can cause the condition, but unfortunately, it can also be brought about by medical negligence.

Several medical errors can cause cerebral palsy in newborns, such as doctors or other medical professionals failing to:

Cerebral palsy can also result from medical staff causing physical head trauma during delivery.

Early Signs of Cerebral Palsy in Newborns

Cerebral palsy manifests differently in every child, and newborns may show some or many symptoms. The most common cerebral palsy symptoms in infants include the following:

  • Abnormal muscle tones, such as floppiness or stiffness
  • Excessive drooling
  • Developmental delays in milestones such as rolling over, sitting, or crawling
  • Favoring one side of the body for movements like reaching or crawling
  • Inability to hold up their head
  • Difficulty grasping objects or holding their hands together

Signs of Cerebral Palsy in Late Infancy and Toddlerhood

The earliest symptoms of cerebral palsy might be hard to spot in newborns. As the child grows, other signs might become apparent, such as:

  • Lopsided movements, such as crawling or scooting on one side
  • Inability to stand even when holding on to support
  • Lack of fine motor skill control, such as difficulty eating
  • Uncontrolled or jerky movements
  • Shaky hands

If your child exhibits any of these symptoms, consult a doctor and contact a birth injury lawyer immediately. Under Alabama’s statute of limitations, you may have two years or less to file your claim.

Who Is Liable for a Newborn’s Cerebral Palsy?

A medical malpractice claim can be filed against any healthcare provider who made an error resulting in a newborn’s cerebral palsy. This would include doctors, nurses, midwives, or other medical staff who helped deliver the baby.

Compensation in a Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit

Parents and families of newborns with cerebral palsy may be able to recover financial compensation for several types of damages, including current and future medical expenses the child might incur. Payment could also be sought for any of the following:

  • Physical or occupational therapy
  • Prescription medications
  • Corrective surgery
  • Mobility equipment or assistive devices such as wheelchairs or body braces

Your birth injury attorney can help you calculate the total value of your case and explain all your options for recovering compensation.

A Birth Injury Lawyer Can Help

Proving that a medical error caused your child’s cerebral palsy can seem complicated, but you don’t have to do everything alone. An attorney can handle the legal details and documentation so that you can focus on your child’s health and well-being.

A birth injury attorney can take care of legal details such as:

  • Determining the full extent of your damages and compensation, you could seek
  • Gathering evidence to prove liability, such as medical records
  • Negotiating for a settlement on your behalf
  • Advocating for you at trial, if necessary

An attorney can help you at each step of the process and answer any questions you may have about the viability of your newborn cerebral palsy case.

Call an Alabama Birth Injury Lawyer Today

Cerebral palsy can cause newborns permanent harm. Treatment and assistive technology can improve their quality of life, but the condition could have been prevented in some cases. If your newborn shows symptoms of cerebral palsy, you may have a case to recover compensation for their medical needs and other expenses.

The birth injury lawyers of Belt, Bruner & Barnett, PC, are ready to hear your story and work to hold negligent medical professionals accountable for your child’s condition. Even if you aren’t sure if your child’s cerebral palsy was caused by medical malpractice, our team can help you understand your options.

Contact us at (205) 933-1500 or online to schedule a free consultation with our skilled medical malpractice attorneys.