If your baby suffered brain damage during labor, you could have a valid medical malpractice claim against the medical providers. Catastrophic damage can happen within minutes during childbirth, which is why all healthcare professionals must be well-trained to recognize symptoms of fetal distress.
Your doctor must know all the potential risk factors that could impact your fetus’s health. If the delivery room staff doesn’t quickly respond to warning signs of distress, your baby can be deprived of oxygen to the brain. That can lead to numerous medical problems, including cerebral palsy. If your baby was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, speak with a New Mexico cerebral palsy lawyer right away.
At Poulos & Coates, LLP, we handle medical malpractice cases every day. We are the only firm in New Mexico that solely handles medical malpractice claims. With over 70 years of combined experience, you can rest assured your case is in good hands. To date, we’ve collected over 100 million dollars for our injured clients. Contact us to set up a no-obligation initial consultation to learn more about how we can help.
What Is Cerebral Palsy?
When a baby’s brain abnormally develops or there is damage to the developing brain, it can result in cerebral palsy or CP. Children who have cerebral palsy are unable to control their muscles. CP is usually caused by either trauma during labor or delivery or a lack of oxygen in the mother’s womb. It can also be the result of other preventable birth injuries. Any one of these can happen when a medical provider fails to monitor the mother’s and child’s health during the pregnancy, or they mishandle fetal distress.
Situations that can lead to fetal distress and oxygen deprivation include placental abruption, uterine rupture, severe blood pressure decreasing in the mother, or the umbilical cord prolapsing. If the medical professional or facility doesn’t have proper procedures in place or respond correctly, it could result in one or more birth injuries. If this is what happened to your family, you have the legal right to pursue a medical malpractice claim against the negligent parties.
Spastic cerebral palsy is one of the most common types of cerebral palsy babies develops after a birth injury. People who have spastic cerebral palsy feel stiff, and their movements will also look jerky and stiff. Because their muscles are tight, they may struggle to move at all. Talk to one of our spastic cerebral palsy lawyers to discuss the best course of legal action.
How Does Cerebral Palsy Happen?
Understandably, one of the biggest questions you want to be answered is, How did this happen to my child? New diagnostic tests, such as CTs or MRIs, can help shed some light on what went wrong. Your child’s pediatrician can use those results, medical history, and their own observations to ascertain what type of brain damage happened to your baby. They will confirm or rule out cerebral palsy.
Once you establish the type of brain injury or malformation, you can turn your efforts toward what kind of medical care and long-term arrangements you need to make. While it’s devastating to receive a confirmed cerebral palsy diagnosis, it can help you start planning for your child’s future and make any changes now.
Then, you can turn your efforts toward determining the cause. Many times, your pediatrician can determine the cause by reviewing your medical history and previous diagnostic tests. Once you understand what led to cerebral palsy, you can decide if filing a medical malpractice lawsuit is right for you.
How to Prove Medical Malpractice with Cerebral Palsy
Before you can collect any compensation for birth injuries like cerebral palsy, you need to prove negligence against the responsible parties. Your baby developing cerebral palsy isn’t proof enough to warrant a settlement. You need to show the negligent provider or facility caused your baby to develop cerebral palsy.
There are four main elements you need to establish in a medical malpractice lawsuit:
- There is a doctor-patient relationship with the at-fault provider or facility;
- The provider or facility breached their duty to provide a particular standard of care;
- Their actions directly caused your baby’s cerebral palsy; and
- You and your child have suffered or will suffer damages as a result, such as medical expenses and a reduced quality of life.
Establishing these four elements can sometimes be challenging. You may need one or more experts to testify on your behalf and help show your baby’s cerebral palsy was caused by medical negligence. This is when you need an experienced cerebral palsy malpractice lawyer on your side. At Poulos & Coates LLP, we routinely work with some of the best experts in the industry.
Potential Damages You Can Recover in a Cerebral Injury Lawsuit
When you file a claim for birth injuries, you’re asking the court to hold the defendant responsible and require them to compensate you for the expenses and resources you need to care for a baby with cerebral palsy. Every cerebral palsy patient is different. Symptoms vary, and what you will need as a parent will vary from case to case. With birth injuries, some potential damages you might seek compensation for include:
- Medical expenses (both current and expected treatment going forward);
- Orthotics and braces;
- Any past and future surgeries;
- Mobility devices, such as a wheelchair;
- Physical, occupational, and speech therapies;
- Hearing and vision aids;
- Special accommodations at your home;
- Accommodations for your baby to access the world;
- Assistive devices for their communication and education; and
- 24-hour nursing care.
Birth injuries such as cerebral palsy don’t just affect your child. Your life will change in countless ways. You may have to cut back your hours at work or even quit your job to take care of your baby. Some people may need to hire a caregiver who can provide aid as well.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Medical Malpractice in New Mexico?
The statute of limitations is the legal deadline that each state establishes for various types of claims, such as car accidents, defective products, medical malpractice, and more. If you fail to file in time, the court can throw out your case, which means you are barred from any financial recovery.
In most cases, you have only three years after the injury date to file a lawsuit for medical malpractice. However, it’s not always that straightforward, which is why you work with an experienced New Mexico cerebral palsy attorney who can help.
If your claim involves a government facility or medical provider, the process is entirely different. In fact, you may have only a limited amount of time to put the defendants on notice, possibly only 90 days. Your time to file a lawsuit is also reduced. You might have only two years to file a lawsuit against a state-run facility and even less with a federal medical provider or facility, such as the VA or Indian Health Services.
Contact a Las Cruces Cerebral Palsy Lawyer
If your child was recently diagnosed with cerebral palsy, it’s crucial to take immediate action. You need to speak with an experienced Las Cruces cerebral palsy lawyer who can help. Let the team at Poulos & Coates, LLP, put our skills and knowledge to work for you. Contact our office today to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. We know how to protect your rights and aggressively pursue compensation in a cerebral palsy lawsuit. Our top priority is to hold all negligent parties responsible for your child’s injuries and keep other families from suffering the same tragedy as you.