Discovering your child has a disability like cerebral palsy (CP) can be heartbreaking. However, learning that your child’s CP may have been the result of medical negligence can leave you feeling betrayed. CP often requires lifelong medical treatment and support, which can strain many families financially.
If your child has CP due to medical negligence, you and your child are entitled to certain rights and benefits in Michigan. Read on to explore your and your child’s legal rights after being a victim of negligence and how Fieger Law can protect these rights.
Difficulties in Identifying Cerebral Palsy
It often takes months or even years to identify CP. While around 31% of cases are genetic, no prenatal screenings or genetic tests can identify CP before or shortly after birth. Cerebral palsy may be caused by oxygen deprivation to the infant during birth (potentially through medical negligence by failing to treat a birth complication properly or promptly), and by other birth injuries that cause brain damage to the infant. However, CP is not always or only caused by medical negligence, and not all birth injuries result in CP, either.
Additionally, cerebral palsy isn’t immediately obvious. Many symptoms of the condition don’t appear before six months of age, with milder cases often taking much longer to present. Some non-disabled children may also show signs of CP and later outgrow them, making doctors hesitant to diagnose the condition at a young age.
This delay in diagnosis can present a challenge if you choose to file a claim against the medical facility where you received prenatal care or gave birth. Consult with the medical malpractice lawyers at Fieger Law during the diagnosis process to ensure you meet filing deadlines.
What Benefits Can I Claim for My Child’s Cerebral Palsy?
All children with CP are entitled to public disability services, regardless of the severity of their condition. For example, children with cerebral palsy are automatically eligible for early intervention services, available for children up to three years old. Older children may receive services and accommodations in school under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Talk to your pediatrician to see what services are available.
If your child’s CP severely restricts their daily activities and functioning, you may be able to claim financial benefits by filing for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The Social Security Administration sometimes begins immediately paying benefits to kids with CP, even if your child has not yet been determined eligible.
If you have reason to believe your child’s CP was the result of medical negligence during delivery and not another cause, our compassionate and qualified birth injury lawyers can review the benefits you and your child are entitled to receive and help you build your case.
How to Prove a Cerebral Palsy Claim in Court
Many parents turn to the court to recover compensation for their child’s extensive medical bills after a CP diagnosis. However, you cannot sue simply because your child has CP. A successful cerebral palsy or medical malpractice claim against the medical provider that delivered your child requires you to prove that:
- The medical professional owed you a certain standard of care
- The professional provided care that was below that standard of care
- Your child was injured as a result
Since CP cannot be detected before birth or in newborns, it can be challenging to prove that your child developed CP as a direct result of medical negligence. However, there are some cases where it is possible.
For example, one birth complication that is known to cause CP is a placental abruption. This condition occurs when the placenta detaches from the uterus before the baby is born and often requires an immediate C-section. If your doctor delayed a C-section without a valid medical reason, you could argue that the delay in treatment was substandard medical care that led your child to develop CP.
Proving a CP claim on your own can be challenging. Many medical facilities have skilled lawyers who can argue on behalf of their medical professionals. Fortunately, there are equally skilled Michigan cerebral palsy lawyers who can help you file a successful claim.
Discover Your Legal Options with a Cerebral Palsy Attorney at Fieger Law
Determining whether you have a valid legal claim for your child with CP can be difficult. That’s why Fieger Law will take on cerebral palsy claims in Michigan, and across the U.S. Our Michigan cerebral palsy lawyers will fight to support you and your child’s rights and benefits.
Contact us today to schedule a free case review and discover how our legal team can help you and your child get the compensation you deserve.