The Kansas City cerebral palsy attorneys at Dickerson Oxton, LLC understand how difficult a cerebral palsy diagnosis can be for new parents. Cerebral palsy entails a wide spectrum of possible symptoms that can vary greatly in severity from case to case. When cerebral palsy happens due to negligence, the parents of an affected child need to know their options for legal recourse.
Cerebral palsy is a permanent condition that may result from a birth injury or negligence in the delivery room. This condition can significantly impact the future quality of life for a newborn. Parents of babies who develop cerebral palsy may wonder about their options for legal action after birth injuries that cause the condition. Parents of babies who start to possess cerebral palsy should consult with a birth injury attorney in Kansas City to see compensation through a legal course. The Mayo Clinic reports that cerebral palsy affects about two to four of every 1,000 live births in the United States.
What Is Cerebral Palsy?
“Cerebral palsy” refers to several neurological disorders that entail a wide range of symptoms. Some children with milder cerebral palsy may continue through life with little difficulty, while more advanced cases may hinder intellectual development and significantly impair motor functions. Any kind of cerebral palsy can impact muscle coordination, cognition, and body movement. Cerebral palsy is a non-progressive condition, so it will not naturally worsen with time. Children born with the condition will often require various therapies and medical devices such as crutches for mobility, but the symptoms and their severity vary from case to case.
Cerebral palsy can result from several factors during delivery. The misapplication of force by a delivering doctor, too much pressure with forceps or vacuum extraction tubes, or failing to properly monitor fetal heart rate and respiration can all lead to cerebral palsy. Doctors must also ascertain when a mother is physically fit for vaginal delivery and make plans for Cesarean section procedures when advisable. If you believe any aforementioned scenarios apply to your case, speak with a Kansas City cerebral palsy attorney to learn more.
Proving Negligence for Cerebral Palsy
Parents of a baby diagnosed with cerebral palsy should act quickly after receiving such a diagnosis. Missouri places a two-year statute of limitations on medical malpractice claims, starting on the date of injury. In some cases, cerebral palsy will take some time to manifest noticeable symptoms. The statute of limitations begins on the “date of discovery” in these cases instead.
To prove negligence in a cerebral palsy lawsuit, the plaintiff and his or her Kansas City medical malpractice lawyer need to prove that an official doctor-patient relationship existed between the plaintiff and the defendant. The plaintiff will then need to prove that the defendant acted in a way that another similarly skilled, reasonable, and competent doctor would not have in the same situation. This refers to the idea of a “standard of care,” or an acceptable level of medical care in a given situation. The standard of care for any medical situation hinges on the consensus of the medical community.
Finally, the plaintiff will need to prove that actual harm occurred and that the harm was the direct results of the defendant’s negligence. Plaintiffs can only sue for the direct results of a defendant’s negligence, and this can include additional medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost enjoyment of life, lost income, and permanent disability compensation for the newborn.
Seek Justice and Hire a Kansas City Cerebral Palsy Lawyer
At Dickerson Oxton, LLC, we take our clients’ cases very seriously and explore every possible avenue for compensation in their civil actions. A birth injury that causes cerebral palsy will dramatically impact a family, and we are here to help people in this position with their legal options. Call us today at (816) 368-5637 to schedule a free case evaluation with a cerebral palsy attorney in Kansas City, MO. We’ll let you know your options and what to expect from filing a lawsuit.