Cerebral palsy in Florida can be caused by genetic mutations or unforeseen complications in the delivery room, but medical malpractice can also cause CP and result in life-long disability.
Cerebral palsy affects nearly 1 in 300 children and is the most common motor disability of childhood, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Those affected by this disorder may have co-occurring conditions, with roughly 40 percent of children with cerebral palsy having epilepsy and 10 percent showing signs of an autism spectrum disorder.
If your child was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a result of negligent medical treatment, you may be entitled to compensation.
A birth injury lawsuit may be the only way to hold the person(s) accountable for their wrongful actions that led to this devastating injury. The compensation you may be entitled to can help damages ranging from medical bills to emotional distress.
Causes Of Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a chain of disorders that negatively affects a person’s ability to move and maintain balance. This disorder is caused by abnormal brain development or damage to a brain trying to develop and restricts a person from controlling their muscles, making it difficult for them to move at a normal rate.
Brain damage that leads to CP can occur before birth, during birth, or after birth. Congenital cerebral palsy is when the brain damage occurs before or during the birth, which makes up for 85 percent of the cases.
Within that percentage, there are medical malpractice cases that take place during birth resulting in long-lasting effects on muscle coordination and movement.
If your infant was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, you may be able to file a birth injury lawsuit against the doctor or hospital to receive compensation.
Filing A Cerebral Palsy Injury Claim In Florida
Florida has state-specific laws regarding medical malpractice lawsuits. In order to file a birth injury lawsuit, you must show the following:
- the medical malpractice occurred within the last 2 years (statute of limitations)
- you must file an affidavit of merit signed by a medical expert stating that your claim has just cause
It is important to note that Florida does not have a cap on non-economic damages that you can recover from birth injury cases. Speaking to an experienced medical malpractice attorney in Florida can help clarify any laws and provide information based on your circumstances.
There are different factors that can cause a birth injury such as cerebral palsy involving the medical staff in the delivery room such as doctors, nurses, anesthesiologist or others.
Factors that lead to Cerebral Palsy in a medical malpractice case include:
- failing to monitor conditions throughout the birth — Medical staff are legally required to ensure the infant’s condition is normal before, during, and after birth. Monitoring oxygen levels and heart rate should be a constant focus to make sure the infant is receiving enough oxygen to the brain and has a healthy heart.
- failing to perform a c-section — A Caesarian Section, known as a c-section, is a safe birth alternative to prevent brain damage when the infant lacks enough oxygen. Choosing to have a natural birth when there is a lack of oxygen can result in a birth injury such as cerebral palsy.
- practicing poor medical judgment in response to a birth-related issue — medical emergencies can occur before, during, or after birth, and providing the right medical care can be the difference between a healthy baby and a non-healthy baby. A lapse in judgment can cause birth defects, a stillbirth, or a condition like cerebral palsy.
When people are going through a pregnancy and birth, we put a lot of trust in our doctors and medical staff to do what is right for our baby.
Most of the time, babies are born healthy and receive good care, but when a medical professional fails to monitor vital conditions or makes a poor medical judgment that results in a birth injury, they should be held accountable for their actions.
Symptoms Of Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy can develop in many different ways. While we do not know everything about the condition, there are some symptoms that commonly result in a diagnosis. Signs usually appear in the early months after birth with infants showing slow development.
Cerebral palsy has early warning signs:
- A baby less than 6 months of age: your baby feels stiff or floppy. The baby’s head lags when trying to pick him/her up while they are sitting on their back or when you pick him/her up their legs get stiff when they cross.
- A baby between 6-10 months of age: your baby cannot roll over in either direction or bring his/her hands together. Your baby shows difficulty in putting his/her hands in or outside their mouth or he/she reaches out with just one hand while the other remains in a fist position.
- A baby older than 10 months: he or she crawls in an uneven way or uses one hand to push off and the opposite leg is dragging. Your baby is unable to stand even while holding onto a support.
There are different types of Cerebral palsy that can be diagnosed depending on symptoms.
Some of these types include:
- Spastic cerebral palsy is when symptoms include spastic movements, increased muscle tone, and stiff muscles.
- Dyskinetic cerebral palsy is when the infant or baby has uncontrollable movements of main body parts such as hands, arms, legs, and face.
- Ataxia cerebral palsy negatively affects coordination and the ability to stay balanced resulting in uncontrollable movements throughout the body.
There is also mixed cerebral palsy where an infant or baby may show symptoms of multiple types of the condition. If you notice your baby exhibiting any of these signs, the best thing to do is talk with your doctor about what you are seeing and they can perform an exam and make recommendations.
Types Of Damages In A Florida Cerebral Palsy Birth Injury Claim
A cerebral palsy case in Florida can award families compensation for a variety of damages. These damages are called compensatory damages and they aim to compensate the victim for their losses. The most common damages include current and future medical expenses.
Compensatory damages can help pay for the following medical expenses:
- wheelchairs and walkers
- physical therapy
- occupational therapy
- speech coaching
- corrective surgeries
- verbal aids
Other common damages awarded for a successful cerebral palsy lawsuit in Florida include:
- pain and suffering
- living expenses
- loss of future wages
- home modifications including a wheelchair ramp
- loss of quality of life and enjoyment
- loss of companionship
While these damages are common, other types of damages can be awarded, depending on the circumstances of the birth injury and how it happened.
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How A Florida Cerebral Palsy Injury Claim Lawyer Can Help With Your Claim
With it being difficult to identify the exact causes of cerebral palsy, it can be challenging to link a doctor’s or nurse’s actions to an injury.
The best way to determine if you have a case is to speak with a Florida birth injury lawyer that can review the facts and try to prove the causation of cerebral palsy.
Florin|Roebig lawyers have decades of experience representing families of victims of medical malpractice. Our specialized team works with medical experts that can help link the medical professional’s negligence to the infant’s birth injury.
Benefits of hiring a Florida cerebral palsy injury claim lawyer include:
- a legal expert with extensive knowledge and experience in birth injury law
- a compassionate attorney that wants to seek justice and represent your child to the fullest extent of the law
- a team of medical experts looking out for your best interests
- a legal team that will keep you informed throughout the entire legal process
Hiring a Florida cerebral palsy injury lawyer can help provide closure to a difficult time in your family’s life. You have the potential to be compensated to pay for damages such as medical costs and loss of quality of life.
List Of Florida Cerebral Palsy Injury Claim Lawyers Near You
At Florin|Roebig, we have a top-rated team of legal experts that want to hear from you and go over your options. We understand that this is a difficult time in your life and want to do everything in our power to help.
Our talented Florida Cerebral Palsy injury claim attorneys include:
- Wil H. Florin
- Tommy D. Roebig
- Chase P. Florin
- Nicholas S. Constantino
- Brian R. Dettmannn
We Are Nationally Awarded Lawyers
Florin|Roebig cerebral palsy injury claim lawyers serve the following areas in Florida, as well as many others:
- Tampa Bay
- St. Petersburg
- Palm Harbor
- Fort Lauderdale
- St. Augustine
- Panama City
Get Help Filing A Cerebral Palsy Injury Claim In Florida
You do not have to take on all the financial and emotional burden by yourself. A highly skilled legal team and medical experts can work together to help you get the compensation you deserve to treat your child’s condition and recover any other losses.
Florin|Roebig attorneys have been serving communities throughout Florida for over 30 years and have won our clients over $1 billion in settlements. We are committed to getting you through this difficult time and want to hold the responsible party accountable for their negligence. Call today for a free consultation with one of our talented attorneys.