How Medical Malpractice Can Lead to Cerebral Palsy

by CarlosSantiago on September 5, 2012

Cerebral palsy is a general term referring to many different motor function abnormalities caused by brain damage.  This non-progressive, non-contagious condition can range from mild to severe, and it affects roughly 1 out of every 303 children in America.  Although there are some situations in which cerebral palsy develops due to natural causes, many are the result of irresponsible actions of medical professionals.

U.S. medical malpractice laws dictate that negligent medical professionals can be held legally accountable for their actions, so when innocent infants develop cerebral palsy due to medical malpractice, parents may wish to contact an attorney that specializes in this type of law.

Medical Malpractice and Cerebral Palsy

Medical professionals can make mistakes in their work just as easily as other people, but with people’s health and well-being at stake, medical missteps have much greater consequences.  Some of the types of errors that may lead to the development of cerebral palsy include:

  • Delayed treatment – failure to act quickly when a mother or child is presenting symptoms that could lead to cerebral palsy, such as perinatal asphyxia
  • Misuse of surgical equipment – using birth equipment such as forceps or vacuums in a way that causes the infant to suffer a traumatic brain injury
  • Infant infections – failure to protect a newborn from infections that can cause brain inflammation

Unfortunately, a single medical error can leave a child facing a lifetime of disability.

Recognizing Cerebral Palsy

Because cerebral palsy is most often discernible by mobility impairment, parents and doctors may not identify symptoms of this condition until the child is a few months to several years old.  The signs of cerebral palsy include:

  • Difficulty walking or talking
  • Bone and joint deformities
  • Lack of coordination
  • Irregular posture
  • Spinal curvature

In general, the first type of cerebral palsy testing begins at 9 months, but some parents may recognize signs of this type of condition sooner.

Legal Support for Victims

In some situations, victims of cerebral palsy caused by medical malpractice can seek financial support from the negligent medical professionals that caused their disability.  By working closely with a cerebral palsy lawyer, victims and their families may be able to file medical malpractice cases and fight for remuneration for medical treatment and other related costs. Additionally, victims and their families may be eligible for compensation to help make up for their emotional pain and suffering as well.

Author Bio

Carlos Santiago is an avid legal blogger. He contributes regularly to




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