How Medical Malpractice May be Responsible for a Child’s Cerebral Palsy

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Cerebral palsy refers to a group of neurological disorders that permanently affect muscle coordination and body movement. It is not caused by muscle or nerve damage, but rather from abnormalities in the brain that control muscle movement. Cerebral palsy can range from mild to severe and have life-long consequences for the child and family.

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Cerebral Palsy Medical Malpractice Law Firm

If the cerebral palsy resulted from the negligence of a doctor, nurse, or hospital, the family has a right to be financially compensated to provide for the care of their child.

Dr. Bruce Fagel, who recently spoke at the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel and whose articles were published by Plaintiff and Forum magazines in the March and April 2012 issues, is a licensed physician and a renowned medical malpractice attorney. Dr. Fagel has successfully handled many cerebral palsy cases where a child developed the disorder as a result of doctor or hospital medical malpractice. His law firm, the Law Offices of Dr. Bruce G. Fagel & Associates, has tried and settled more medical malpractice cases for injured patients than any other attorney in California, and has obtained over one billion dollars in verdicts and settlements for his clients.

Cerebral palsy is one of the most serious birth injuries that an infant can sustain during the labor and delivery process. “Cerebral palsy can be caused by a number of factors including lack of oxygen to the brain of the baby during labor or after delivery, premature delivery, infection, and head trauma. Approximately 70% of children who have cerebral palsy developed it due to an event before birth that interfered with normal brain development,” states Bruce Fagel. Dr. Fagel further remarks, “the amount of medical care necessary to help a cerebral palsy victim function and survive in society can cost millions of dollars. If the cerebral palsy resulted from the negligence of a doctor, nurse, or hospital, the family has a right to be financially compensated to provide for the care of their child.”

One important warning for parents is cerebral palsy may not be detected when the baby is born, but can take months or even years for the symptoms to develop. Within three years most of the symptoms will be apparent. “This creates an enormous challenge for the parent’s of a cerebral palsy child who believe the disorder may have occurred as the result of medical malpractice by a doctor, nurse, or hospital. There is a statute of limitations which places a time limit on how long a family may wait to file a lawsuit and if the family waits too long, they may lose their opportunity to recover damages for the medical malpractice,” states Dr. Fagel. Since each state has its own statute of limitations, with different rules and time limits for filing, Dr. Fagel recommends parents of a child who is showing signs of cerebral palsy consult with an experienced cerebral palsy attorney as soon as possible.

A cerebral palsy attorney will be able to examine the medical records, and if he or she takes on the case, will be able to interview the medical personnel, ultimately finding who or what was responsible for the disorder. Since medical malpractice cases can be some of the most complex cases to pursue, Dr. Fagel recommends families who are thinking of filing a medical malpractice case research their attorney thoroughly and look at their track record. Obtaining the maximum settlement possible in any medical malpractice case requires that the attorneys defending the medical professional or the hospital’s insurance carrier fear the attorney representing the injured patient. That fear is based on the ability and experience of the attorney in taking cerebral palsy cases to trial and winning those cases.

Medical malpractice cases are among the most expensive types of personal injury claims, mainly because of the cost of medical experts that are required to prove liability and damages. Medical malpractice cases that involve significant brain injuries to children always require experts in the fields of obstetrics, perinatology, neonatology, nursing, neuroradiology, neurology, rehabilitation, life care planning, and economics. The cost of these experts in medical malpractice cases can easily exceed $200,000 or more before trial. Dr. Fagel recommends anyone considering retaining the services of a medical malpractice attorney to ask the lawyer how much money they have advanced on prior medical malpractice cases and how much money they are willing to advance to their specific case.

Parent’s who suspect their child may have cerebral palsy can look for any of the following symptoms:

Inability to perform fine motor skills, including walking, or maintaining balance

Involuntary motions of the body

Lack of muscle coordination


Developmental delays

There are various types of cerebral palsy, some of which include:

Spastic cerebral palsy: Accounts for approximately 80% of cases. It is identified by stiff and difficult movement. Symptoms include one or more tight muscle groups limiting movement, difficulty for the child moving from one position to another, or the child having a difficult time holding onto or letting go of objects.

Athetoid cerebral palsy: Is identified by uncontrolled movement. Symptoms include inability to maintain posture, involuntary movements, slurred speech, low muscle tone, and difficulty swallowing.

Ataxic cerebral palsy: Is identified by a distorted sense of balance and depth perception. Symptoms include unsteadiness, shakiness, tremors, walking with the legs very far apart, and problems coordinating muscle movements.

For more information please visit cerebral palsy attorney.

About The Law Offices of Dr. Bruce G. Fagel & Associates
The Law Offices of Dr. Bruce G. Fagel & Associates specializes in medical malpractice cases resulting in serious injuries to victims. Cases include medical malpractice, birth injuries, cerebral palsy, surgical errors, brain damage, and wrongful death. Dr. Bruce Fagel has tried and settled more medical malpractice cases on behalf of injured parties than any other attorney in California, including obtaining the largest verdict in California history, $460 million dollars. The law firm has successfully obtained over one billion dollars in verdicts and settlements for their clients.

About Dr. Bruce Fagel
Dr. Bruce Fagel is a lawyer and a licensed medical doctor, specializing in medical malpractice. Dr. Fagel practiced emergency medicine for over 10 years before becoming an attorney. This background provides Dr. Fagel with the knowledge and expertise to represent his clients against negligent doctors, nurses, and hospitals.

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