If your baby was born with a serious medical condition or disability, the pain and devastation can feel overwhelming. But what if the baby’s condition resulted from a medical professional’s negligence?
If a doctor, nurse, hospital, or other medical worker caused your child to develop a permanent neurological condition, you naturally want to hold the negligent party accountable for their actions. To help you achieve that goal and pursue a financial settlement to assist with your child’s care and treatment a cerebral palsy lawyer in Jacksonville, FL can assist you.
How Cerebral Palsy Affects Your Child & Your Family
Cerebral palsy, a neurologically triggered movement disorder, manifests in a wide range of symptoms, including some or all of the following:
- Spastic involuntary movements
- Postural difficulties
- Breathing difficulties
- Gait abnormality or immobility
- Lack of bladder or bowel control
- Difficulty swallowing
- Speech impairment
- Sensory impairment (vision, hearing)
- Intellectual disability
- Learning disability
The degree to which your child’s condition will affect your family depends on the severity of the condition. Some children make their way through life with limited care and assistance. Many others, however, cannot walk, speak, or feed themselves, requiring a lifetime of full-time care and ongoing medical treatment.
In the United States, cerebral palsy is surprisingly common. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that one in 323 children in the U.S. suffer from this condition. In 2003, the CDC issued research data indicating that the average care costs over the lifetime of a cerebral palsy victim was $921,000.
In today’s dollars, considering medical care inflation since 2003, that translates to $1,469,305 – a sum that few (if any) families could afford, especially if one or both parents must quit working to provide care for their child.
How Medical Malpractice & Negligence Can Lead to Cerebral Palsy
One of the most common reasons that babies develop cerebral palsy is a lack of oxygen during labor and delivery, a condition known as birth asphyxia. Another commonly cited cause involves the improper use of birth equipment such as vacuums or forceps.
However, other types of medical malpractice can contribute to birth injuries and developmental brain damage. These include:
- An untreated infection in the mother
- Improper prenatal care
- Delayed cesarean section procedure
- A lack of fetal vital sign monitoring
A cerebral palsy lawyer in Jacksonville, FL can evaluate the details of your child’s birth and pre and post-natal care to determine if medical malpractice or negligence may have caused or contributed to a neurological disorder.
How a Cerebral Palsy Lawyer Can Help
The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine provides compassionate legal representation for victims of birth injury malpractice. We will aggressively fight for your family, to hold the negligent party accountable and help get you the financial compensation you need to care for your child.
The Resources to Document Your Claim
Using our network of medical experts and related resources, we will gather information and evidence to demonstrate that medical malpractice led to your child’s cerebral palsy and to substantiate the value of your claim.
Expert Negotiation Skills
Once we identify the at-fault health care provider, we will submit your claim to their insurance company and push their claims adjustors and lawyers to begin negotiations. If we cannot arrive at an acceptable settlement agreement, we may recommend pursuing the matter in court.
Diligence and Protection
Throughout the process, we will be there for you, protecting your legal rights, and fighting tirelessly to get you the best possible outcome in your case. We will handle every possible detail of your case, getting you the resources you need and freeing you to concentrate on caring for your child.
How We Establish Value & Prove Your Cerebral Palsy Claim
To determine the dollar value of your injury claim, we will collect documentation and evidence related to all medical care and treatment costs you have incurred for your child to date. To estimate the future cost of your child’s care, we will use medical records and expert testimony to establish the type of care your child will need in the future, based on the degree of injury.
In addition to the estimated future medical treatment costs, we may also request compensation for some or all of the following items:
- Accessibility modifications for the home
- Assistive medical devices
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Speech therapy
- Special education
- Home health and respite care
- Lost wages for the caregiver parent(s)
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Diminished quality of life
Once our legal team establishes the value of your claim, we will set about the process of demonstrating how medical malpractice or negligence led to your child’s disability.
We will gather evidence including medical records from your child’s birth as well as pre- and post-natal care. We will track down witnesses, take statements, and call on our network of medical experts to obtain relevant testimony.
Depending on who had fault for your child’s injury, we will demonstrate the four legal elements of negligence:
Duty of Care
Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals have a duty to provide a reasonable standard of care, to ensure the safety of their patients.
Breach of Duty
We must demonstrate how the at-fault party violated their duty of care to you and your child by deviating from the reasonable standard of care.
Based on the at-fault party’s breach of duty, we must demonstrate how their breach caused your child’s injury.
Finally, we must demonstrate the actual damages your child and your family suffered due to the at-fault party’s negligent acts.
Talk to a Cerebral Palsy Lawyer in Jacksonville at No Cost
Under Chapter 95, Florida imposes a two-year statute of limitations for filing medical malpractice claims, from the date of the negligent act(s). Because many families do not receive a formal diagnosis until their child begins to miss developmental milestones, your time may be running out.
To protect your right to seek compensation, talk to a cerebral palsy lawyer in Jacksonville as soon as possible.
The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine offers a no-cost, no-obligation consultation for parents of children born with cerebral palsy. We can answer your questions and help you make the best decision for your child, your family, and your future.
Our compassionate legal team is standing by to help you. Contact us today at 1-800-747-3733 for help.