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Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit

hand reaching through incubator to premature newbornCerebral palsy lawyers fighting for the rights of birth injury victims in Hackensack, Paramus, Bergen County and throughout NJ and NYC.

If your child suffers from the effects of Cerebral Palsy and you believe your obstetrician or midwife may be to blame, we encourage you to contact Eisbrouch Marsh right away to discuss your eligibility for filing a cerebral palsy lawsuit. In New Jersey, children injured during childbirth must file their birth injury lawsuit no later than their thirteenth birthday.

Few parents consider the possibility of a traumatic neurological injury when preparing for the arrival of a new baby. Tragically, however, thousands of babies are subjected to negligent obstetric medical care prenatally and during delivery. When a fetus is deprived of oxygen, which most often occurs during the descent through the birth canal, the result can be severe, irreversible damage to the child’s gross motor skills, cognitive abilities, sense of hearing and his ability to see clearly.

Cerebral palsy is one of the most common forms of traumatic birth injuries and currently effects about 1 in 323 American children.

Risk factors for cerebral palsy

Cerebral palsy can occur spontaneously as a result of a congenital defect. This type of cerebral palsy is the most common and comprises up to 90 percent of reported cases. While the direct cause is unknown, certain risk factors are associated with congenital cerebral palsy.

Cerebral palsy risk factors include:

  • Low birth weight, which is considered less than five and one-half pounds
  • Premature birth before the 37th week of pregnancy
  • Multiple births or pregnancy as a result of assisted reproductive technology (ART)
  • Infections including chicken pox, German measles or bacterial infection during pregnancy
  • Maternal thyroid problems, cognitive issues or a history of seizures

Cerebral palsy can also occur due to mistakes made during labor and delivery. Known as “acquired cerebral palsy,” this type of birth injury may give rise to a subsequent cerebral palsy lawsuit if the neurological damage can be causally connected to the doctor’s mistake.

Incidents which could potentially cause cerebral palsy include:

  • Failure to detect a maternal issue during the pregnancy, especially an infection in the mother
  • Failure to address and correct fetal distress, including an obstructed or prolapsed umbilical cord
  • Waiting too long to induce labor or failing to order a Caesarian section delivery when medically necessary
  • Negligence in the use of vacuum extraction or forceps during delivery

Types of cerebral palsy

There are several types of cerebral palsy that can present in a newborn or developing child. If your child has developed any of the following and you believe the condition was caused by prenatal negligence, a cerebral palsy attorney may be able to help:

  • Spastic Cerebral Palsy: Spastic cerebral palsy is the most common form of this neurological disorder and is characterized by stiffness and difficulty moving about. This condition is also characterized by increased muscle tone;
  • Athetoid or Dystonia Cerebral Palsy: This form of cerebral palsy makes up approximately 10 percent of reported cases. Athetoid causes involuntary movements in the hands, legs and arms whereas dystonia causes the trunk (torso) to present in a twisted, contorted nature;
  • Ataxic Cerebral Palsy: This form of cerebral palsy causes the sufferer to endure difficulty with vision, depth perception and balance, often causing tremors.

Grounds for a cerebral palsy lawsuit

If your child is suffering from cerebral palsy, regardless of the severity, you may be able to recover against the doctor, nurse or hospital involved with your child’s delivery. In order for your birth injury lawsuit to be successful, you must prove that the action or inaction of the doctor or nurse attending your delivery actually caused your child’s resulting neurological damage.

The NJ birth injury attorneys of Eisbrouch and Marsh understand the sensitive and emotional nature of this type of litigation and will work tirelessly to ensure your case is presented thoroughly and accurately. Many times, medical malpractice cases require the use of a medical expert to walk the jury through your child’s birth, and resulting injury, in a way non-medical laypeople can understand.

Compensation following your cerebral palsy lawsuit may occur due to a settlement or jury verdict depending on the nature of your claim. In some cases, the hospital or physician may be willing to settle with the family in order to avoid continued litigation and expense. However, if the doctor or hospital denies its liability in the matter, your case may progress to a trial. If your case is successful, you may obtain compensation for actual financial damages or general (non-economic) damages including pain and suffering or mental anguish.

Choosing a NJ birth injury lawyer

If you are ready to discuss a possible birth injury lawsuit in New Jersey, the first step is to select an experienced and compassionate attorney with whom to discuss your case. When it comes to the highly-technical nature of a cerebral palsy lawsuit, it is best to choose an attorney with a background in medical malpractice law.

As you select your representation, consider the following as characteristics in your attorney:

  • Proven history of success in medical malpractice cases
  • Knowledge of birth injury law and how the court will decide a malpractice case
  • Compassionate client-relation skills and the ability to communicate regarding sensitive matters
  • Keen attention to detail and strict adherence to deadlines
  • Aggressive, yet professional, approach to a potentially emotional case

The attorneys of Eisbrouch Marsh embody these characteristics and can provide you the comprehensive legal representation you need. For help with your birth injury claim, contact us today by calling 201-342-5545. Our office serves Bergen, Passaic, Hudson, Morris, Middlesex, and Essex counties, as well as all five NYC boroughs, Long Island, Westchester and Rockland.

  1. Centers for Disease Control: Data and Statistics for Cerebral Palsy, http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/cp/data.html
  2. MyChild.org: Types and Forms of Cerebral Palsy, http://cerebralpalsy.org/about-cerebral-palsy/types/
  3. New Jersey Judiciary: Jury Instructions: Duty & Negligence, http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/civil/charges/5.50A.pdf