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Cerebral Palsy Caused by Birth Injury

Birth injuries are a common and sometimes avoidable cause of cerebral palsy. Roughly 4,500 children each year are diagnosed with cerebral palsy, a group of disorders characterized by the brain's inability to control the body. Most children with cerebral palsy are born with the disorder, even if it is not detected for months or years.

While a fever during maternity sometimes triggers abnormal brain development, the delivery process also poses cerebral palsy risks. If a baby is stuck in the birth canal with no oxygen supply or a baby is born more than 24 hours after the mother's water broke, the child could have lasting brain damage.

The most common symptoms of palsy appear in children under three as they are beginning to move and learn motor skills. Symptoms include: inadequate muscle coordination, stiff muscles and exaggerated reflex responses, awkward gait or walking with one foot dragging, and weak muscle tone.

Doctors can run reflex tests and other motor skills tests, as well as check posture and muscle development, to more accurately diagnose cerebral palsy. CT scans and MRIs can also detect some cases of cerebral palsy disorders.

While cerebral palsy can't be cured, treatments can help improve a child's condition. Possible treatments include physical, occupational and speech therapy; medications; surgery; and braces or other assistive devices. These treatments can be costly. If doctors and hospital staff are to blame for a birth injury that caused cerebral palsy, parents may be able to seek damages to cover past and future treatments for the disorder.

In Illinois, parents have until up to two years after the child's eighteenth birthday to sue for medical malpractice stemming from a birth injury and possibly longer if the child is considered disabled. For example, an Illinois hospital and doctor recently agreed to settle a medical malpractice claim for $9.5 million. The hospital was accused of negligence in allowing a boy, who is now 14, to be deprived of oxygen for 15 minutes during birth. Many birth injury cases can be difficult to prove so parents may want to seek legal advice about their options as soon as they receive a definitive diagnosis of cerebral palsy.

  1. "Committed To My Cause"

    I was struck by a car while cycling and severely, almost fatally injured. A team of excellent medical professionals performed complicated and extensive surgical and medical procedures as part of a successful effort to restore my health....
    -Jeff D.

  2. "Could not have made a better choice"

    We found Mark [Mathys] through the web after an auto accident in October 2011. While selecting someone you don't know to represent you can be a gamble, we could not have made a better choice....
    - Dave

  3. "Very satisfied"

    Mark [Mathys] is very professional. He responds almost immediately, via email, to any question, comment or concern I have and if he is not able to respond right away, he will let me know. I have been very satisfied with Mark so far and I am happy to be his client.
    -Jennifer

  4. "Easy to talk to"

    Mr. Mathys and Mr. Schneid were very professional and easy to talk to. Prior to working with them, my wife and I had no real experience with the legal system beyond a house closing, yet Mr. Mathys and Mr. Schneid explained the whole process to us very well. I knew that whenever I had a concern about our case or the legal system in general I could call their office or send an email and receive answers the same day... -Larry

  5. "Provided very wise advice"

    I've dealt with attorneys on a variety of issues, almost all of them since leaving college and entering the workplace. Mr. Mathys was the first attorney I had any real experience with, and I was impressed then and remain so. He provided very wise advice and always kept me informed. In the end, he delivered a favorable result. I recommend him highly.
    - Tyler D.

  6. "In-depth knowledge of the law"

    Mark [Schneid] is an excellent and skilled attorney and demonstrated in-depth knowledge of the law when he helped settle my dog bite lawsuit resulting from a traumatic incident. He explained what was needed of me and how I should handle the situation in a professional manner.
    - Karen K.

  7. "They went to bat for me"

    Not long ago I was involved in a car accident where I was hit by a gravel truck at an intersection. After I called Mathys & Schneid, even though I didn't have a very large case, they made me feel like I was one of their most important cases. They went to bat for me with the trucking company's insurance and got me a settlement. I would definitely recommend them to my family and friends. -Dan H.

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