Cerebral palsy (CP) is a common birth injury, affecting between 1 and 4 children in 1,000. While some forms of CP can be diagnosed within the first two years of life, some children may not be diagnosed until they reach 4 to 5 years old.
If a medical error caused your child’s CP during pregnancy or delivery, but they did not receive a diagnosis until years later, you may wonder if it’s too late to file a birth injury claim.
Michigan typically allows medical malpractice claims within a certain time frame of discovering the injury. This means your family may still be eligible to receive compensation for a birth injury despite a delayed diagnosis. Work with an experienced Michigan cerebral palsy lawyer from Fieger Law to discuss your rights and potential compensation options.
When Do Cerebral Palsy Symptoms Appear?
CP is a neurological disorder that affects movement and muscle coordination. CP symptoms typically become noticeable in early childhood, often within the first few months after birth.
Infants with CP may display signs such as delayed milestones, including rolling over, sitting up, or walking. They may also show poor muscle tone, involuntary movements, stiffness, or difficulties with coordination.
While some cases of CP can be diagnosed shortly after birth, in other instances, symptoms may only become more apparent as the child grows and developmental delays become more evident.
For example, some infants do not show muscle stiffness until around 12 months or older. In mild CP cases, a child may not show symptoms such as cognitive disabilities, speech delays, and hearing and vision problems until they reach about 5 years.
What is the Discovery Rule in Medical Malpractice?
The Discovery Rule is legal doctrine that takes into consideration that some medical conditions or injuries may not become apparent immediately, and allows patients additional time to bring a claim once they become aware of the potential malpractice.
In the case of cerebral palsy, where symptoms may not manifest immediately, the discovery rules allow parents to pursue legal action after a delayed CP diagnosis. It accounts for the fact that CP may not show symptoms for the first several years of life and that it may not be apparent that the medical provider caused the harm without a diagnosis.
Why a Timely Diagnosis is Essential for Recovering Compensation
While you may have an extended period to file a compensation claim for your child’s CP, getting a diagnosis as soon as possible after birth is vital. Timely diagnosis allows for early intervention and appropriate medical care, which can improve your child’s quality of life.
An early diagnosis also helps establish a clear link between medical malpractice and your child’s condition, which is essential for winning a settlement for a provider’s negligence.
Prompt diagnosis ensures that you and your attorney have access to necessary documentation and evidence, such as hospital records or witness statements that you can use to support your claim.
If you suspect your child may have CP, contact an attorney from Fieger Law. We can help connect you with a CP specialist to receive a thorough evaluation and diagnosis for your child. Once your child receives an official CP diagnosis, we will investigate the circumstances of your pregnancy and delivery to determine if medical negligence caused their condition.
We will help you file within the time frame for your case’s specific circumstances and seek maximum compensation from the responsible party. This can include a settlement to pay for your child’s medical bills, the future cost of medical treatment and impact on future income, and the emotional impact CP may have on their life.
Contact Fieger Law to Build Your Cerebral Palsy Case
Determining whether you are entitled to compensation can be challenging if your child didn’t receive an early diagnosis of cerebral palsy. Our attorneys at Fieger Law will use their expertise to fight on your and your child’s behalf.
Contact us to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can help you and your child get the compensation you deserve after a CP diagnosis.