Indiana Birth Injury Attorneys Litigate Cerebral Palsy Cases
Seeking compensation for prenatal and delivery malpractice
Expectant parents want nothing more than the successful delivery of a healthy child. When things go awry and their baby sustains an injury, such as cerebral palsy, those parents have the right to ask if a doctor’s error caused the harm. While no medical provider can guarantee a healthy outcome, it is not too much to ask that a provider perform competently. For more than 30 years, Marshall P. Whalley & Associates, PC has helped injured parties recover damages for substandard medical services. We fight for parents whose children must have full and fair compensation for a permanent injury that presents lifelong challenges.
What is cerebral palsy?
Cerebral palsy is a complete or partial muscle paralysis caused by damage to, or incomplete development of, the part of the brain called the cerebrum. There are several types of cerebral palsy:
- Spastic cerebral palsy — Spasticity is muscle stiffness resulting in lack of strength and jerky movements. Subtypes include:
- Spastic hemiplegia — Spasticity on one side of the body; may involve speech problems and seizures, but usually does not affect intelligence.
- Spastic diplegia — Spasticity of the lower limbs causing scissoring of the legs and making walking difficult.
- Spastic quadriplegia — Spasticity affecting the entire body; mental retardation and seizures likely.
- Ataxic cerebral palsy — This affects balance and depth perception, disrupting fine motor skills. Intelligence and communication skills are generally unaffected.
- Athetoid or dyskinetic cerebral palsy — Intelligence is usually unaffected, but muscles are weak or tight, and the child is subject to random, uncontrolled movement. Speech is difficult.
- Hypotonic cerebral palsy — The baby’s head flops and the muscles offer very little resistance. Breathing difficulties are common.
What are the known causes of cerebral palsy?
Cerebral palsy can occur naturally or result from an infection or trauma that disrupts brain development. Recognized causes include:
- Mutations of genes — Certain genes control brain development.
- Mother’s illness affecting fetal development — An infection, such as rubella, herpes or a parasite, can destroy the baby’s brain cells.
- Intracranial hemorrhage — Bleeding inside the baby’s brain can be caused by a stroke. Factors giving rise to a fetal stroke include:
- Premature birth
- A blood clot in the placenta
- Mother not treated for preeclampsia
- Doctor allowing second stage of labor to go too long
- Doctor misusing a vacuum extractor during delivery
- Baby’s clotting disorder
- Baby’s heart anomalies
- Asphyxia during labor or delivery
- Birth injuries due to small pelvic structure of the mother or breech delivery
- Infant infection, such as meningitis, causing inflammation in or around the brain
Marshall P. Whalley & Associates thoroughly investigates medical records and consults with qualified experts to determine if cause exists to pursue an action for medical malpractice.
If you have questions about birth injuries, contact our medical malpractice attorneys
Cerebral palsy presents a child with a lifetime of challenges. If you suspect medical malpractice caused the condition, you can seek compensation to address your child’s needs. To schedule a free consultation with an attorney from Marshall P. Whalley & Associates, PC, call 219.769.2900 or contact our Crown Point office online.