The Statute Of Limitations on Cerebral Palsy – A Guide for Parents

It is a parent’s worst nightmare to ever imagine any kind of harm coming to the child. Although childhood accidents are bound to happen as your child gets older, injuries that happen during pregnancy or birth are hard to prevent. Trauma during the labor and delivery process can cause a variety of problems for your child. The most common birth injury-related problem is the development of Cerebral Palsy. Parents may not be able to detect any signs for months or years after an injury, making it a difficult problem to deal with.

Getting the compensation that you and your child deserve due to medical malpractice can be a challenge. With the diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy often being delayed, claimants will need to be aware of the Statute of Limitations that governs malpractice and birth injury cases. If you wait too long to take action you may not be able to file a suit for the negligence of care. In cases where negligence is the cause of an injury to your child, parents are advised to consult a malpractice lawyer like the experts at the Tinker Law Firm.

What Is The Statute?

A Statute is simply a legal term that means a “period of time in which plaintiffs are able to make a claim against a defendant”. Claims of liability need to be made within the time limitations of each state Statute of Limitations. If the time period has run out, it may be very difficult to make a claim against any responsible party.

In the case of Cerebral Palsy, each state has its own Statute time limit. In general, parents have up to a year to make a claim for malpractice and up to 4 years if the Cerebral Palsy is not found inside the first two years of your child’s life.

Causes of Cerebral Palsy

Although it’s possible for your child to contract Cerebral Palsy during your pregnancy, it’s more likely to develop as a result of an incident during or shortly after birth. Simply put, Cerebral Palsy is a brain injury that affects the normal development of the central nervous system. This can affect numerous things like motor skills and muscle movement.

Types Of Cerebral Palsy

There are four different categories of Cerebral Palsy. Before filing a lawsuit for malpractice, your child will need to be correctly diagnosed. 

  • Ataxic Cerebral Palsy: Cerebellum damage affecting the development of fine motor skills. Balance and coordination are the most affected. Muscle tremors are common.
  • Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy: Largely affecting coordination, posture, core strength and walking ability. It can cause involuntary muscle movements, tightening of muscles, tongue and facial tics.
  • Spastic Cerebral Palsy: The most common type of Cerebral Palsy. The injury affects the process of the brain sending signals to the muscles and the nervous system. Includes tight stiff muscles and uncontrollable jerky movements.
  • Mixed Cerebral Palsy: A mixture of symptoms and afflictions across the full spectrum of the disorder.

 Birth Injuries

Many of the symptoms of Cerebral Palsy may not become apparent until your child is older. You may not even know that there was an injury until much later. If you had any issues during your pregnancy, labor or delivery your child could be at risk of developing Cerebral Palsy. If you suspect your child may be at risk it’s important to monitor them closely and look for any of the symptoms listed in the description.

  • If you had an extended and difficult labor
  • If you needed to have an emergency C-Section after an extended labor period
  • If your child was in the breech position
  • If your child had a lack of proper oxygen during any part of the birth or shortly after delivery
  • There was the use of birthing forceps or vacuum extraction during the birth

A parent is bound to be more than worried if he knows his child will not have a ‘normal’ and healthy life. If you are concerned that your child may be developing Cerebral Palsy as a result of a birth injury, it’s important to get legal advice from a malpractice specialist as soon as possible. Time may be running out for you to get the compensation that you and your child deserve to cover medical bills and the cost of future care.

 

Image Source: Aruma.com.au

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