Rhode Island Cerebral Palsy Lawyer

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When your child is diagnosed with cerebral palsy, it can be a stressful time for you and your family. Cerebral palsy is a disorder for which there is no cure and typically requires medical treatment and therapy to manage. Cerebral palsy is a lifelong challenge that will affect your child and you; educating yourself and seeking support and assistance when needed can help you manage how cerebral palsy affects your and your child's life.

What is cerebral palsy and what causes it?

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a term that refers to a grouping of various neurological conditions that affects movement, muscle coordination, and posture. The neurological conditions stem from damage to the area of the brain that control motor function and muscle control. Cerebral palsy appears in infancy or early childhood.

Most children who have cerebral palsy are born with the condition. For these cases of CP, which account for approximately 70 percent of cerebral palsy cases, the causes are usually unknown. Factors that may attribute to the development of cerebral palsy while a fetus is still in the uterus include, but are not limited to: a mother's contraction of the measles while pregnant; a mother's development of a fever while pregnant; incompatible blood/RH factors between the mother and fetus; medication or drugs given the mother while pregnant; or the mother's development of a bacterial infection while pregnant.

Approximately 10 percent of cerebral palsy cases are the result of some sort of brain injury that occurs after birth. Causes of CP in infants may include a brain infection such as meningitis, or brain trauma from a car accident, fall, or child abuse.

The remaining 20 percent of cerebral palsy cases occur during the birthing process. Asphyxia (a lack of oxygen to the brain) or brain injury that results in bleeding. Asphyxia may occur from a premature separation of the placenta, strangulation by the umbilical cord, or other complications. Bleeding of the brain may come from pressure related to a vaginal delivery or some sort of trauma during the birth process.

Why might I need a lawyer?

Doctors and medical professionals typically take every measure they can to avoid complications during labor. They will set up monitoring devices to monitor the fetus and the mother, and check in on their patients regularly. These precautions significantly reduce the risk of cerebral palsy from birthing complications.

Regardless of the precautions that medical professionals take, there are still chances of mistakes or errors occurring during labor that can lead to cerebral palsy. For instance, a complication during labor necessitates a quick delivery (within 10 minutes or less) to avoid brain injury. Typically, babies in these situations are delivered using a Caesarean section. However, there may be times when a doctor may not perform a Caesarean section quickly enough, resulting in brain injury and the possibility of cerebral palsy. In addition, there are chances, however small, that an infant may suffer from trauma to the head during injury that can lead to brain injury and cerebral palsy.

In the event that you suspect your child developed brain injury as the result of medical negligence, it is highly recommended that you seek the advice of a Rhode Island attorney specializing in medical negligence and birth injury cases.

Birth injury medical negligence cases are challenging and difficult to prove. To make a claim that will hold up legally, an attorney must prove that there was a breach in the standard of care, causation, injury, and damages. A lawyer who is well-versed in Rhode Island medical malpractice law will be able to guide you through the legal process, assess your case to determine whether or not you can make a claim, and pursue justice.


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