Cerebral Palsy Birth Injury: Legal Rights and Advocacy

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Cerebral Palsy Diagnosis: Legal Rights

Cerebral palsy is a condition caused by an injury or disturbance that disrupts the sensorimotor brain development of the child. This can take place in utero or during childbirth and can be caused by several events, conditions, or genetic changes.

Some causes of cerebral palsy can include:

  • A mother’s adverse reaction to the labor inducing drug, Pitocin
  • Brain bleeds or hemorrhages suffered by the infant
  • Injuries sustained during a delivery using forceps or vacuum extraction
  • Oxygen deprivation at birth
  • Detached placenta, also known as placental abruption

If you feel that your child’s cerebral palsy diagnosis was due to medical malpractice, you have the legal right to file a malpractice lawsuit against the healthcare providers, their insurance companies, and the institution for whom they work.

One of the most important actions you can take to advocate for your family’s legal rights is to gather medical records from the pregnancy, childbirth, delivery, and postnatal care. These records will help establish if and when your healthcare provider violated the standard of care expected of them during a pregnancy, labor, and delivery.

The Importance of Advocacy for Cerebral Palsy Patients

For parents and caregivers of children with cerebral palsy, advocating for them is critical to ensuring they’re receiving basic human rights such as quality medical care, educational opportunities, applicable government assistance, employment and housing opportunities, community inclusion, physical accessibility to public spaces, and more.

Advocacy on behalf of the child or adult with cerebral palsy means ensuring the protection and fulfillment of all of the person’s human and legal rights.

Medical Treatment For Cerebral Palsy

Children with cerebral palsy will often require ongoing medical treatments and rehabilitation throughout their lives. Effective advocacy for them as a caregiver might include:

  • Educating oneself on the condition, including causes, symptoms, and applicable medical treatments. This will enable you to make informed decisions when it comes to seeking quality care.
  • Building a support network through online groups, community organizations, and local support groups. Network connections can be an informative and rich source of information for finding resources and gaining support.
  • Maintain open and effective communication with the child’s healthcare team. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, seek clarification, and even express concerns about treatment options.
  • Find medical professionals who specialize in treating patients with cerebral palsy. They will have the breadth of knowledge and experience to effectively help you and your child with their care.
  • Explore early intervention services for children with cerebral palsy. These can include early childhood education, speech therapy, and physical therapy in order to assist your child in their development.
  • Track your child’s progress by keeping organized and detailed records including treatments, medications, therapies and more.

Educational, Community Participation, and Employment Rights

As a child with cerebral palsy grows older, their world can potentially expand to include school, engagement in the community, and possible employment. In all of these areas, parents and caregivers will want to advocate on behalf of their child to ensure their access to the rights to which they are entitled.

Educational Rights

For children with cerebral palsy, education may begin as young as age 2 to ensure proper development and instruction in life skills. The 2004 Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) guarantees that all children with disabilities between the ages of 3 and 21 have a right to a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). For children with disabilities, FAPE mandates that they receive appropriate instruction based on their own unique needs.

Several nonprofit organizations exist to assist parents of children with cerebral palsy find the special educational opportunities that suit their needs. These include United Cerebral Palsy (UCP), Cerebral Palsy Foundation (CPF), March of Dimes, The Arc, and Easterseals.

Community Participation and Access Rights

Over the course of the past few decades, legislation has helped secure the rights of differently abled people in the community. Legislation is intended to secure services and accommodations and to prohibit discrimination based on a person’s abilities. These laws and regulations govern things like air travel, bus transit, accessibility to public buildings, access to assistive technologies, civil rights, education, and more.

Employment Rights

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects those with disabilities such as cerebral palsy from discrimination. Additionally, the law requires that employers supply the differently abled with accommodations for the hiring process and the job at the employer’s place of business. Some common types of accommodations include installing a wheelchair ramp, modifying a workspace or restroom, and time off for medical treatments.

Understanding the rights guaranteed by the ADA is helpful for those who are advocating for a person with cerebral palsy as they enter the workforce.

Cerebral Palsy Patients’ Legal Representation from Pintas & Mullins

If you are a parent or caregiver of a child with cerebral palsy, it’s important to understand their legal rights, including the absolute right to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Contact the law firm of Pintas & Mullins for guidance and a free assessment of your case. We have years of experience protecting the rights of those who experienced a childbirth injury and we are intent on seeking justice for your child and your family. Call or text 800-934-6555 or complete our Free Case Evaluation form online to get started today.

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Yes. Please have an attorney, paralegal, or staff member from Pintas & Mullins law firm or their co-counsel contact me as soon as possible to discuss my questions. They may contact me by email or telephone (including phone calls, text messages, autodialed / auto-selected or pre-recorded calls). I understand that message and data rates may apply and that consent to such contact is not required for use of these services. I also agree to the Privacy Policy, Anti Fraud Policy and online Terms, including its mandatory arbitration provision.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.