Each year approximately 10,000 babies born in the United States develop cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is a disorder of movement or coordination caused by an abnormality of the brain. It is a permanent and irreversible crippling condition affecting the central nervous system of an infant or a young child. More than 80% of people with cerebral palsy developed it either before they were born or before they were one month old. In many instances, the cause of the brain abnormality is unknown, however there are many ways in which the negligence of a hospital delivery team can cause cerebral palsy during the birth process.
About half of the people who have cerebral palsy need to use devices — such as braces, walkers, or wheel chairs — to help them get around, and almost 70% have other disabilities, primarily mental retardation. Depending on the severity of their disability, people with cerebral palsy may need assistive devices for various tasks, specialized medical care, educational and social services, and other help throughout their lives from both their families and communities. As such, recovering adequate damages in those cases where the condition is caused by negligence is vital. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes, the average lifetime out-of-pocket costs associated with cerebral palsy is $921,000 (in 2003 dollars). Half of these costs are borne by families, who often find it difficult to obtain all the services they need to help their children. After adjusting these totals to today's dollars, and considering all the pain and suffering, humiliation, loss of enjoyment of life, and other related damages, it is easy to see why cerebral palsy cases require prosecution by an attorney who is well-versed in this tragic area of personal injury law. The highly specialized care, therapy, and the challenges of raising a child with cerebral palsy involve very substantial expenditures of money, and require an understanding of the condition, its limitations and demands, and love, patience, indulgence and perseverance on the part of the parents and all other members of the immediate family. Let Zalman, Schnurman & Miner P.C. help you to determine whether your child and you may be entitled to monetary compensation for the injuries of cerebral palsy.