What is Cerebral Palsy?
Cerebral palsy is a term used to describe a group of disabling conditions, which affect movement and posture. It is caused by a defect or injury to one or more specific areas of the brain, usually occurring during fetal development before, during or shortly following birth or during infancy.
Cerebral refers to the brain and Palsy to muscle weakness and poor control. Cerebral Palsy itself is not progressive i.e. it does not get worse. Cerebral Palsy is not infectious. It is not a disease and should not be referred to as such. Although cerebral Palsy is not curable in the accepted sense, training and therapy can help improve function.
What causes Cerebral Palsy?
There are several incidents that can damage the developing brain.
Infections during pregnancy – Mothers can pass infections to the fetus during pregnancy such as German Measles and Cytomegalovirus (CMV)
Severe untreated Jaundice – It is normal for newborns to experience mild Jaundice. However, severe jaundice left untreated can turn into a condition known as Kernicterus causing Cerebral Palsy.
Infection after birth – infections such as Meningitis and Viral Encephalitis can cause brain damage and could lead to Cerebral Palsy.
Brain injury during or shortly after birth – due to trauma to mother or baby.
Cerebral Palsy can also be a result of unavoidable childbirth complications or due to medical negligence.
What to do if my child has Cerebral Palsy as a result of medical negligence or malpractice?
Because the number of factors that could result in Cerebral Palsy is so high, it can be difficult to prove medical negligence.
An experienced legal professional will know what questions to ask and will be able to guide you through the process of claiming for compensation.
How can compensation received through litigation be applied?
You need to think ahead when working with compensation. You may be awarded a sum of money that seems like a very large amount at the time. However, this money needs to go towards supporting an individual who may never be able to support themselves and who may have special needs.
An individual with Cerebral Palsy requires lifelong treatment and will also require some, or all, of the following:
- On-going doctor’s appointments
- Appointments with specialist(s)
- Physical, Speech and/or Occupational therapy
- Special needs schooling
- Modifications to housing/vehicles for wheelchair
- Qualified full or part-time caregivers
- Specialized equipment walkers, wheelchairs, back/neck braces
- And more
The needs of the child and family should carefully be considered when evaluating a claim as to ensure that every possible requirement is addressed and catered for. One should ensure that an adequate financial and medical safety net is provided to offer peace of mind and security as long after the matter has become finalized.
Gert Nel Incorporated has a team of exceptional attorneys and medical staff that attends to the needs of these very special clients. We offer a free evaluation to consider and determine whether you might have prospects of lodging a formal claim, and if you do, we will be happy to assist you every step of the way.