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April 4, 2013

My baby was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, should I consult a lawyer?

The term cerebral palsy (CP) refers to  a neurological disorder that appears in infancy or early childhood and permanently affects body movement and muscle coordination. Even though cerebral palsy affects muscle movement, often with stiff or tight muscles and spasticity, it isn’t caused by problems in the muscles or nerves.  It is caused by abnormalities in parts of the brain that control muscle movements.   A small number of children have cerebral palsy as the result of brain damage or a lack of oxygen to the brain during birth.

Is there any treatment?

Cerebral palsy can’t be cured, but treatment will often improve a child’s capabilities.  The earlier treatment begins the better chance children have of overcoming developmental disabilities or learning new ways to accomplish the tasks that challenge them.   Treatment may include physical and occupational therapy, speech therapy, drugs to control seizures, relax muscle spasms, and alleviate pain; surgery to correct anatomical abnormalities or release tight muscles; braces and other orthotic devices; wheelchairs and rolling walkers; and communication aids such as computers with attached voice synthesizers.

What is the prognosis?

Cerebral palsy doesn’t always cause profound disabilities.  While one child with severe cerebral palsy might be unable to walk and need extensive, lifelong care, another with mild cerebral palsy might not require special assistance. Supportive treatments, medications, and surgery can help many individuals improve their motor skills and ability to communicate with the world.

Do I need a lawyer?

If your baby had a difficult or traumatic birth, needed resuscitation and/or care in the Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) after birth, and now has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy you should consult a lawyer as soon as possible.  Intensive treatment, supportive therapy and adaptive equipment is critical to maximizing your child’s potential, yet many military hospitals and insurance plans, including TRICARE, do not cover everything your baby needs.  Using creative and comprehensive life care plans during settlement negotiations and/or trial, we work to secure compensation that allows a child with CP to get everything he or she needs, through his or her life.  Our military medical malpractice lawyer, a former high risk labor and delivery nurse, has been successfully resolving military birth injury cases for almost 30 years and can help you too.

Please call us, 24/7 at 877-695-8757, send an e-mail to LawHelp@MilitaryMedicalMalpractice.com, or fill out the Contact Us form for a free, confidential consultation.

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