Signs of Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is a term that refers to a group of disorders that impact movement and muscle tone. In most cases, it is caused by damage to a fetus’ brain that is still developing. Signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy typically show up when a child is in baby or a toddler. The reasons for cerebral palsy and its impact on babies’ lives can vary dramatically. Often it is a lifelong disorder that requires treatments. Sometimes it occurs alongside deafness, blindness, or epilepsy, which may require additional interventions. It can be a birth injury, meaning it is the result of a doctor’s failure to meet the standard of care owed to the mother and baby. If your child shows signs of cerebral palsy and you suspect malpractice before or during labor, or even in the course of trying to get a diagnosis for the condition, you should discuss your situation with the experienced Syracuse birth injury attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano. Our counsel and representation are aimed at achieving the best available results so that babies and their families can have a good quality of life in spite of a health care provider’s mistake.Signs of Cerebral Palsy
Signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy tend to appear during infancy or preschool years. In general, cerebral palsy causes impaired movements, but it should be considered as a possible diagnosis when any of certain symptoms are present as well, including developmental delays. Additionally, a baby with limbs that are too rigid or too floppy may be cerebral palsy. Weak limbs can be a sign of cerebral palsy. Fidgety or clumsy movements may be a sign.
Symptoms of cerebral palsy also include:
- Reduced range of motion at the joints
- Exaggerated reflexes
- Unusual postures
- Involuntary movements
- Unsteady walking
- Difficulty focusing
- Trouble swallowing
- Uncontrolled movements
- Eye muscle imbalance
There are situations in which a doctor should be held responsible for cerebral palsy. It is crucial to consult a lawyer known for getting some of the best results available when your child has a serious condition like cerebral palsy that could have been prevented. Likewise, it may be the case that your child’s pediatrician failed to spot signs of cerebral palsy and, as a result, a diagnosis was delayed that resulted in a poorer outcome. In either case, it is likely we’ll need to establish elements of medical malpractice to recover damages.
In order to recover damages, we will need to show it’s more likely than not: (1) the defendant owed you and your child a professional standard of care, (2) breach of the professional standard, (3) the breach caused your child’s cerebral palsy, and (4) actual damages sustained as a result of the birth injury.
Breach of the professional standard depends on the particular situation and requires us to present evidence. Your doctor will be held to a professional standard determined by looking at what reasonably competent doctors in the same location and specialty would have done under similar circumstances. For example, if a reasonably prudent obstetrician-gynecologist would have done an emergency C-section rather than risk damage to your baby’s developing brain, but yours failed to do so, we may be able to show breach of the professional standard of care. For another example, if a reasonably competent pediatrician in Syracuse would have noticed signs of cerebral palsy in your baby and the long delay in noticing those signs resulted in further harm to your child, we may be able to show breach.
Actual damages can vary widely. When there are more severe signs and symptoms of cerebral palsy that was avoidable through following the professional standard of care, the damages award may be greater. When there is egregious misconduct by a doctor such as intentional acts that resulted in cerebral palsy, it may be appropriate to pursue punitive damages.Hire Syracuse Trial Lawyers for Cerebral Palsy Claims
If you are concerned about signs of cerebral palsy in Upstate New York, you should discuss your situation with the seasoned Syracuse birth injury attorneys of DeFrancisco & Falgiatano. We represent babies and their families in Lowville, Rochester, Auburn, Watertown, Herkimer, Oswego, Wampsville, Canandaigua, Lyons, Ithaca, Cooperstown, Oneida, Utica, Binghamton, and Elmira. Fill out our online form or call us at 833-200-2000.