In many cases, the brain damage that leads to cerebral palsy (CP) can be traced to mistakes made by healthcare providers.
For example, a doctor may fail to diagnose a maternal infection that results in the baby’s brain developing improperly.
A healthcare provider may also make a mistake during labor, such as using the forceps too aggressively and causing bleeding of the brain. These and other types of medical negligence can be the direct cause of a child’s life being changed by cerebral palsy.
Determining how the CP happened and who was to blame is very important. The law allows injured victims and their families to take legal action against the responsible person or entity.
At Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., we understand that it can be difficult to get to the bottom of who caused the cerebral palsy to occur. We can use our legal experience and our network of medical experts to help you understand who is at fault and to take the appropriate legal action. Be aware of the time limits for filing a cerebral palsy lawsuit.
If you would like to receive a free consultation about your case, simply call or submit our online form today.
Mistakes by Medical Providers
Any healthcare provider whose acts or omissions lead to an infant suffering brain damage can potentially be considered at fault for cerebral palsy. These parties include:
- An obstetrician providing pre-natal care
- A general practitioner or primary care doctor who fails to diagnose a maternal infection such as rubella or toxoplasmosis
- A pediatrician or other healthcare provider who fails to diagnose meningitis or other health problems in the baby that cause brain damage
- A nurse, intern or doctor who fails to properly monitor the mother or baby’s condition during labor and delivery and/or who does not notice signs of fetal distress
- A care provider who fails to take prompt action at signs of fetal or maternal distress
- A doctor who allows a labor to go on for too long, causing the baby to be deprived of oxygen or experience brain damage during the birthing process
- A physician who administers too much Pitocin, resulting in excessive contractions that are too frequent and that deprive a baby of oxygen
- An anesthesiologist who makes a mistake in administering drugs to the mother or baby or who fails to monitor them for signs of maternal or fetal distress
- A midwife who makes a mistake when providing prenatal care, who fails to detect a high-risk pregnancy, who doesn’t respond to signs of fetal distress or who otherwise botches a delivery
- A nurse who provides substandard prenatal care or assistance to the mother or baby during labor
These are just a few of the potential situations where healthcare professionals could be at fault for a child developing cerebral palsy. Nurses, doctors, midwives, interns, anesthesiologists and hospitals all have a duty to patients who are pregnant or giving birth and who seek care. Whenever these professionals fall short in fulfilling their obligations, they are to blame for the injury or damage that occurs.
Who is to Blame if My Child Develops Cerebral Palsy?
Doctors and other healthcare providers are held to a professional standard of care. This means they are expected to provide reasonable quality medical services to patients who come to them for prenatal care and for labor and delivery.
To determine if a doctor is negligent and responsible for causing a child to develop cerebral palsy, it is essential to consider the care provider’s behavior and evaluate whether it fell short of what a reasonable professional with the same background would have done in the same situation.
For example, the care provided by an anesthesiologist would be compared to what a reasonable anesthesiologist would have done, while a nurse’s actions would be evaluated in light of what a reasonable nurse would have done. If the care provider fell short of what is reasonable and this failure was a direct cause of the brain damage leading to cerebral palsy, that provider is at fault.
In some cases, there may be multiple individuals or entities who are to blame. For example, both a doctor and a hospital may be at fault for a child’s development of CP, or both a doctor and a nurse may be to blame.
Hospitals, doctors and others who employ staff can also be held legally responsible for the negligent actions of those who work for them. For example, if a hospital employs a doctor and the doctor makes a careless mistake, this could be viewed as the legal equivalent of the hospital itself being careless.
It can sometimes be tough to determine exactly who you should make a claim against as a result of a botched labor or delivery leading to cerebral palsy. An experienced attorney can help you to protect your rights and hold the appropriate people and entities accountable for the harm they have caused.
Our Birth Injury Lawyers Help Cerebral Palsy Victims Throughout Chicago and Illinois
Our attorneys have extensive experience representing families and victims affected by CP in Chicago and areas throughout Illinois.
We can help you to obtain necessary medical records, secure expert opinions and uncover and gather evidence necessary to prove who is at fault in your case. Our goal is to build a strong claim and give you the best chance of recovering full compensation for your losses and the damage caused by cerebral palsy.
To learn more about how we can help you, give us a call or contact us online today. We provide free, confidential consultations.