Caring for an infant or child with cerebral palsy (CP) is costly and time-consuming. For a parent who believes their child’s condition is due to a medical error, filing a legal claim may help to reduce the expenses of CP treatment. A knowledgeable cerebral palsy attorney will help a family receive financial compensation that may be used for surgery, therapy, assistive technologies, and much more.
Childbirth is an extremely vulnerable time for both mother and baby. Unfortunately, it can end in disaster when a doctor fails to monitor the mother and child properly during the birthing process. Birth injuries, including cerebral palsy, can change an entire family’s life.
Did your child acquire cerebral palsy due to reduced blood supply before or after birth? Zayed Law Offices can help your family pursue the compensation you may deserve.Contact a Medical Malpractice Lawyer today to discuss your legal options today.
Chicago Cerebral Palsy Guide
- When to Hire a Cerebral Palsy Lawyer
- Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis in Chicago: Common Causes
- Compensation for a Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis
- Fighting the Insurance Company
- Contact a Chicago Cerebral Palsy Attorney
Zayed Law Offices Can Help the Families of Chicago Infants with Cerebral Palsy
At Zayed Law Offices, we understand just how devastating a cerebral palsy diagnosis can prove for your child and your family. We aim to help alleviate the burden as much as possible. Our team of attorneys cannot help turn back the clock and get your child care that can eliminate the risk of cerebral palsy, but we can provide comprehensive legal support that can help you pursue an injury claim.
Our determined team of attorneys helps injury victims and their families relentlessly pursue the compensation they may deserve following a cerebral palsy diagnosis. We help identify the compensation your family deserves, collect evidence that can help identify the liable party, and ensure our clients receive comprehensive support through every stage of their claims.
Your family has enough to deal with as you manage your child’s condition and the associated symptoms. At Zayed Law Offices, we offer a free consultation and comprehensive legal support to pursue the compensation your family deserves while you continue to focus on your child’s unique needs.
When to Hire an Attorney
Timing is one of the most crucial aspects of a cerebral palsy claim. Like all other lawsuits, CP claims are under the statute of limitations. This is a predetermined time period in which a caregiver or parent may pursue legal action for injuries that led to a child’s CP. Once the time has passed, it may not be possible to file a claim. Most cerebral palsy cases are detected before a child turns 2, and the sooner the cause is determined, the better. Consulting a cerebral palsy attorney before the child reaches toddlerhood will ensure the right to file a claim.
What to Look For in an Attorney
Finding a CP attorney is the first and most crucial step of initiating a legal claim. Parents should talk with multiple law firms and attorneys before choosing one to represent them. Here, parents will learn which qualities to seek in a cerebral palsy attorney.
- Skill: Though medical malpractice claims are typically challenging, CP lawsuits are some of the most complex claims to be brought. Insurance carriers working on medical providers’ behalf hire their own attorneys to defend CP cases, and they sometimes use medical evidence of dubious merit. Few attorneys have the skill to handle these claims. When interviewing lawyers, ask if they’ve attained competence certifications or peer review recognitions.
- Experience: An experienced lawyer knows how to find and gather evidence. They have access to nationally-recognized medical providers who specialize in obstetrical care standards, fetal oxygen reserves, maternal/fetal medicine, neuroradiology, and neonatal medicine. When interviewing lawyers, ask them about their experience with birth injury and cerebral palsy cases.
- A history of success: Along with experience, it’s important to learn whether the attorney’s background consists of successful cases. A lawyer with a history of successful recoveries in CP and birth injury cases is more likely to prevail in court, though results depend on a case’s specific facts. When consulting attorneys, ask about their track records.
- Contingency fee arrangements: Most CP lawyers work on contingency, which means parents don’t have to pay fees unless the case settles or they win. A lawyer working on contingency has an obvious motivation to win cases for clients.
- Positive client/attorney relationships: While an attorney’s personality isn’t as important as his or her history, productive relationships are a critical part of a successful claim. Parents should feel confident and comfortable in their attorneys, and if they are hesitant, they should consult a few more firms before making a decision.
Finding a Cerebral Palsy Attorney in Chicago
Online research is still a good way to find a cerebral palsy attorney. By looking for local birth injury firms, parents can read reviews and learn about other families’ experiences. Search engines are very helpful when seeking legal representation, because parents can customize their searches to show firms with the right attributes. Along with online research, parents can find the necessary legal assistance in other ways:
- Through BTL (birth trauma litigation) groups, which provide the highest possible standard of educational, medical, and legal assistance to receive and maintain BTL certifications
- Via the ABA (American Bar Association), which offers information on ABA-approved lawyers and legal groups
- Local, national, and online groups focused on legal and financial assistance
- Recommendations and referrals from coworkers, friends, and family members
Parents shouldn’t have to navigate the legal system alone. With help from the above sources, they can get the financial compensation they’ll need to help their child live as normally as possible.
Call for Legal Help
If a parent believes their child’s Cerebral Palsy occurred due to a preventable injury at birth and they’re looking for a lawyer, local firms can help. With assistance from an attorney who has experience with birth injury claims, parents will find it easier to get through the process.
Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis in Chicago: Common Causes
Cerebral palsy may occur in an estimated 1-4 per 1000 live births, according to the CDC. Medical costs for children with cerebral palsy may rise ten times higher than medical costs for children who do not suffer from cerebral palsy.
Many risk factors can increase the risk of developing cerebral palsy, including:
- Multiple births
- Some types of infertility treatments
- Severe jaundice
- Low birth weight
- Maternal infections
- Birth complications
Medical negligence can also substantially increase the risk of cerebral palsy, particularly if physicians fail to properly monitor mother and child. Whether you received a low standard of care Chicago Medicine Family Birth Center or Northwestern Medicine Prentice Women’s Hospital, you may have the right to compensation for your family’s losses.
Compensation for a Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis: What To Expect
You may know that you deserve compensation for a cerebral palsy diagnosis. Do you know how much to expect? Compensation for cerebral palsy caused by the negligent actions of a medical care provider may include several key categories.
At Zayed Law Offices, we work with our clients to take a clear look at that compensation, then help them pursue the full compensation they deserve.
- Compensation for your child’s increased medical bills. In some cases, cerebral palsy symptoms can create complications after birth. You may end up with a longer NICU stay.
- Compensation for your child’s future medical needs. Children with cerebral palsy may have many critical medical needs that they need to address throughout their lifetime, which may lead to substantially increased expenses for your family.
- Compensation for your child’s overall suffering. Cerebral palsy can lead to frustration and pain throughout your child’s life. An injury claim cannot help avoid that pain, but it can help provide for your child’s future.
Talk to the experienced Chicago Cerebral Palsy attorneys at Zayed Law Offices to get a better idea of the compensation you should expect for your child and family after a cerebral palsy diagnosis.
Fighting the Insurance Company Following a Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis in Chicago
Discovering that your child faces a devastating cerebral palsy diagnosis, which can impact your child’s balance, muscle control, and activity levels throughout their entire lives, can feel devastating enough. Your family may deserve substantial compensation for the financial losses and challenges you may face while dealing with your child’s recovery.
Unfortunately, the doctor’s medical malpractice insurance company may not agree.
To file a medical malpractice claim, you may first need to take your claim in front of a medical malpractice board and establish that your child’s cerebral palsy diagnosis occurred because of the care provider’s negligence. Then, you may need to fight with the insurance company to get the compensation you deserve.
In many cases, medical malpractice insurance companies may try to reduce the compensation they have to pay out, even when they have clear evidence of the losses your family has faced. At Zayed Law Offices, we make sure our clients understand the compensation they may deserve for their financial losses, then help pursue that compensation directly from the insurance company.
Did Your Child Face a Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis in Chicago? What To Do Next
The immediate aftermath of a cerebral palsy diagnosis can feel incredibly chaotic. You may need to focus on your child’s medical care for some time.
However, you need to pursue compensation through an injury claim before the statute of limitations runs out if you want the funds to protect your child and family.
- Gather your child’s medical records and medical records from the pregnancy.
- Talk to a lawyer as soon as possible.
- Do not confront the doctor directly.
You do not have to deal with the doctor or hospital that caused your child’s injuries on your own. Instead, let Zayed Law Offices take care of those communications with the provider’s medical malpractice insurance for you. We can help ensure that you have comprehensive legal support as you manage your cerebral palsy claim.
Chicago Cerebral Palsy Lawyer FAQs
As you plan for parenthood, you have certain expectations for your child’s future. You never anticipate that you may need to consider lifelong disabilities instead of traditional childhood milestones. Sadly, this is the reality if your child develops cerebral palsy (CP).
While researchers don’t fully understand everything about CP, they recognize that medical failures sometimes play a role in its manifestation. If you suspect that a medical professional injured your child, our Chicago cerebral palsy attorneys determine your right to compensation under Illinois’s malpractice statutes.
At Zayed Law Offices, we dedicate our practice to protecting your legal rights. If your physician’s negligent act or omission caused your child’s cerebral palsy, we want to help. When you work with our Chicago cerebral palsy attorneys, we assess the legal issues while so you can focus on caring for your child.
We review your child’s medical records to determine what happened. When appropriate, we obtain a medical expert for an independent opinion. If possible, we resolve client cases informally or follow a formal path that places our evidence before a judge and jury.
At Zayed Law Offices, we believe you should understand how a doctor’s actions can harm a newborn child. We created our Cerebral Palsy FAQ to help you understand how and why children develop cerebral palsy. We also want you to know your legal rights under Illinois’s medical malpractice statutes.
What is cerebral palsy?
Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that affect a child’s developing brain. Children with these conditions have difficulty controlling their muscles and posture. Some children also struggle with intellectual disabilities, seizures, speech problems, scoliosis, joint problems, and other issues.
Those with mild CP often have difficulty walking but need minimal assistance. Those with severe cases usually need lifelong care and special devices to move around. The symptoms sometimes change, but the condition doesn’t progress.
What causes cerebral palsy?
The CDC explains that there are two types of cerebral palsy and several subtypes. Each causes a range of symptoms.
Medical professionals classify them as congenital and acquired based on how they occur.
- Congenital: The child’s brain doesn’t develop normally, or it sustains an injury. Congenital CP occurs when damage or development issues arise during pregnancy, labor, or childbirth.
- Acquired: This type of CP occurs during the months following a child’s birth, often because of an accident, an infection, or a rare childhood stroke.
What are the different types of cerebral palsy?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Cerebral Palsy page lists four types of cerebral palsy:
- Spastic Cerebral Palsy: This type affects 80 percent of people with Cerebral Palsy. It tightens a person’s muscle tone, causing stiff, awkward movements. The three types of spastic CP affect different body parts.
- Diplegia/Diparesis: This type involves leg stiffness which causes difficulty walking.
- Hemiplegia/Hemiparesis: This type of CP typically affects one side of the body, often involving the arm more than the leg.
- Quadriplegia/Quadriparesis: This severe type of spastic CP affects both legs and arms, the trunk, and the face, causing severe problems. Often the person can’t walk. Sometimes they experience vision, hearing, speech, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and seizures.
- Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy (Also Known as Choreoathetoid, Dystonic, and Athetoid): This type of CP causes movement and control problems with feet, legs, arms, hands, and sometimes the face.
- Ataxic Cerebral Palsy: Ataxic CP causes an unsteady gait and other issues due to balance, coordination, and control problems. Control issues often affect the hands and arms.
- Mixed Cerebral Palsy: A person with mixed CP often displays a combination of the above symptoms.
What can doctors do differently to minimize a child’s chances of developing CP?
Doctors monitor and care for pregnant patients during prenatal visits, labor, and delivery. They understand the health concerns and have many opportunities to observe and manage controllable CP risk factors.
During a patient’s pregnancy, medical professionals must identify these factors and provide timely intervention. When their care doesn’t meet professional standards, their negligent acts or omissions allow CP risk factors to continue unabated.
How will I know if my child has cerebral palsy?
The CP Family Network explains that parents usually notice some cerebral palsy symptoms in their newborn children. Other symptoms become more noticeable as the child reaches school age.
Common symptoms include:
- Swallowing difficulties
- Eye muscle imbalance issues
- Limited range of motion
- Differences in muscle tone: stiffness or limpness
- Balance and coordination issues
- Involuntary movements
- Delayed motor development: crawling, sitting up, etc.
- Using arm and leg on one side only.
Can a doctor diagnose cerebral palsy while I’m still pregnant?
Physicians can’t diagnose CP during pregnancy. When a child is at high risk for developing the condition, a medical professional can detect certain abnormalities using ultrasound. Most children don’t receive a formal diagnosis until they reach two to three years old.
What CP risk factors are under a doctor’s control?
- Infections and Viruses: Obstetricians understand that proper care and treatment are essential elements of prenatal care. They know or should know that when a pregnant patient contracts chickenpox, rubella, pelvic infections, or other infections or viruses, they sometimes cause cerebral palsy in the unborn child. Some infections produce cytokines, which are cell protein secretions. When they enter a child’s brain or blood, they induce damaging inflammation, a condition that sometimes causes cerebral palsy. A doctor must diagnose and treat medical issues during prenatal visits before they become a problem.
- Delayed C-Sections: Sometimes, a child or mother doesn’t receive adequate oxygen during labor or delivery. This circumstance sometimes occurs because of placenta detachment, uterine rupture, or umbilical cord issues. Oxygen deprivation causes brain damage, which can cause Cerebral Palsy. Doctors avoid oxygen deprivation by properly monitoring their patients during labor and performing a timely c-section when an emergency arises.
- Assisted Vaginal Deliveries: When doctors use forceps or perform vacuum extraction-assisted deliveries, they sometimes injure the child, causing brain damage. During difficult deliveries, the doctor grasps the child’s head with forceps and then pulls. If they use a vacuum extraction device, they attach it to the child’s head and suck them out of the birth canal. As doctors don’t use these harsh techniques very frequently, they sometimes inflict brain damage on the newborn during delivery. This incident can cause cerebral palsy.
- Jaundice/Kernicterus: When newborns have too much bilirubin in their blood, they often develop jaundice. It’s a common condition, but without timely treatment, a type of brain damage called kernicterus sometimes develops. Kernicterus can cause hearing loss, vision problems, and athetoid cerebral palsy, a common CP subtype.
Can I File a Lawsuit for Compensation for My Child’s Cerebral Palsy?
If a medical professional’s negligent act or omission caused your child’s cerebral palsy, the Illinois Compiled Statutes allow you to recover compensation for your child and family. To move forward, you must file a lawsuit that complies with state requirements. When our cerebral palsy attorneys file your suit, they submit a medical expert’s supporting affidavit. They comply with all state requirements and guidelines outlined in the malpractice statutes to protect your right to compensation.
How Long Do I Have to File a Birth Injury Lawsuit In Illinois?
Illinois Compiled Statutes 735 ILCS §13-212 explains the state’s medical malpractice statute of limitations. Depending on when you discovered the malpractice, the time frame gives you two to four years to file a lawsuit. The statute of limitations considers when you knew or should have known or received written notice that a medical professional caused the injury.
When filing a birth injury claim, the statute contains several relevant exceptions.
- If the injured person was under 18 when the malpractice occurred, they have up to eight years or until they turn age 22.
- If an injured person is legally disabled, their statute of limitation extends until their “disability is removed.”
- If the medical act disabled the injured person, the disability exception also applies.
If you miss your statute of limitations, you lose your right to make a claim or file a lawsuit for compensation. Our Chicago cerebral palsy attorneys do what’s necessary to prevent people from missing the filing deadline. We protect our clients’ legal rights and meet legal deadlines as required.
Do I Need a Cerebral Palsy Attorney?
Yes. Medical professionals don’t usually admit they were wrong or voluntarily pay compensation. A seasoned Chicago cerebral palsy attorney working for you can make a big difference in the success of your claim.
When Zayed Law Offices represents you and your child, our lawyers protect your rights. We determine if your medical provider injured your child during pregnancy, labor, or delivery. When appropriate, we work to recover legally owed compensation for your family.
When you arrange a legal consultation with our law firm, we discuss your incident, answer your questions, and explain your legal options. You decide if you want to move forward with your case. Contact us today to learn more.
Contact a Chicago Cerebral Palsy Attorney Today
Cerebral palsy can change the course of your family and your child’s life. If your child faces a serious cerebral palsy diagnosis, Zayed Law Offices can help. Contact us today at (312) 883-6907 to learn more about your potential right to compensation.