When a child faces the dual challenges of epilepsy and Cerebral Palsy (CP), it often brings emotional and financial burdens. Epilepsy and CP often occur together and require ongoing medical attention through regular doctor visits, specialized therapies, and continuous medication, often for the entire life of the child.

These conditions can arise from medical errors occurring before or during delivery, potentially placing the responsibility for your child’s medical care on the doctor or hospital. Early detection of symptoms, like seizures or difficulties with movement, is crucial for securing prompt and appropriate treatment for your child.

Recognizing these signs early allows you to work with an Indiana cerebral palsy lawyer to secure the financial compensation your child needs.

The Prevalence of Co-Occurring Epilepsy and Cerebral Palsy

Studies show that about 25% to 45% of kids with CP also have epilepsy. CP is a group of movement and muscle tone disorders often attributed to early brain development problems. Although the cause of CP isn’t well understood, it can result from lack of oxygen at birth, untreated infections in the mother during pregnancy, and low birth weight.

Epilepsy is a neurological condition where the brain experiences irregular electrical activity, often resulting in recurrent seizures. In children, epilepsy can be caused by developmental brain abnormalities or as a result of an untreated infection or traumatic brain injury.

The co-occurrence of CP and epilepsy highlights the complexity of CP. Many affected children have one or more additional conditions like blindness or autism. The CDC places co-occurrence of epilepsy and CP at about 4 in 10.

Signs of CP and Epilepsy

Knowing the signs and symptoms of both CP and epilepsy can help you recognize if your child has these co-occurring conditions. This table provides more insight into the symptoms specific to each condition across various developmental stages of a child:


Age Group Epilepsy Symptoms Signs of CP
Infants (0-1 year) Recurrent seizures, unusual stiffness, unresponsiveness, rhythmic shaking. Muscle stiffness or floppiness, motor skill milestone delays, excessive drooling, feeding difficulties.
Toddlers (1-3 years) Frequent seizures, loss of consciousness, uncontrolled movements, temporary confusion. Poor muscle coordination, involuntary movements, walking difficulties, delayed speech development.
Young Children (3-6 years) Seizures with varying patterns, brief blackouts, staring spells, mood or behavior changes. Muscle weakness, abnormal gait, increased muscle tone, coordination difficulties, speech challenges.


Was Your Child’s CP and Epilepsy Due to Medical Negligence?

While these conditions can occur for a number of reasons, they often result from poor medical care during pregnancy and delivery. If your medical provider did any of the following, it could indicate medical malpractice:

  • Inadequate monitoring: Neglecting to monitor the baby’s heart rate closely during labor can mean overlooking indicators of distress, like an irregular heartbeat or unusually rapid or slow heart rates, potentially necessitating urgent intervention.
  • Delayed delivery: If there are signs of fetal distress or prolonged labor endangering the baby, a prompt cesarean section becomes vital. Postponing this procedure may result in brain damage to the baby due to extended periods of oxygen deprivation.
  • Improper use of delivery tools: Forceps or vacuum extractors, if misused, can cause head trauma, resulting in CP or epilepsy. This includes applying excessive force or incorrect positioning on the baby’s head.
  • Neglecting maternal infections: Overlooking or inadequately treating infections in the mother during pregnancy, such as rubella or cytomegalovirus, can lead to complications, such as inflammation in the baby’s brain, impacting development and leading to developmental disabilities like CP.
  • Oxygen deprivation: Not responding adequately to situations where the baby’s oxygen supply is compromised, like twisted umbilical cords or placental abruptions, can result in brain damage to the baby, potentially leading to CP and epilepsy.

Legal Options for CP and Epilepsy Caused by a Birth Injury

If you suspect your child’s CP and epilepsy stem from a birth injury due to medical negligence, you have legal options to seek compensation. Engaging in litigation with a skilled Indiana birth injury lawyer from Wagner Reese can help secure a settlement for various necessities, including:

  • Medical expenses covering ongoing treatment, therapy, and anticonvulsant medications
  • Specialized care costs for any required assistive devices like wheelchairs or home modifications
  • Loss of future earnings, considering the potential impact on your child’s ability to earn
  • Pain and suffering, acknowledging the emotional and physical distress caused

Get Help with Your Child’s Birth Injury Case Today

If you’re concerned that a birth injury caused your child’s CP and epilepsy, speak with our experienced attorneys at Wagner Reese. We can investigate the circumstances around your child’s birth to determine if medical malpractice played a part in their diagnoses.

Our firm has a strong track record, having recovered over $300 million for clients since 1997. We can help you receive compensation to support your family’s current and future needs.

Contact our attorneys today for a free, confidential case review. We can discuss your claim and help you take action to secure the necessary resources for your child’s care and future.