Chicago Cerebral Palsy Lawyer

Did your child develop cerebral palsy from a preventable birth injury? Our experienced cerebral palsy lawyers at Ankin Law can help you recover compensation. We have helped victims of birth injuries in the Chicagoland area since 1940

Don’t let the financial consequences of medical negligence fall on your shoulders. A medical malpractice claim for cerebral palsy can cover your present and future losses, protecting your family’s financial future. 

  • Our lawyers are available 24/7
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If your child developed cerebral palsy following a birth injury, you’re not alone. Our cerebral palsy lawyers can help you recover compensation from the liable party. Call (312) 600-0000 

Causes of Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a group of permanent movement disorders that appear in early childhood. While the exact causes of cerebral palsy aren’t always clear, there are several factors that can contribute to its development.

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Brain Damage Before or During Birth

Brain damage occurring before or during birth is one of the primary causes of cerebral palsy. This damage can result from complications during labor and delivery, such as a lack of oxygen (asphyxia), trauma during delivery, or infections during pregnancy.

Abnormal Brain Development

Cerebral palsy can result from abnormal brain development before birth. Genetic factors, maternal health issues, exposure to toxins, or maternal infections such as rubella (German measles) can contribute to abnormal brain development in the fetus.

Premature Birth and Low Birth Weight

Premature birth, especially when coupled with low birth weight, is a risk factor for cerebral palsy. Babies born prematurely are more vulnerable to brain injury due to their underdeveloped organs and systems.

Maternal Infections During Pregnancy

Infections contracted by the mother during pregnancy, such as cytomegalovirus (CMV), toxoplasmosis, or rubella, can increase the risk of cerebral palsy in the child. These infections can affect fetal brain development and lead to neurological complications.

Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injury, whether it occurs during infancy or early childhood, can also result in cerebral palsy. Severe head injuries, such as those sustained in car accidents or from physical abuse, can damage the developing brain and impair motor function.

Understanding the causes of cerebral palsy is crucial for prevention, early intervention, and providing appropriate support and care for individuals living with the condition. Additionally, tracking down the cause of your child’s cerebral palsy can help you determine whether you have a lawsuit.

Types of Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy (CP) encompasses a spectrum of neurological disorders that affect movement, posture, and muscle coordination. The types of cerebral palsy are classified based on the nature of impairments and affected body parts. The three primary types of cerebral palsy include:

Spastic Cerebral Palsy:

Spastic CP is the most common type, accounting for approximately 70-80% of all cases. It is characterized by muscle stiffness and exaggerated reflexes, making movement difficult. Affected muscles may feel tight and resistant to stretching, leading to abnormal posture and difficulty with fine motor skills. There are subtypes of spastic cerebral palsy based on the distribution of muscle stiffness. These include spastic diplegia, spastic hemiplegia, and spastic quadriplegia.

Dyskinetic (Athetoid) Cerebral Palsy:

Dyskinetic CP is characterized by involuntary and uncontrolled movements, often accompanied by fluctuations in muscle tone. These movements can be slow and writhing or rapid and jerky, making it challenging to maintain posture and control limbs. Speech and swallowing difficulties may also be present.

Ataxic Cerebral Palsy:

Ataxic CP is the least common type, affecting around 5-10% of individuals with cerebral palsy. It primarily impairs coordination and balance, leading to shaky movements and difficulty with precise voluntary movements. Individuals with ataxic CP may have trouble with tasks that require controlled movements, such as writing or buttoning clothing. They may also experience tremors and shaky hand movements.

These classifications help healthcare professionals and caregivers understand the challenges individuals with cerebral palsy may face, allowing for tailored treatment and support plans to optimize quality of life and functional independence. Knowing what level of therapy will be required, as well as the degree to which the victim’s life is impacted, can help cerebral palsy lawyers accurately calculate damages when pursuing a lawsuit.

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What Are the Symptoms of Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral palsy (CP) manifests a variety of symptoms that typically become evident during infancy or early childhood. The symptoms of cerebral palsy vary depending on the type and severity of the condition.

Children with cerebral palsy may exhibit delays in reaching developmental milestones such as rolling over, sitting up, crawling, or walking. They may also experience muscle stiffness (spasticity) or looseness (hypotonia). This can result in difficulty with movement, coordination, and posture.

Cerebral palsy often affects motor skills, making it challenging to control movements. Because of this, individuals may experience involuntary movements, tremors, or jerky motions. Difficulties with balance are common symptoms of cerebral palsy, leading to unsteady gait, frequent falls, and challenges with activities requiring precise movements.

Early detection and intervention are crucial for managing symptoms and improving outcomes for individuals with cerebral palsy. A multidisciplinary approach involving physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and assistive devices can help individuals with CP maximize their independence and quality of life. The costs associated with these essential treatments can be recovered through a claim filed against the at fault party.

As the cost of treating your child’s cerebral palsy looms, call Ankin Law at (312) 600-0000 to recover damages and protect your family’s financial future. Free consultation.

Who Can Be Held Liable for Cerebral Palsy?

Determining liability for cerebral palsy can be complex. The party responsible for the condition depends on various factors surrounding its development.

Obstetricians, midwives, nurses, and other healthcare professionals involved in prenatal care, labor, and delivery may be held liable if negligence or medical malpractice contributed to the development of cerebral palsy. This could include failure to monitor the baby’s oxygen levels, delayed delivery in distress situations, delayed c-section, or improper use of medical instruments during birth.

Hospitals and medical facilities may bear liability for cerebral palsy if their policies, procedures, or staffing issues contributed to substandard care during pregnancy, labor, or delivery. In cases where cerebral palsy results from exposure to harmful substances during pregnancy, such as certain medications or toxins, pharmaceutical companies may be held liable for failing to provide adequate warnings about risks to the fetus. Other parties such as caregivers or individuals responsible for causing traumatic injuries may also be held liable for cerebral palsy.

Determining liability involves a thorough investigation by legal and medical experts to establish causation and negligence. If negligence or wrongful actions contributed to the development of cerebral palsy, affected families may pursue legal recourse to seek compensation for medical expenses, ongoing care, and other damages incurred as a result of the condition.

Recovering Damages for Cerebral Palsy in Illinois

Various types of damages may be available to compensate the affected individual and his or her family for the harm suffered. These damages aim to address the financial, physical, and emotional costs associated with cerebral palsy.

Medical Expenses

Compensation for past, current, and future medical expenses related to the treatment and management of cerebral palsy. This may include costs for doctor’s visits, hospitalizations, surgeries, medications, therapy sessions, assistive devices, and other necessary medical interventions.

Rehabilitation and Therapy Costs

Cerebral palsy often requires ongoing therapy and rehabilitation services to help individuals improve motor function, communication skills, and overall quality of life. Damages may cover expenses for physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and other forms of rehabilitation.

Assistive Devices and Home Modifications

Individuals with cerebral palsy may require specialized equipment and assistive devices to enhance mobility, communication, and independence. Damages may include the cost of wheelchairs, braces, communication aids, adaptive technology, and home modifications.

Lost Earnings and Future Income Loss

If cerebral palsy impacts the individual’s ability to work and earn a living, damages may include compensation for lost wages, diminished earning capacity, and future income loss. This is particularly relevant for individuals whose career opportunities are limited due to their condition.

Pain and Suffering

Compensation for the physical pain, discomfort, and emotional distress experienced as a result of cerebral palsy and its associated complications. This may include compensation for past and future pain and suffering endured by the individual.

The value of a cerebral palsy case depends on the severity of the condition, the extent of the damages incurred, and the laws governing medical malpractice and personal injury claims. Consulting with experienced cerebral palsy lawyers can help you understand your rights and pursue appropriate compensation for the true value of your losses.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cerebral Palsy

1

How much is my cerebral palsy case worth?

The value of a cerebral palsy case varies based on the severity of the condition, medical expenses, future care needs, lost income, and emotional suffering. Each case is unique, and damages sought typically reflect the losses incurred by the individual. A cerebral palsy lawyer in Chicago can help you accurately calculate the value of your case.

2

Is cerebral palsy caused by medical malpractice?

Cerebral palsy can result from medical malpractice if negligence or improper medical care during pregnancy, labor, or delivery contributes to brain damage or injury in the infant. Failure to monitor fetal distress, delayed delivery, improper use of delivery instruments, or medication errors can lead to cerebral palsy. However, not all cases of cerebral palsy are caused by medical malpractice, as the condition can also stem from genetic factors or prenatal complications beyond medical control.

3

How long do I have to file a cerebral palsy lawsuit in Chicago?

In Chicago, the statute of limitations for filing a cerebral palsy lawsuit varies depending on the type of claim. Generally, if a birth injury leads to the development of cerebral palsy in an infant, the statute of limitations will be eight years. 

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Resources From Our Chicago Cerebral Palsy Lawyers

Under Illinois laws, healthcare providers owe patients a duty of care to protect them from health risks and injuries. If insufficient prenatal care leads to harm during pregnancy, labor, or childbirth, legal action can be pursued against the provider for negligence. Prenatal care includes monitoring health, discussing concerns, and conducting routine tests. Negligence during childbirth may result in health complications, injuries, or even death.

Birth injuries occur during or shortly after delivery, while birth defects develop before birth in the womb. Distinguishing between these conditions is crucial for determining liability. Birth defects may result from environmental factors or genetic issues. Negligent behavior by medical professionals during childbirth, such as using forceps or administering medication, often causes birth injuries. 

If your child experiences a birth injury, it may be due to medical malpractice, where negligence by a doctor or healthcare provider causes harm. Birth injuries, though sometimes inevitable, can result from negligence. When negligence by a healthcare professional harms a newborn or mother, compensation may be available. Victims may seek compensatory damages covering medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, disfigurement, disability, pain and suffering, and loss of normal life.