A cerebral palsy diagnosis for a child can turn everything around for any family. This disorder typically means that the child will have lifelong limitations and special needs, and that the family will face financial burdens and emotional strain. What’s worse is that this disorder may begin from the very start of a child’s life, possibly as a result of the negligence of medical professionals during the mother’s pregnancy or childbirth.
If your child has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, consulting a birth injury lawyer may be the last thing on your mind. But exploring your legal options may actually lead to significant relief. The law may entitle your family to compensation if it is established that your child’s suffering is due to medical negligence.
In Columbia and nearby cities in South Carolina, families have trusted the law firm of Kassel McVey for cases like this. Our attorneys have decades of successful experience, but we provide more than that. We offer compassionate service to each client, reducing the stress that is often associated with legal procedures. Our goal is not just to win every case, but to ensure that our clients have the ability to cope well and heal beyond the legal case.
Overview Of Cerebral Palsy And Its Symptoms
At its core, cerebral palsy is a disorder in a child’s movements and muscles, caused by damage to his or her brain. The disorder usually starts before or during birth, when the infant’s brain is at its most vulnerable.
CP affects a wide range of functions. Many patients have abnormal reflexes, irregular muscle tone (rigid or floppy), abnormal posture, and unsteady movements. Some children with CP are unable to focus their eyesight, while others are unable to walk. There are also some CP cases that affect the patient’s intellectual capacity.
Because this disorder has a variety of effects, the signs and symptoms also vary. The irregularities may be noticeable as early as during infancy. These are some cerebral palsy symptoms that parents must look out for in their children:
- Irregular muscle tone – too stiff or too floppy
- Spasticity – abnormal reflexes due to stiff muscles
- Ataxia – lack of muscle coordination
- Athetosis – slow, writhing motions
- Delays in motor skills development, such as crawling and sitting up
- Delays in speech development
- Difficulty walking
- Difficulty with precise motions like using a spoon or picking up a toy
- Problems in vision or hearing
- Excessive drooling, or swallowing problems
- Urinary incontinence – trouble controlling the muscles for urination
Unfortunately, there is currently no confirmed cure for cerebral palsy. While the medical community is looking at advanced procedures such as stem cell therapy, these are still being developed. As of now, CP patients and their families may manage the disorder through muscle therapy, surgeries, and assistive technologies like robotic limbs. Special education is also often advised for children with cerebral palsy.
When Negligence Causes Cerebral Palsy
The main cause of CP is brain damage or disruption in the development of an infant’s brain. This can be triggered by various factors such as abnormal gene mutations, infections during the mother’s pregnancy, and premature birth.
There are also some very common CP triggers that are much more avoidable. Examples are birth injuries such as asphyxia (lack of oxygen to the brain) and trauma to the head (like from a fall or a bump).
Sadly, numerous cases of cerebral palsy are triggered or furthered because of negligence by medical professionals. It could be an OB/GYN that failed to address the detectable signs during pregnancy, a childbirth physician that caused a birth injury to a newborn, or a medical staff that ignored possible complications during pregnancy, labor, or childbirth. Even a hospital administration could be held accountable if, for example, they provided inadequate, outdated, or unsanitary birthing equipment.
When a family suspects that medical malpractice contributed to their child’s cerebral palsy, it is important to consult a reliable physician as well as an experienced lawyer. Together, they can help the family understand how their child developed the disorder, and determine whether they can pursue a legal claim against a medical care provider.
How Kassel McVey Effectively Helps Families
For many parents and families of cerebral palsy patients, a negligence lawsuit is worth pursuing. The monetary compensation greatly alleviates their financial burdens and helps secure a better quality of life for their child. Successful lawsuits also give them a sense of justice, lifting some of the emotional weight they are enduring.
Our role at Kassel McVey is to help South Carolina families achieve an ideal outcome from their negligence claims or malpractice lawsuits. Our lawyers have repeatedly succeeded at this over the years. We are proud to have served clients who now thank us for our effective legal services and family-like dealing with them throughout their case.
Our process starts by listening to a parent or family with a potential cerebral palsy claim. In a free consultation, we let them talk to us about their child’s disorder and what they believe caused it. If we see that the case can be explored further, we tap into a network of medical specialists who can provide their competent, honest opinions. At the same time, we do our own research by thoroughly combing through medical files and other documents related to the case.
From there on, we can build a robust case for the family. We gather evidence, enlist expert support, and create powerful legal strategies. Each of our experienced lawyers can aggressively represent the client in court, even in the face of well-heeled doctors or well-financed hospitals. We always aim for the maximum compensation that the family deserves.
More than this, our whole team makes sure to provide each client with consistent communication, clear answers to questions, and patience. We understand that cerebral palsy is difficult to face, so it is part of our mission to minimize the stress of the legal case.
Contact Kassel McVey
Do you believe that medical negligence could have been a factor in your child’s cerebral palsy? It’s best not to delay a legal consultation, as South Carolina’s “Statute of Limitations” sets deadlines on medical malpractice lawsuits.
You can contact Kassel McVey by calling (803) 256-4242 for free consultation and case evaluation.
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1330 Laurel Street
Columbia, South Carolina 29201
Post Office Box 1476
Columbia, South Carolina 29202
Phone: (803) 256-4242
Toll Free: (855) 256-4242
Fax: (803) 256-1952
Copyright © 2017 John D. Kassel, Attorney at Law, LLC. All rights reserved. This website is designed for general information only. The information should not be construed to constitute formal legal advice or the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. The results and testimonials listed on this website are specific to the facts and legal circumstances of specific cases and should not be used to form an expectation that the same results could be obtained for other clients in similar matters. This list is not a description or characterization of the quality of the firm's representation, it is not intended to compare one attorney's work to another and is in no way a guarantee of a specific result for your case.
My case was a very sensitive one and I felt I needed to obtain an experienced attorney to handle it. Kassel Mcvey did not disappoint my expectations. They handled my case with such precision and I never felt uninformed... They treat you like family.