Cerebral Palsy: Signs, Causes, and Legal Options

Medical Information Provided By: Dr. Krista Kurtyan, M.D.
Legal Information Provided By: Hartley Hampton, J.D. and Christopher King, J.D.

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What is cerebral palsy? If your child has it, this was likely the first question in your mind. Cerebral palsy is a brain injury that affects the motor functions and intellectual abilities of a child. Its symptoms depend greatly on both the severity and location of the damage. This devastating diagnosis is actually one of the most common motor disorders in children and infants, occurring in an estimated one to four out of every 1,000 births. In some cases, cerebral palsy is the direct result of medical error. If your child was born with cerebral palsy, you may have a legal right to compensation.

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What are the Signs of Cerebral Palsy?

Each case of cerebral palsy is unique to its own set of circumstances, so not all children will exhibit the same difficulties to the same degree. However, there are some basic signs to look out for that are indicative of this condition.

  • Muscle Tone: A child with cerebral palsy may have limbs that are too rigid, too flaccid, or a combination of both. He or she may also experience painful muscle spasms or exhibit spasmodic movements of the hand or foot.
  • Coordination and Control: As the child develops, he or she might have difficulty controlling limbs, which may impact walking, coordination, and the ability to perform tasks such as tying shoes or brushing teeth.
  • Motor Function: Cerebral palsy can impact the gross and fine motor functions of a child, which may become more noticeable as he or she grows up. The ability to crawl, walk, stand, grasp objects, or set objects down gently may all be affected.
  • Oral Motor Function: This is a sign that is present in the majority of preschool-aged children who suffer from this condition. A child may begin to exhibit difficulty speaking, swallowing, breathing, and articulating.

What Causes Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy can occur from a brain malformation or as a result of an injury sustained before, during, or immediately after birth. Additionally, there is some debate in the medical community regarding the correlation between maternal infections and cerebral palsy. Nevertheless, some of the most common causes of this condition are:

  • The infant was allowed to remain too long in the birth canal, resulting in brain inflammation and oxygen deprivation.
  • Birth assistance tools were improperly used, causing head trauma or brain damage.
  • Poor prenatal care resulted in failure to diagnose pre-birth problems.
  • Improper or lack of response to fetal distress during labor or delivery.
  • The doctor did not properly monitor fetal heart rate.
  • Umbilical cord prolapse or strangulation was not responded to in time.

There is no cure for cerebral palsy, so your child’s future will involve a lot of care and treatment, which can be costly. Severe cases may even require the need for a full-time caregiver. Whatever your child’s needs may be, if someone’s negligence is responsible for their development of this condition, you are entitled to seek compensation that may help facilitate an easier future. Although there is no cure for cerebral palsy, there are therapies and treatments that may help provide comfort for your child and ease the severity of the condition.

Contact Houston Cerebral Palsy Lawyers Hampton & King

If your child suffers from cerebral palsy, contact us today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced cerebral palsy lawyer to discuss your case and learn how we can help you. Our firm considers every aspect of your case when you come to us. We can discuss the possibility of creating a special needs trust or securing a structured settlement to avoid complications with Medicaid eligibility. Interested in learning how our firm can help with your case?

Fill out our online form or call us at 713-489-0993

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