men huggingCerebral palsy is a type of brain damage that occurs before a child reaches the age of five. As such, adults cannot develop this condition. When children with cerebral palsy mature into adults, however, their cerebral palsy does not go away, and they will face new challenges.

Although cerebral palsy is a non-aggressive disorder that does not worsen over time, it can still impact an individual’s overall health and wellness in ways it previously did not as they age. It’s critical for families to understand what caused their child’s cerebral palsy, the ongoing challenges associated with cerebral palsy, and to speak to an experienced birth injury law firm about possible compensation and legal options.

Common Challenges for Adults with Cerebral Palsy

Throughout adulthood, cerebral palsy presents a unique set of challenges, some physical and some that relate to everyday acts of living. Some of the challenges associated with living as an adult with cerebral palsy include:

  1. Employment Issues: Discrimination, lack of accessibility, and physical limitations may hinder employment opportunities for adults with cerebral palsy.
  2. Social Isolation: Difficulty with communication and mobility can lead to social isolation and feelings of loneliness.
  3. Healthcare Access: Accessing appropriate healthcare services tailored to the needs of adults with cerebral palsy can be challenging.
  4. Financial Strain: The cost of ongoing medical care, assistive devices, and accessibility modifications can place a significant financial burden on individuals and their families.

These are just a few of the challenges cerebral palsy might pose throughout adulthood, but they don’t end there. As we mentioned, cerebral palsy may not worsen over time, but the condition is extremely taxing on people in myriad ways.

Signs of Premature Aging

As individuals with cerebral palsy age, they may experience signs of premature aging, which can exacerbate existing mobility and coordination issues. These signs may include:

  1. Muscle Stiffness and Joint Pain: Over time, muscle stiffness can worsen, leading to increased joint pain and reduced range of motion.
  2. Fatigue and Weakness: Adults with cerebral palsy may experience heightened fatigue and weakness due to the strain on their muscles and nervous system over the years.
  3. Orthopedic Complications: Conditions such as scoliosis, hip dislocation, and osteoarthritis may develop or worsen, contributing to pain and mobility challenges.
  4. Difficulty with Daily Activities: As mobility declines and muscle control becomes more challenging, everyday tasks like dressing, bathing, and eating may become increasingly difficult.
  5. Strain on Organs: Organs like the heart and lungs have to work harder when premature aging occurs.

Legal Options and Compensation

If cerebral palsy is caused by medical negligence or birth injury, there may be legal options available for seeking compensation. An experienced cerebral palsy law firm can guide families through the process and take the legal weight off their shoulders.

Legal options can include:

  1. Medical Malpractice Lawsuits: If medical errors during pregnancy, childbirth, or neonatal care contributed to the development of cerebral palsy, a medical malpractice lawsuit may be pursued.
  2. Product Liability Claims: In cases where defective medical equipment or pharmaceuticals led to cerebral palsy, product liability claims against manufacturers may be warranted.
  3. Social Security Disability Benefits: Adults with cerebral palsy may be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits to help alleviate financial strain; a lawyer can help affected individuals apply for these programs to improve their chances of a successful application.

Don’t Delay Seeking Compensation

It’s crucial for families of children with cerebral palsy to explore legal options early in the child’s life. While compensation cannot undo the challenges faced, it can provide financial assistance for necessary care, therapies, and support during childhood and throughout adulthood.

Contact Fieger Law Today

At Fieger Law, we understand the complexities of cerebral palsy cases and have extensive experience advocating for individuals and families affected by this condition. If you or a loved one are facing legal challenges related to cerebral palsy, don’t hesitate to reach out. Our compassionate team is here to provide guidance and support every step of the way.

Originally published June 1, 2017.