The Causes of Cerebral Palsy and Your Legal Options By Steve Charpentier on February 14, 2016

A newborn baby being medically monitoredThe lawyers of Charpentier Law Firm have years of legal experience helping the people of Melbourne and the greater Central Florida area. Our focus on clients and their rights means robust legal representation with a focus on ensuring the system works for everyone.

Some of the most tragic cases we see often involve birth injury lawsuits, in which doctors act negligently and change a child's future. Cerebral palsy is one such birth injury that can have a major impact on an infant's life.

About Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a term applied to various kinds of palsies, which is to say types of disorders that lead to impaired or disrupted movement and body control. This is the result of damage to a the developing brain of a baby. Cerebral palsy will typically develop when a child turns 2 or 3 years old. In addition to physical impairment, the condition may be accompanied by seizures, mental retardation, learning disabilities, and issues with vision, hearing, speech, or language.

Since cerebral palsy is a non-progressive brain disorder, the brain damage that the child sustained will not get worse. However, the nature of the brain damage may mean that the symptoms associated with the condition may become better or worse over time.

It's estimated that up to 10,000 babies are diagnosed with cerebral palsy each year.

Understanding the Cause of Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy may be the result of a congenital issue (present at birth) or due to issues with the delivery of the child.

Some potential causes of cerebral palsy include:

  • Infections During Pregnancy – Infections in the womb can result in serious issues with fetal development and health.

  • Jaundice – Severe jaundice can cause brain damage after childbirth as the liver is unable to process excessive bilirubin in the blood.

  • Blood Conditions While in the Womb – Sometimes blood incompatibility between mother and her developing child can result in antibodies attack a baby's blood cells, which increases risk of severe jaundice.

  • Trauma During Child Birth – If a child experiences serious physical trauma while being born, this can potentially mean brain damage and eventual cerebral palsy.

  • Oxygen Deprivation During Child Birth – A lack of oxygen in the brain during labor and delivery can result in irreparable brain damage, resulting in cerebral palsy and other adverse conditions.

  • Brain Trauma in First Months of Life – If a child is harmed or experiences serious illness or trauma during the early months of infant life, this can eventually result in cerebral palsy.

Cerebral Palsy Risk Factors

In addition to the above causes, there are certain risk factors to keep in mind:

  • Vascular problems during birth
  • Respiratory problems during birth
  • Breech birth
  • Physical birth defects
  • Low birth weight
  • Twins/multiple births
  • Seizure following childbirth

How a Birth Injury Attorney Can Help You

If your child develops cerebral palsy as a result of a botched delivery or poor medical care during your pregnancy, it's of the utmost importance that you seek the help of a birth injury attorney. Your lawyer will hold the negligent medical professional accountable for his or her actions, and will help you receive just compensation that will help your child lead a fulfilling life despite any limitations that have been imposed upon them.

Contact Charpentier Law Firm

To learn more about your legal options following a serious birth injury or medical mistake, it's of the utmost importance that you contact our team of personal injury attorneys today. The lawyers of Charpentier Law Firm will fight diligently for all of our clients.

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