If your child has been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy due to a birth injury, call our Irvine and Riverside birth injury attorneys at 1.888.333.5009 or contact us online. Avrek Law Firm, represents clients throughout Orange County and Riverside County. We will provide you with a free, no-obligation initial consultation and answer any questions you might have.
Types & Symptoms Of Cerebral Palsy
There are three main types of Cerebral Palsy – Spastic, Dyskinetic and Ataxic – each having its own symptoms which may be mild to severe. The most common overall Cerebral Palsy symptoms include muscle stiffness and weakness; difficulty with movement, balance and coordination; involuntary and uncontrolled movements; problems speaking and increased drooling. However, it is common for children to suffer from a combination of all three types, which have their own specific symptoms:
- Spastic Cerebral Palsy. Spastic Cerebral Palsy is the most common type of Cerebral Palsy affecting approximately eight in 10 children. Common symptoms include stiffened muscles, having limbs that are shorter on one side and having difficulties forming words when speaking.
It can result in hemiplegia (paralysis on one side of the body), paraplegia (paralysis of the lower body) or quadriplegia / tetraplegia (paralysis of all limbs). These can be complete in nature (meaning no movement at all) or incomplete (meaning some movement).
- Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy. Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy causes slow, uncontrollable muscle movements and abrupt, repetitive twitches. It can also result in difficulty speaking due to a general lack of tongue, breathing and vocal cord control.
- Ataxic Cerebral Palsy. Ataxic Cerebral Palsy affects a child’s coordination and balance and makes it difficult to judge their own body position in relation to other objects. It can also weaken muscles, cause tremors and result in difficulty walking and speaking.
Medical professionals often have difficulty in being able to correctly diagnose Cerebral Palsy due to the commonality of suffering from a combination of types.
Causes Of Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy is often caused by healthcare professionals deviating from a certain “standard of care” which can result in the disability either before or after the actual birth. Some of the risk factors that can result in Cerebral Palsy are often missed by healthcare providers such as low birth weight, premature birth, infections – and the most common being a disruption of blood and oxygen supply to the baby’s brain.
These deviations can result in devastating conditions that can present physical and emotional challenges for everyone involved. However, the parents of a child who suffers from Cerebral Palsy now have even greater, and unexpected, challenges in front of them – understanding the costs involved with a lifetime of care and how to pay for them.
Lifetime Medical Costs Associated With Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy victims will have a great deal of extra costs to address their disability. In fact, according to the CDC, Cerebral Palsy suffers generally have over $1 million in lifetime medical and care costs. Some of these are tangible and some are intangible.
Tangible items may include those needed to help your child live as normal a life as possible, such as a wheelchair, adaptive equipment, body braces or modifications that may be needed to make your home adaptable to a disability. However, it’s the intangible costs of ongoing medical treatment that will likely be the most significant.
Most Cerebral Palsy victims will need numerous doctors and specialists to treat their disability. In addition to a general practitioner, these can include:
- Occupational Therapists – those who specialize in managing everyday tasks and increasing overall independence.
- Pediatric Neurologists – those who specialize in central nervous system (CNS) disorders.
- Physiotherapists – those who specialize in movement and mobility.
- Psychologists – those who specialize in coping with issues from a psychological, rather than a physical, standpoint.
- Social Workers – those who can help with financial and educational issues.
- Speech & Language Therapists – those who specialize not only in speech issues, but also with swallowing issues that can affect speech.
While Cerebral Palsy is chronic and incurable, some victims may be able to undergo surgical procedures to help alleviate some of their symptoms of paralysis, tremors and muscle stiffness.
In addition to all of these costs, some victims may need to be placed in residential housing, require special education and need other items or services for which some insurance companies will not pay. That’s why it’s crucial to consider the lifetime cost of care associated with birth injuries. You should also understand that healthcare professionals can be held liable for their negligence. You and your family do not have to take on what can be an extraordinary financial and emotional burden without the help that you need.
Contact An Experienced Cerebral Palsy / Birth Injury Attorney
Although the majority of Cerebral Palsy birth injuries do happen “at or directly after” birth, sometimes symptoms or the complication of symptoms are not fully known until a child is two years old.
That’s why it’s especially important that if your child has been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy due to the negligence of medical provider, your need an experienced advocate who will fight tirelessly on your behalf, deal with insurance companies and make sure that you receive every bit of compensation you and your child deserves – now and in the future.
With more than 30 years of combined experience and tens of millions of dollars recovered for injured clients, Avrek Law Firm, attorneys know what it takes to achieve top results. To schedule a free case review, contact us online or call 1.888.333.5009.