West Virginia Cerebral Palsy Lawyer

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The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals has stated that if a physician neglects to uphold the standards of care enforced by the hospital, that physician may be held liable for injuries or death if expert testimony is obtained. This law, and others like it, protects the rights of individuals who become victims of medical malpractice. Consequently, cerebral palsy and its links to medical malpractice have been scrutinized in recent years.

What is Cerebral Palsy (CP)?

CP is often defined as a congenital, or pre-birth disorder, arising from damage to the brain before or directly after birth or within the first three years of a child's life. However, most instances of brain damage occur during pregnancy and through the birthing process. The first type of CP is recognized by a child's inability to move without difficulty. It is classified as spastic cerebral palsy. The second, called athetoid cerebral palsy is recognized in a child that has sporadic, uncontrolled, involuntary movements. The third form of CP is known as ataxic cerebral palsy. In this form, the child lacks depth perception and has an uncoordinated sense of balance. Many children have a mix of all three types, making them vulnerable to other learning, cognitive, and physical disabilities. Most children with CP, for example, have regular fits of seizures and poor eyesight because brain injuries damage the optic nerves.

While no single definitive cause of CP is known, researchers agree that the condition is caused by damage to the brain. Lack of prenatal care is a major cause, as complications with the developing fetus, such as malnutrition and infections, may go unnoticed. At times, medical malpractice is the cause of such inadequate prenatal care, which can often be hard to determine. CP is also common among premature babies because time spent in the womb was insufficient for proper development. Moreover, premature babies are particularly sensitive to complications after birth, since they are so vulnerable to toxins. The birth process, itself, can be damaging to the baby, causing irreversible consequences.

Is Medical Malpractice to Blame?

In order for a medical malpractice lawsuit to be established, one must be able to prove that a doctor expressed negligent behaviors. Moreover, the individual must also be able to prove that this negligence directly contributed to the injured child. Proving someone to be negligent is not necessarily difficult. However, proving that these behaviors caused your child to develop CP is another story. Nevertheless, there are times when a doctor is at fault and must take responsibility for these actions. For example, by law, doctors must adhere to implied consent laws. Hospital regulation state that a doctor must explain any procedures conducted on a patient and their consequences prior to commencement. This is an indirect consent on behalf of the patient, ensuring that doctors cannot be held liable if any complications are to arise. If a doctor neglects to enforce this action, he or she can be held accountable.

A doctor can also be held accountable if procedures rendered are atypical of common practice. For example, if physical exams are conducted during prenatal visits that do not meet with the hospital's standards, the doctor can be held accountable for medical malpractice. Expert testimony is required when building case from this particular angle.

How to File a Lawsuit
If your child has been victimized due to medical malpractice and suffer from medical expenses because of it, you may have a case to get the compensation you deserve. It is best to contact a birth injury attorney to handle the case. Your attorney should have years of experience in the field and a successful record in cases similar to yours. Using the Web, locate prospective lawyers in West Virginia that are willing to take on your case. Set up consultation meetings with attorneys, but be sure to gather all documentation needed to file your claim. Relevant documents include medical records, which can be legally acquired through the hospital, medical bills, and any other papers summoned by the attorney. They can then walk you through litigation processes, taking on the responsibilities as your legal representation. One should never have to suffer the life-long consequences of a debilitating disorder simply because a doctor lacked experience and professionalism. Let a West Virginia attorney fight for your rights.


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