When a child suffers brain damage from medical negligence during delivery, parents may be well within their legal rights to file a civil claim for damages. A Phoenix cerebral palsy lawyer could help you file your claim and hold the negligent party liable for the damages they have caused. A birth injury attorney could build a compelling case on your behalf to recover the maximum compensation available for your child’s damages.
Cerebral palsy involves motor impairment due to a brain injury that can manifest itself differently between each patient. Medical professional classify cerebral palsy into four separate forms — mixed, ataxic, athetoid, and spastic.
Mixed cerebral palsy refers to when a patient experiences a variety of side effects that are not specific to one particular form of this condition. Ataxic cerebral palsy is the rarest form of this condition and affects motor skills such as equilibrium and coordinated movement. Infants who have ataxic brain damage commonly face challenges speaking and experience visual dysfunction.
Athetoid cerebral palsy may stem from insufficient oxygen to the brain or complications from untreated jaundice. This type of brain damage may result in muscular spasms, uncontrollable muscle convulsions, and jerking motions. Finally, spastic cerebral palsy is the most frequently seen form in babies who suffer birth injuries, characterized by uncontrollable muscle movements, discomfort, abnormalities in the joints, and convulsions.
The physical manifestations of cerebral palsy vary by the patient. Some common signs of this condition in infants include issues breastfeeding, flaccid limbs, lack of movement, and anemia. Babies who are underweight, experience developmental delays, and diminished cognition also may exhibit signs of cerebral palsy.
All too often, cerebral palsy is caused by the negligent actions of a medical provider that result in irreparable injury to the brain. Improper use of forceps during birth, failure to detect or respond to indications that the infant is in distress, or delayed C-sections may all exemplify acts of negligence that could lead to cerebral palsy.
Administering the wrong dosages of oxytocin or delivering the drug improperly also may cause infant brain damage. An attorney in Phoenix who frequently handles cerebral palsy cases could thoroughly investigate the actions of the medical staff at the time of the birth injury to determine whether negligence was at play.
As stated under Arizona Revised Statutes § 12-542, there is a general two-year statutory deadline that applies to malpractice cases filed with the state’s civil courts. The two-year window begins on the date that the infant was injured. However, there are certain caveats to the deadline which may be relevant in a birth injury lawsuit.
The law extends the statute of limitations for children, for example. If a minor child gets hurt due to malpractice, the two-year filing timeline would not begin until their 18th birthday. This means that birth injury patients could have until their 20th birthday to make a case for compensation.
In some cases of cerebral palsy, symptoms do not manifest right away, and the infant and their parents may not be immediately aware that an injury has occurred. When this happens, the state’s discovery rule could come into play. Under the discovery rule, when the injured party does not learn that they have suffered bodily harm right away, the statutory period would not commence until the date they learned or should have learned of their injury. Consult with a Phoenix cerebral palsy attorney to learn more about the statute of limitations for birth injury claims.
If you believe that a medical provider’s negligence was the cause of your child’s birth injury, you should discuss your potential case with a Phoenix cerebral palsy lawyer. An attorney could offer clarity regarding the laws governing these types of claims and counsel you on any legal options that may be at your disposal. Call today to set up your confidential case consultation.