What You Need to Know About Filing a Cerebral Palsy Claim
Posted on November 11, 2021
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Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that affect the ability to move, balance and control the muscles. Children who are diagnosed with cerebral palsy will experience lifelong impairment of their motor function. Sometimes, cerebral palsy is caused by an injury to the brain that takes place during birth or shortly after the child is born. If you believe that your child’s cerebral palsy is connected to a preventable birth injury, your family may be entitled to financial compensation from the at-fault physician or hospital.
When Can You File a Lawsuit for Cerebral Palsy?
Not all cerebral palsy diagnoses mean a family has the right to file an injury claim in Texas. Most cases of cerebral palsy are congenital, meaning they arise from issues with the development of the brain before birth. They can stem from infections, low birthweight, premature birth and many other causes. Sometimes, the cause is not known. In some cases, however, cerebral palsy can be traced back to medical malpractice.
Medical malpractice could cause cerebral palsy by failing to keep a baby safe before, during and after the delivery process. This can lead to brain damage and related disorders, including cerebral palsy. One of the most common issues connected to cerebral palsy is brain hypoxia, or reduced oxygen flow to the brain. Brain hypoxia or anoxia (a total lack of oxygen) can arise during a complicated birth, such as one with umbilical cord prolapse.
It is a doctor’s responsibility to detect emergencies and promptly respond. If a doctor negligently fails to monitor a baby’s vital signs during the birthing process, he or she may not notice that the baby has lost oxygen. This can lead to a delayed response and permanent brain damage. If a reasonable and prudent physician would have done something differently and prevented the brain damage, the doctor in question could be liable for related injuries and disorders.
Proving a Cerebral Palsy Claim
If your family files a cerebral palsy lawsuit, it is up to you as the plaintiff to prove the claim that is being made. You or your attorney must prove your claim based on a preponderance of the evidence, or clear and convincing evidence of fault. Evidence that you may be able to gather to support your cerebral palsy case can include:
Medical expert testimony
Sworn testimony from the defendant
Proof of losses
In general, you or your attorney will need to prove that 1) a doctor-patient relationship existed between the child with cerebral palsy and the doctor, 2) the doctor breached the medical industry’s standard of care during delivery, and 3) the resultant birth injury is what caused the disorder. A personal injury lawyer can help you gather evidence to support your claim.
Statute of Limitations
Your family only has a limited amount of time to file a civil lawsuit for cerebral palsy. In Texas, the statute of limitations on a medical malpractice case is two years from the date of the alleged act of malpractice or the date that you discovered or reasonably should have discovered the link between your child’s cerebral palsy and malpractice. If you file later than two years, you will most likely give up the right to recover any financial compensation.
Why You Should Hire an Attorney
Cerebral palsy claims in Texas are complicated and can come with many challenges. One of the best things that you can do from the onset of your case is hiring an experienced and qualified personal injury attorney to represent you. An attorney can immediately take over the most difficult aspects of your claim, such as identifying the defendant and gathering evidence. Your attorney can fight for fair financial compensation for your child’s cerebral palsy while your family focuses on the future.
To learn more about how an attorney can benefit you during a cerebral palsy lawsuit in Dallas, contact The Law Firm of Aaron A. Herbert, P.C. for a free consultation.