Children who have lifelong injuries from birth will likely require specialized medical care throughout their entire lives. The cost of a lifetime of care for a child with a permanent birth injury like cerebral palsy can be nothing short of staggering. A birth injury lawsuit can help the family of a child who requires life-long medical care and other assistance to know that, without a doubt, they can afford to provide all the specialized care to their child and ensure his or her future when they no longer can provide the necessary care themselves.
A birth injury lawsuit in Tennessee serves as an example of the estimated costs of caring for a child with cerebral palsy over the course of his or her lifetime. In that case, a jury awarded thirty-three and a half million dollars to an eight-year-old boy who developed cerebral palsy after doctors delayed in delivering him via an emergency cesarean birth. The verdict included compensation for the child’s pain and suffering, in addition to the past, present, and future expenses that will likely be associated with his care.
In the aforementioned case, attorneys for the child’s family presented evidence to the court that showed the actions of the doctors who were involved in his birth did not meet the applicable standard of care. His mother had been sent to the hospital to deliver him immediately after diagnostic tests revealed that he was experiencing distress. He should have been delivered shortly after she arrived at the hospital, but he was not delivered until hours after she had been admitted. If the boy had been delivered earlier, he would not have suffered oxygen deprivation, which injured his brain and led to the development of a form of cerebral palsy called spastic quadriplegia.
Children who have this form of cerebral palsy often experience seizures, vision and hearing impairment, and cognitive difficulties that result from a damaged part of their brain sending the wrong neurological messages to the body, resulting in spastic movements and refluxes. This form of cerebral palsy usually requires additional care above and beyond the regular care that is required for other forms of cerebral palsy. Care for a child with cerebral palsy includes not only medical expenses, but also educational services, developmental assistance, and sometimes even modifications to their family’s home and vehicle. As these children grow into adults, they could need help finding suitable employment. They may need vehicles that have been modified to accommodate their needs and they may need modifications to be made to their living environment. Depending upon the nature of their condition, an adult with cerebral palsy may also need financial assistance to compensate for lost productivity and wages, especially if he or she is unable to find work near where he lives.
Children with cerebral palsy that was caused by the actions or omissions of medical professionals can recover financially for their injuries so that their families can always provide the care and services that they require. This can be a huge relief for parents who are trying to strike a balance between providing financially for their child’s needs and spending time with their child, helping them grow and thrive. My name is Charles H. Thronson, of Parsons Behle & Latimer, and I have helped injured children from Utah, and throughout the United States obtain the financial recovery and support they deserve. If you have questions about cerebral palsy lawsuits or other types of birth injury lawsuits, please contact my office to schedule a consultation.