Cerebral palsy, in essence, is a term that encompasses a variety of disorders that influence mobility, muscle tone, and posture. The diverse forms of cerebral palsy may affect individuals in different ways, but the common thread is that they all stem from brain damage occurring before, during, or after childbirth. Cerebral palsy malpractice cases in Florida are traumatic and heartbreaking cases, and this condition can put serious strain on a family.
Understanding the cause of your child's cerebral palsy can be a daunting endeavor, particularly if there were no evident complications during the birthing process. The quest for justice and comprehension often starts with an intense desire to understand the circumstances that led to this situation and ascertain whether a preventable error might be at the root of it all.
As attorneys that handle cerebral palsy malpractice cases in Florida, we understand the devastating impact of this life-altering condition and what it can put a family and a child through. In this article, we will delve into the complex world of cerebral palsy malpractice cases in Florida and provide valuable insights for those affected.
Brain Damage that Culminates in Cerebral Palsy
The genesis of brain development happens in the womb and carries on post-birth. The following issues, if they disrupt correct brain development prenatal, may lead to cerebral palsy:
- Genetic abnormalities;
- Infections contracted by the mother;
- Stroke taking place in utero.
Brain Damage From Oxygen Deprivation
Cerebral palsy may also manifest in the absence of genetic issues or unavoidable medical conditions. In these instances, the condition often arises due to insufficient oxygen during the gestation period or childbirth. Cerebral palsy medical malpractice cases in Florida are often based on some sort of oxygen deprivation that caused cerebral palsy.
Possible scenarios leading to oxygen deprivation include:
- Placental Abruption: This is a critical condition where an early delivery might be vital to avoid cerebral palsy and other birth-related injuries if the baby exhibits signs of distress.
- Umbilical Cord Complications: Suspicions of such complications are often raised by abnormal heart rates in the baby, and ultrasounds can confirm it. Emergency delivery may be necessary to prevent cerebral palsy and other birth injuries.
- Uterine Rupture: Failure to diagnose and treat a uterine rupture can lead to severe birth injuries, including cerebral palsy.
- Delayed Delivery: Quick action may be required to prevent cerebral palsy and other injuries if the baby's heart rate drops during labor.
- Breech Delivery: In such situations, a baby can suffer from oxygen deprivation, which can lead to cerebral palsy. A C-section is frequently advised to prevent such birth injuries.
Post-birth, cerebral palsy can also be caused by traumatic events, like a fall or vehicle accident, or medical issues such as infections that hinder the baby's brain development. Cerebral palsy malpractice cases in Florida focus on mistakes by doctors and hospital staff that cause a child to suffer from this challenging condition.
Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit to Help with Long-Term Care
Filing a lawsuit for cerebral palsy can aid in affording lifelong care costs that your child may need, which can encompass:
- Medical expenses, such as doctor visits, physiotherapy, and supportive equipment.
- Pain and suffering, both physical and emotional.
- Lost earnings.
- Additional expenses related to cerebral palsy not covered by insurance.
Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit to Hold Doctors and Hospitals Responsible for Medical Negligence
A cerebral palsy lawsuit can help injured folks to hold accountable the medical professionals or institutions responsible for the harm inflicted on a child. To establish a lawsuit, you need to demonstrate that negligence led to your child's cerebral palsy.
A thorough investigation is imperative to identify the cause and evaluate if there's a viable legal case. A legal case involving negligence will often boil down to the 4 elements of negligence: (1) Duty; (2) Breach; (3) Causation; and (4) Damages. Potential reasons to file a cerebral palsy lawsuit based upon medical negligence include:
- The medical professional or institution failed in their duty of care towards your child.
- The medical professional or institution didn't act reasonably during your labor or delivery.
- The failure of reasonable action led to your child's cerebral palsy.
- You possess the legal right to seek damages on your child's behalf.
The Process of Pursuing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in Florida Based on Cerebral Palsy
It's a long journey to pursue a medical malpractice lawsuit for cerebral palsy in Florida, but with the help of an experienced medical malpractice attorney, you can navigate this challenging process. Here's what the process can look like from a 10,000-foot view:
- Gathering Evidence: The first step is to gather evidence and medical records, and during the pre-suit discovery phase, both sides will gather evidence related to the claim.
- Obtaining an Expert's Opinion: Once you and your attorneys have all the records, you will likely need to obtain an expert opinion and affidavit from a qualified medical professional who has reviewed your case and believes that someone committed negligence and that the negligence caused or contributed to your child's cerebral palsy.
- Notice of Intent to Initiate Litigation: Once you and your attorneys have an expert witness affidavit, the next step is to file a Notice of Intent. Filing a Notice of Intent is necessary under Florida medical malpractice law and serves as the official announcement that you plan to take legal action against any relevant parties. It also initiates a 90-day pre-suit investigatory period during which the parties conduct pre-suit discovery.
- Negotiating Settlements: At any time, parties may attempt to negotiate a settlement before moving forward with litigation.
- Filing the Lawsuit: If no settlement is reached during the pre-suit period, the next step is filing the actual complaint in court.
Medical Malpractice and Cerebral Palsy: A Dangerous Duo
Medical malpractice during pregnancy or delivery can lead to cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy malpractice cases in Florida will often focus on medical errors and evidence that a medical professional failed to provide treatment in accordance with the applicable standard of care.
- Improper Monitoring: Failure to monitor potential complications during pregnancy can lead to oxygen deprivation and brain damage.
- Mismanagement of Labor: Inducing labor incorrectly or without proper monitoring can cause excessive contractions and oxygen deprivation.
- Forceps/Vacuum Extraction: Incorrect use of these tools during delivery can cause head trauma and brain damage.
- Delayed C-Section: Failing to perform a timely C-section when necessary can increase the risk of oxygen deprivation and cerebral palsy.
- Oxygen Deprivation: Mistakes made during delivery resulting in oxygen deprivation or brain damage.
Cerebral palsy may have long-term consequences, for example intellectual disability, convulsions, vision or auditory deficits and articulation troubles. This can necessitate ongoing therapy, assistive devices, surgeries, and medications, which can be unbelievably costly. In addition to medical expenses, cerebral palsy can cause significant pain and suffering, emotional distress, and other non-economic damages.
If you suspect medical malpractice caused your child's cerebral palsy, consult with a Florida cerebral palsy malpractice attorney to understand your legal options and seek justice. Your attorney will work with you to uncover how the medical professional failed and what medical errors caused your child to suffer with this tragic condition. Cerebral palsy malpractice cases in Florida are challenging, but with the right legal team, you will have the best chance of getting the justice you and your loved ones deserve.
The Lifelong Struggles of Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is a devastating condition that can result in cognitive impairments, seizures, visual or auditory deficits, speech impediments, spinal abnormalities, and joint problems. Furthermore, individuals with cerebral palsy may encounter challenges in areas such as memory retention, attention span, problem-solving abilities or other cognitive functions due to associated neurological impairments.
Seizure disorders are also prevalent among those with cerebral palsy and can be difficult to manage alongside other symptoms. Additionally, visual and auditory deficiencies are common among people living with cerebral palsy because of related neurological issues affecting the development and operation of these senses. Speech difficulties frequently accompany cerebral palsy owing to weakened muscles around the mouth and throat responsible for producing speech sounds. Lastly, many individuals with cerebral palsy experience spinal deformities and joint complications that can lead to chronic pain, decreased mobility, and other adverse outcomes.
Medical errors can cause cerebral palsy, which makes the condition that much more heartbreaking. The key to cerebral palsy malpractice cases in Florida is to uncover the errors that caused the condition and hold the wrongdoers responsible for what they did.
Defenses to Expect When Suing a Doctor in a Cerebral Palsy Malpractice Lawsuit
Be ready for the defenses doctors may use when sued for cerebral palsy malpractice, such as claiming that the condition was not caused by medical negligence or that their negligence did not cause it.
Proving That Cerebral Palsy Was Caused by Medical Negligence
Legal professionals skilled in malpractice litigation can assemble proof from medical documents, expert opinions, and past occurrences of negligence to demonstrate the contrary.
- Evidence from Medical Records: Reviewing medical records can reveal instances where proper procedures were not followed or crucial information was overlooked.
- Expert Testimony: Expert witnesses can provide valuable insight into how certain actions could have prevented or mitigated brain damage leading to cerebral palsy.
- Prior History of Malpractice: Previous incidents involving similar errors made by the same doctor or hospital staff members involved in your case could strengthen your argument for negligence being at fault for causing cerebral palsy.
The Argument That the Doctor's Negligence Did Not Cause Cerebral Palsy
Doctors may argue that their negligence did not cause cerebral palsy, but your legal team can work to establish a link between the doctor's negligence and your child's diagnosis through causation and treatment timeline. Your legal team can also fight arguments that a parent was comparatively negligent.
- Causation: Medical experts can demonstrate how specific errors made by the doctor led to brain damage and ultimately caused cerebral palsy in your child.
- Treatment Timeline: A detailed timeline of events can show how timely intervention could have prevented or lessened the severity of cerebral palsy.
- Comparative Negligence: Claims that parents contributed to the condition can be refuted by showing that any such contributions were minimal compared to those made by medical professionals responsible for providing care.
Working with an experienced legal team can help families affected by cerebral palsy due to medical negligence seek justice through compensation for past and future medical expenses, non-economic damages, lost earning potential, and loss of enjoyment of life. Contact our legal team today for a free consultation.
FAQs in Relation to Cerebral Palsy Malpractice Cases in Florida
Q1: What's the average payout for a medical malpractice lawsuit in Florida?
A1: The payout for medical malpractice lawsuits and birth injury lawsuits in Florida can vary depending on the severity of the injury, negligence level, and economic damages, with some cases settling for a few thousand dollars and others reaching millions. Generally speaking, viable cerebral palsy lawsuits can justify significant damage awards because children with this condition can require a lifetime of medical care and expensive future medical expenses, which can result in extensive medical care and expensive medical bills. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can help you determine the proper value of your specific case, which takes into account all economic damages and non-economic damages potentially available in birth injury cases.
Q2: Can medical malpractice cause cerebral palsy?
A2: Cerebral palsy can result from birth injuries, inadequate oxygen supply to the brain, or other forms of negligence during labor and delivery, all of which can be grounds for cerebral palsy lawsuits and medical malpractice lawsuits. This condition often requires a family to spend significant amounts of money on medical care and medical bills. Thus, cerebral palsy is a common basis for birth injury lawsuits and birth injury cases.
Q3: What's the maximum malpractice award in Florida?
A3: Each case depends on individual circumstances like future expenses and lost wages, and Florida currently has no set limits on non-economic damage awards per a recent decision by the Florida Supreme Court. However, Florida has instituted non-economic damages caps in medical malpractice cases in the past, and Florida could reinstitute these caps. Thus, the current state of the medical malpractice laws in Florida are subject to change, and state laws can greatly impact the total damages available in medical malpractice lawsuits.
Q4: Can you sue for cerebral palsy?
A4: If your child's cerebral palsy resulted from preventable birth injuries or negligent actions by healthcare professionals during pregnancy or childbirth, you might have grounds for a cerebral palsy lawsuit.
Do You Need to Speak to With a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Orlando, Florida?
If you believe your child is suffering from cerebral palsy as a result of medical malpractice, you should speak with an Orlando, Florida medical malpractice lawyer as soon as possible to review your cerebral palsy medical malpractice case because you may be entitled to compensation. Please don’t hesitate to contact us on our website, or you can call our Orlando, Florida personal injury law firm today at (321) 352-7588 to schedule your free consultation by phone.
If you need a South Carolina personal injury lawyer, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at (843) 638-6590. We have at least one lawyer licensed in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. So, if you’ve been injured in the Southeast, don’t hesitate to call us if you need help from an attorney.
For more information on personal injury cases in general, you can download our free personal injury guide: P.I. 101: Your Quick Guide to Personal Injury Claims.