Cerebral palsy is a brain disorder that can occur for many different reasons, before, during, and after birth. However, when your baby develops this condition because of negligence, it’s understandable that you’ll be overwhelmed. Your child will experience consequences for the rest of his or her life, and there are serious implications for your entire family. Though Florida law does provide you with rights, you may not know where to begin with enforcing them.
Fortunately, our lawyers at Palmer | Lopez have in-depth knowledge and decades of combined experience in all types of medical malpractice claims, including those involving cerebral palsy. We’re ready to take on the insurance company, and we have extensive litigation skills if we need to take your case to court. Please contact our office to schedule a no-cost consultation with a lawyer right away. You might also benefit from reviewing some basic information regarding your options.
Cerebral Palsy and Health Care Provider Negligence
The processes of delivery and labor are a critical point in bringing your infant into the world, so any mistakes can lead to serious harm. Often, cerebral palsy is the result of birth asphyxia, which is the deprivation of oxygen to the fetus’ brain. Health care providers may engage in negligent misconduct by:
- Failing to monitor the fetal brain activity and vital signs, which would indicate the presence of birth asphyxia; OR,
- Failing to properly respond to an emergency situation when they discover oxygen deprivation, such as by ordering a timely C-section.
Claims Involving Cerebral Palsy
Though a physician’s misconduct in the birth process is technically a form of medical malpractice, Florida’s Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Act (NICA) may apply. This law was enacted to shield OB/GYNs, other health care providers, and hospitals from liability if their negligence during labor or delivery leads to neurological disorders. NICA does not protect your interests if your child suffers from cerebral palsy and, in fact, it severely restricts your rights. Instead of being able to recover the range of monetary damages available in a medical malpractice case, you are limited to obtaining compensation for:
- Reasonably necessary medical care related to cerebral palsy complications;
- Rehabilitation services;
- In-home care or treatment at an assisted living residence;
- Prescription and over-the-counter medications; and,
- Assistive devices, such as braces, crutches, wheelchair, and equipment necessary to modify a home or vehicle.
In other words, if your claim falls under NICA, you cannot recover for pain, suffering, emotional distress, and other damages. Our attorneys at Palmer | Lopez will fight to keep your case out of NICA provisions if possible, so you can obtain amounts applicable in a typical medical malpractice claim.
Discuss Your Rights with a St. Petersburg Cerebral Palsy Lawyer
Our attorneys at Palmer | Lopez have extensive experience representing clients in a wide range of medical malpractice cases, including those involving cerebral palsy. We can explain your legal options after reviewing your unique circumstances, so please contact our St. Petersburg office to speak with a member of our team. You can set up a no-cost consultation by calling 813-967-8505 or visiting our website.