Cerebral Palsy

Birth Injury Lawyers Helping Families Throughout Knoxville and East Tennessee

Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that affects someone's ability to move. It can be caused by harm to the developing brain during or after birth. It affects people differently, but it can potentially affect a person's bodily movements, muscle coordination, muscle control, posture, balance, reflexes, and more. People with cerebral palsy might also have epilepsy and intellectual, speech, hearing, learning, and visual impairments. At the Hartsoe Law Firm, Knoxville cerebral palsy lawyer Mark Hartsoe may be able to help you recover damages if your baby developed cerebral palsy as a result of medical malpractice during gestation or delivery, or just after delivery.

Bringing a Claim Based on Cerebral Palsy

Risk factors that increase the likelihood of suffering a birth injury such as cerebral palsy include loss of oxygen to the baby's brain before or during labor, infections, blood clotting, abnormalities in the placenta, maternal high blood pressure, adverse effects from drugs or surgery, improper use of delivery instruments, failure to treat severe jaundice in a newborn baby, and grossly inappropriate medical care and pregnancy management.

Four types of brain damage can be caused by a birth injury and contribute to cerebral palsy: cerebral dysgenesis, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, intracranial hemorrhage, and leukomalacia. When there is hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, for example, this means that there are decreased oxygen and blood levels in the brain close to the time of delivery. This can cause brain cells and tissue to be destroyed, often in the motor cortex of a baby who develops cerebral palsy. A cerebral palsy lawyer in the Knoxville area can assist you with holding a health care provider accountable for these injuries.

Often, laypeople are confused between cerebral palsy and Erb's palsy. Erb's palsy is associated with paralysis in the upper arm, which also affects rotation in the lower arm. Erb's palsy may be a result of a difficult childbirth. Treatment can vary, as it can with cerebral palsy.

Failures to abide by the professional standard of care and use good professional judgment can cause cerebral palsy by physically traumatizing the fetus or depriving it of blood and oxygen by failing to take appropriate steps, such as ordering a C-section when a reasonably prudent physician would do so. Applying direct pressure to an infant's head while he or she is being delivered can result in permanent damage.

Usually, a Knoxville cerebral palsy attorney will need to retain a credible expert to testify on the professional standard of care, whether it was breached, and whether the breach caused the cerebral palsy. At the outset of the case, we will need to file a certificate of merit. A certificate of merit requires the signer to certify that they have consulted and asked for a signed written statement from one or more experts who say that the case has merit. Failing to file a certificate of merit can result in the dismissal of your case.

You may be able to recover compensatory damages for a baby's cerebral palsy through a medical malpractice lawsuit. Compensatory damages may include past and future medical expenses, physical therapy, occupational therapy, counseling, modifications to a home or vehicle, and in-home care. You may also be able to recover for loss of companionship, loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, and lost earning capacity.

Consult an Experienced Cerebral Palsy Attorney in the Knoxville Area

Cerebral palsy is very serious. While the birth of a baby should be a joyous event, it can be fraught and stressful to know that your baby will need care for the rest of his or her life that will be expensive to provide. If your baby suffered from cerebral palsy, and you suspect that labor or delivery negligence was the cause, you should consult an experienced birth injury attorney. Mark Hartsoe can advise you and represent you in a birth injury lawsuit. Call the Hartsoe Law Firm in East Tennessee at (865) 524-5657 or contact us through our online form. We also represent people in Clinton, Oak Ridge, Alcoa, Louisville, Maryville, LaFollette, Tazewell, Newport, Crossville, Jamestown, Rutledge, Greeneville, Morristown, Chattanooga, Dandridge, Jefferson City, Strawberry Plains, Madisonville, Lenoir City, Loudon, Athens, and other communities in Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Claiborne, Cocke, Cumberland, Fentress, Grainger, Greene, Hamblen, Hamilton, Jefferson, Knox, Monroe, Loudon, McMinn, and Bradley Counties.

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