Unique Complexities of Spastic Cerebral Palsy and Related Lawsuits in New Jersey
Cerebral palsy is a brain disorder of various degrees and symptoms. The core component of cerebral palsy is brain damage that occurs before, at, or shortly after birth. The harm may come from developmental problems or injuries occurring during delivery. Sometimes, the causes are unknown. Brain impairment from cerebral palsy interferes with messaging from the brain to other parts of the body, causing various symptoms. One type of cerebral palsy is spastic cerebral palsy, named for the abnormal appearance and functioning of the muscles. Those with the condition, which is the most common type of cerebral palsy, may have suffered brain and spinal cord damage when born.
Prevention is the optimal treatment, but sometimes a child’s congenital disabilities are unavoidable, such as those caused by genetic defects inherited from one or both parents. However, other types of disorders and conditions, including cerebral palsy, may be preventable depending on the unique child’s case.
Characteristics of Spastic Cerebral Palsy
Traveling through damaged parts of the brain’s motor cortex and spinal cord, neurons from the brain deliver the wrong messages, causing muscles to stiffen and muscle tone to increase in those with the disease. Sufferers may be observed as stiff and jerky when they move, and many have trouble controlling their movements. The long-term effects of stiffness erode the muscles and ligaments, causing muscle loss and muscle fiber changes. Since the affected muscles stay contracted, a child’s bones grow, but the muscles shorten and stunt their growth or cause spine and hip deformities.
Cerebral spasticity can be painful as a child grows while the muscles are inelastic. This inelasticity causes pain and helplessness. Their fingers may be in constant fists, or their wrists and elbows perpetually bent. They may not be able to walk, as their legs scissor or bend at the hips, affecting balance and coordination. They may not even be able to stand or get in or out of bed. Often, the inability to speak without slurring words and hoarseness prevents communication. As such, everyday functions become difficult, like eating, writing, washing, dressing, or speaking.
Identifying Spastic Cerebral Palsy
Each person with the condition suffers different degrees of incapacity, so a doctor must diagnose and evaluate the severity of cerebral spasticity to understand how to manage the disease. There is no cure. A physician must assess the muscles affected by the disease and the degree of spasticity in each. By observing how the patient performs ordinary functions, the doctor can also determine the specific needs of that patient.
A physical examination reveals the degree of stiffness, strength and range of motion of muscles and joints. After a thorough assessment, a medical professional can plan with parents which assistive tools a child will need to perform daily needs and communicate.
Treatments and Therapies Available for Children with Spastic CP
Treatment for spastic cerebral palsy includes assistive devices and special apparatus for movement, speech, writing, and manipulating objects. In addition, drug therapies, surgery, braces, and physical therapy are common treatments. Oral medications to relax muscles and injections of botox to weaken the muscles attempt to reduce the effects of muscle stiffness and jerkiness. However, drugs and injections appear to have little or temporary results. Even baclofen infusions, implanted muscle relaxers in the stomach, can reduce spasticity. Still, there are risks of overmedicating the patient, recurring symptoms when the pumped infusions stop, and severe complications.
Surgeries to release muscle tension and lengthen tendons can help children move their legs better, but the side effects include postural deformities and weakened muscles. However, surgery does not eliminate the condition; it only relieves some symptoms. Since brain or spinal cord damage is irreversible in spastic cerebral palsy patients, treatments are not permanent.
Preventable Medical Mistakes that may Lead to Spastic Cerebral Palsy
Despite the vast learning about cerebral palsy and continuously expanding literature on the subject, one of the causes of spastic cerebral palsy is medical negligence. Physicians can and do make mistakes in overlooking pregnancy problems that could lead to brain damage and other birth injuries. Other medical negligence leading to brain damage manifest in the form of delaying a cesarean section or failing to discover an umbilical cord issue or placenta problem that deprives the baby of oxygen, leading to hypoxic or anoxic brain injury.
Also, failure to carefully monitor fetal heartbeat and oxygen levels can lead to cerebral palsy. Neglecting to treat maternal infections, administer the correct anesthesia, or adequately using forceps or vacuum extractors to assist a birth are additional sources of potential medical malpractice involving childbirth.
Filing a Lawsuit for Spastic Cerebral Palsy Caused by Medical Errors
When medical errors cause a child’s lifelong injury from brain damage, their parents may seek counsel and legal support from a knowledgeable birth injury attorney. Devastated parents are often overwhelmed with the care and costs involved in caring for a child with spastic cerebral palsy. Filing a spastic cerebral lawsuit is one of the ways to obtain the financial assistance you need to meet the child’s needs. Not only that, it can deliver some peace of mind that those responsible for a child’s serious medical condition are held accountable for the damage they caused.
If your child suffers from spastic cerebral palsy due to medical malpractice, hire a legal team whom the liable parties cannot shortchange to settle the case. Medical professionals, hospitals, birthing centers, and other medical facilities may share liability for mistakes that lead to patient injury. Others who may be named in your child’s spastic CP lawsuit include nurses, medical staff, physicians, specialists, and others who may have contributed to the outcome.
Settlements and jury awards mean to compensate a victim of medical negligence causing spastic cerebral palsy for their financial expenses and medical treatment now and in the years to come. The damages awarded to a child and their parents aim to make them as close as possible to what they would have been had no negligence occurred, leaving them with a permanent brain and physical condition. While nothing can truly make up for what has been lost when your child has spastic CP, the financial resources to support their utmost care and quality of life can be impactful.
What may be Included in Compensation for a Spastic Cerebral Palsy Claim?
A damages settlement or lawsuit should cover medical visits, medication, transportation, and special education costs. Counseling, physical therapy, and assistive equipment costs may also be covered for those who need them. Children with spastic CP may need voice communication devices, wheelchairs, walkers, braces, sound boards, wheelchair ramps, special rails, and other devices to help a child live as normally as possible. Some of these accommodations may be expensive construction costs to the home, vehicle, or other living areas. Those costs and pain and suffering compensation are part of a lawsuit’s demand for damages.
A successful claim requires proof of liability or fault, and the extent of damages through evidence, such as doctor and pharmacy bills, total lost wages the parents lost in caring for their child, and other costs that parents may be unaware of. For these reasons, consulting a tested and trusted spastic cerebral palsy lawyer is well worth finding out how to obtain all of the financial compensation your child needs and your family deserves.
Spastic Cerebral Palsy Lawyers Dedicated to Your Family
Contact the experienced birth injury attorneys at Fronzuto Law Group for a free assessment of your child’s potential claim. We have the background to confidently examine and validate your case’s legal grounds, and the skill and dedication to pursue the top settlement amount. If this is not possible, our talented team has the skill to successfully argue your child’s claim before a jury. It is our passion to support you throughout this process and to employ all of our legal and financial resources to deliver the best result.