Birth injuries make up approximately seven out of every 1000 births each year in this country. Of that staggering amount, cerebral palsy is estimated to affect from 1.5 to 4 out of every 1000 births globally, according to the CDC. And of all cerebral palsy cases, an estimated one in five are attributed to injuries caused before or during birth.
Even with those high percentages, you may feel you’re alone in dealing with the emotional and financial burdens this birth injury causes. That’s why you need a cerebral palsy lawyer in Indianapolis. Our experienced attorneys at Wagner Reese understand the Indianapolis laws concerning cerebral palsy and how to get you fairly and adequately compensated when dealing with a cerebral palsy birth injury.
What Is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy also referred to as CP, is a group of disorders that affect movement, balance, and posture. It is the most common childhood motor disability caused by a problem with brain development or damage, causing uncontrolled muscle movements. Sometimes errors made before or during the delivery process cause cerebral palsy. CP seems to occur more frequently in males than females and more often in Black babies than white or Hispanic children.
CP requires special needs for a lifetime. Depending on the degree of cerebral palsy, persons may live long lives, but require ongoing mobility devices, medication, and physical therapy. Children may need special care, which often requires a full-time health professional or parent to attend to their needs.
What Are the Four Types of Cerebral Palsy?
There are basically four types of cerebral palsy, but they are often difficult to diagnose in infants. The earliest sign may be that a baby does not roll over, sit, or stand during a normal growth timeframe. The types of cerebral palsy (Spastic CP, Dyskinetic CP, Ataxic CP, and Mixed), refer to the areas of the brain that are affected and the resulting type of movement disorder. More than one of these types can occur.
- Spastic CP
- This type of CP is the most common affecting approximately 80% of all people diagnosed with CP and is usually diagnosed the earliest. Symptoms in babies, such as stiff muscles and lack of normal flexibility, often appear at an earlier stage in life. Parents will notice the baby has unusual muscle contractions or spasms.
- Dyskinetic CP
- Dyskinetic cerebral palsy shows up as involuntary movements. Where spastic CP displays as stiffness, dyskinetic CP patients have trouble controlling the movement of their limbs making it difficult to sit or walk. The movements may be jerky and quick and can even affect their ability to talk and eat. Muscle tone is constantly changing from too tight to too loose, making movement difficult if not impossible.
- Ataxic CP
- Ataxic cerebral palsy is the rarest type, only affecting fine motor skills. If your child has Ataxic CP, you may notice that they are somewhat uncoordinated or have poor balance. They sometimes struggle with their speech patterns or doing simple daily tasks.
- When brain damage occurs in multiple areas of the brain, your child may have a combination of symptoms. A medical diagnosis is necessary since treatment can be complex. Uncontrolled movement may occur in one part of the body, while your child may also suffer a speech impediment.
What Is Erb’s Palsy and How Is It Different From Cerebral Palsy?
Brachial plexus palsy, more commonly known as Erb’s Palsy is an injury during childbirth that sometimes the doctor causes by t pulling too hard during delivery. When the infant’s neck is pulled to one side, nerve damage results, causing temporary or permanent paralysis to the baby’s arm. It affects one to two out of every 1000 births. Many risk factors, including large birth weight babies, cesarean section deliveries, and the use of forceps increase the odds of infants having Erb’s palsy. Although sometimes medical malpractice causes cerebral palsy, most Erb’s palsy cases are almost always attributed to delivery procedures. While CP can affect movement in various locations of the body, Erb’s palsy is limited to the baby’s arm.
How Do I Know Whether I Have a Birth Injury Case in Indianapolis?
If your child has a cerebral palsy or Erb’s palsy diagnosis that resulted from medical malpractice during or before your delivery, you may have a right to compensation. Cerebral palsy is incurable. It can be treated to minimize symptoms and therapy, medication, and medical devices are available to ease discomfort and facilitate access. But this can be expensive. If you feel that medical malpractice is responsible, an Indianapolis cerebral palsy lawyer can assist you in gathering the information to support your case.
If you were misdiagnosed or undiagnosed with an infection during pregnancy or delivery, or if delivery methods involved forceps or vacuum extractors, your doctor may be liable for the baby’s CP diagnosis. If your physician was negligent, and the negligence caused the CP, you may be eligible for compensation.
How Long Do I Have to File a Birth Injury Lawsuit in Indianapolis?
Birth injury lawsuits in Indianapolis and in the state of Indiana must be filed within two years from the date of the malpractice. That is why it is so important to contact a cerebral palsy lawyer in Indianapolis as quickly as possible. In some cases, such as a delayed diagnosis, the statute of limitations can change to within two years of discovery. Your Indianapolis cerebral palsy attorney will advise you on your deadline to file.
How Do I File a Cerebral Palsy Birth Injury Claim in Indianapolis?
You can file a complaint with the Indiana Medical Review Panel. Typically, after a settlement case with our experienced cerebral palsy lawyer Indianapolis, clients continue to refer to us when it comes to preparing the complaint and detailing the negligent incident. The panel has 180 days to investigate and offer a response. After you have filed your complaint with the review panel, you can proceed with a lawsuit. Your Indianapolis cerebral palsy attorney will assist you with negotiations or will prepare a case for trial.
Why Is an Experienced Indianapolis Cerebral Palsy Lawyer Important to My Case?
Cerebral palsy is a serious condition that can affect not only the life of your child but the lives of your entire family. It requires ongoing medical care and specialized treatments and can have an impact on your employability because of the time spent caring for your child. An experienced Indianapolis cerebral palsy birth injury lawyer can help you determine fair current and future compensation, including lost wage estimates, medical expenses, and pain and suffering the incident caused. Contact the offices of Wagner Reese Law to schedule a free consultation to see how we can help.
Content has been reviewed by the attorneys at the Wagner Reese offices.