Can You Sue a Hospital Over Your Child’s Cerebral Palsy?

Gavel, stethoscope and photo of child with cerebral palsy and her mother

Each year 10,000 babies are born with cerebral palsy, and many of these cases are caused by medical negligence or malpractice. If you suspect that your child’s condition is the result of improper medical care, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the hospital or practice where it occurred. Here’s what you need to know.

Evidence of Medical Malpractice in Cerebral Palsy Cases

Cerebral palsy can be caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain or body, potentially as a result of trauma during the birthing process. It is not always the fault of the medical staff when a baby is born with cerebral palsy, but when the brain or nerve damage results from medical errors or neglect that occurred during pregnancy, delivery or birth, it’s considered medical malpractice.

This occurs when a doctor or medical professional deviates from the accepted standards of industry practice or procedure and the child is injured as a result. Some examples of malpractice include:

  • Failure to diagnose and/or properly treat infections of the pregnant mother
  • Failure to detect changes in fetal heart rate indicating fetal distress before or during the birthing process
  • Failure to schedule or perform a necessary cesarean section
  • Failure to detect a prolapsed umbilical cord
  • Failure to properly resuscitate a newborn who needs help with breathing
  • Improper use of medical instruments, such as vacuum extractors and forceps

Hospital Negligence

With the help of a cerebral palsy attorney, you can file suit against an individual doctor or the hospital as a whole. If you choose to pursue your claim against the hospital, there are a few ways to prove negligence:

  • First, hospitals are sometimes willing to agree that the doctors providing care on their premises are acting as their agents, which means the hospitals would be responsible for their conduct.
  • Hospitals are always liable for the actions of their own employees (which generally includes nurses and laboratory staff), including when a nurse fails to enlist the assistance of a doctor when necessary or fails to follow a doctor’s orders.
  • Hospitals are responsible for hiring medical professionals with proper education, training and licensing. If a hospital failed to confirm the credentials of an attending physician, or if it knowingly allowed an incompetent doctor to treat patients, it can be held liable.
  • Hospitals are required to provide a sufficient number of registered nurses on duty at all times to maintain quality patient care. A hospital that fails to do so may be held liable for any resulting injuries to patients.
  • There may be other reasons to hold a hospital legally accountable for failing to protect a patient from harm as well.

Why You Need a Cerebral Palsy Attorney

A medical malpractice case involving birth injuries such as cerebral palsy can be extremely complex. In order to receive compensation, you must prove not only that a doctor or hospital breached their duty of care, but that the injury and damages that occurred were directly caused by the malpractice as well.

Proving medical negligence without a lawyer is extremely difficult — and if you were to lose the case, you would forfeit your only chance at receiving the compensation that you deserve for the birth injury. That’s why your best chance for proving negligence against the medical professional or hospital that caused your baby’s condition is to secure help from a cerebral palsy injury lawyer who has a strong track record of handling and winning cerebral palsy cases.

An experienced attorney will help you file a lawsuit, build your case and receive the compensation you deserve. They will seek all available damages, including for:

  • Medical care
  • Medication
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Home accommodations
  • Special education
  • Emotional pain and suffering
  • Assistive equipment and technology
  • Lost earning capacity

A Cerebral Palsy Law Firm with Impressive Wins for Victims

The emotional distress that accompanies a birth injury is challenging enough on its own. When you’re also facing the challenges of steep medical costs and pursuing a claim, you need a trusted ally on your side to help you through each step of the legal process.

Janet, Janet & Suggs has a long history of advocating for cerebral palsy cases. Over the last 40 years, our cerebral palsy lawyers have won hundreds of millions in compensation on behalf of families who were victims of birth injuries, and we’re here to help your family receive the justice you deserve. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss the next steps in your case.

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