Since 1975, Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C. has been advocating for families affected by preventable birth injuries. Whether attributed to incompetence, negligence or blatant malpractice, a birth trauma resulting in neurological injury requires the knowledge, skill and resources of a talented cerebral palsy lawyer.
Current research indicates that injury or lack of oxygen to the fetus’ brain before, during or after birth can result in cerebral palsy, causing serious and sometimes permanent damage to the child’s motor skills, cognitive abilities, vision and hearing. It is estimated that complications during labor and childbirth are responsible for 10 percent of all cerebral palsy (CP) cases.
If your child was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and you suspect that medical negligence may be a contributing factor, you are encouraged to reach out for a private legal consultation. Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman has represented numerous families in medical malpractice claims throughout Rockland County and Bergen County and offer compassionate support and a proven track record of success.
Cerebral palsy attorneys serving Rockland County
While a history of courtroom victories is an important factor when choosing a cerebral palsy attorney, you also need to feel comfortable with your choice of counsel. The legal team at Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman understands the sensitive nature of birth trauma litigation and offer clients personalized, attentive care during this emotionally draining time. Our veteran attorneys pride themselves on treating each client with the level of professionalism, respect and honesty they deserve. By collaborating with case investigators, physicians, neurological specialists and life care planners, our attorneys can not only pinpoint liability in birth injury cases, but also develop a clear picture of the health care needs and related costs the child will have for the remainder of his or her life.
Depending on the type and severity of the CP, the child may require orthopedic surgery, special schooling, assistive devices like wheelchairs, braces or walkers, physical and occupational therapy, or in-home care to help with normal, daily activities. Though cerebral palsy does not worsen over time, there is no known cure for this type of neurological damage, which can leave children with learning disabilities, seizures and permanent mobility impairment.
After learning about the unique circumstances of your case, we can determine if filing a cerebral palsy lawsuit is the right course of action and advise clients on applicable statutes of limitation. To file a birth injury claim in New Jersey, the action must be brought before the child’s 13th birthday. New York State imposes stricter deadlines, but some exceptions are made in cerebral palsy claims, allowing the parent or legal guardian to sue before the child turns 10.
Signs & symptoms of cerebral palsy birth injuries
Reaching key developmental milestones — sitting up, rolling on the belly, crawling, standing and walking – bring immense joy to new parents, but notable delays in these markers should be cause for concern. Cerebral palsy is typically diagnosed within the first three years of a child’s life, but parents should be alert for these tell-tale signs:
- Delays in growth and developmental milestones
- Lack of normal muscle tone – floppy or limp limbs
- Spastic movements of the head or limbs
- Exaggerated reflexes
- Muscle tremors
- Unusual muscle rigidity and stiffness
- Favoring one side of the body
- Lack of balance
- Walking with an abnormal gait
- Difficulty breastfeeding, sucking or eating
- Problems with fine motor skills like picking up a toy
Medical negligence and cerebral palsy
Congenital defects can cause brain development problems and cerebral palsy in infants. Other risk factors such as viral and bacterial infections, preterm delivery and maternal thyroid problems can also pose dangers to a baby’s developing brain.
Unfortunately, mistakes, omissions and lack of timely medical care before and during labor can also cause cerebral palsy, giving rise to a lawsuit. In cases where midwives, obstetricians or attending health care personnel fail to adhere to the accepted medical standards of care, parents may have a viable claim for damages in NY or NJ courts.
The following examples of negligence may provide grounds for pursuing a cerebral palsy malpractice claim:
- Failing to detect and treat maternal infections like German measles, Herpes, Chicken Pox and Zika
- Failing to monitor the baby’s heart rate for signs of fetal distress
- Failing to diagnose and treat uterine rupture or placental problems
- Failing to perform a Cesarean section in a timely manner
- Improper or negligent use of vacuum extraction or forceps
- Failing to detect and correct umbilical cord problems
- Failing to provide an asphyxiated baby with prompt oxygen therapy
- Failing to monitor respiratory treatments after delivery
Compensation available to families
Because each cerebral palsy case is governed by unique fact patterns and circumstances, the amount of damages available to plaintiffs can vary tremendously. Given that the average life time expenses for raising and caring for a child with cerebral palsy is more than $1 million, our lawyers work tirelessly to ensure that families are justly compensated for all past, present and future:
- Medical and hospital expenses
- Costs of special education
- In-home care
- Rehabilitation, including physical therapy
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of future earnings
- Medical supplies such as braces, wheelchairs, etc.
A successful lawsuit may never erase the heartache and suffering that your family has endured because of a terrible mistake, but it can provide the financial resources to ensure your child has access to the best medical care possible.
Birth injury lawyers in New Jersey & New York
If you are ready to speak with a knowledgeable cerebral palsy lawyer, Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman offer telephone and in-person consultations in our New York and New Jersey law offices. For more than 40 years, our birth injury lawyers have been offering zealous, effective legal representation to residents throughout Bergen and Rockland Counties.
Additional Cerebral Palsy Resources:
- CerebralPalsy.org: Types and Forms of Cerebral Palsy, http://cerebralpalsy.org/about-cerebral-palsy/types/
- New Jersey Judiciary: Jury Instructions: Duty & Negligence, http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/civil/charges/5.50A.pdf
- New York Times, Cerebral Palsy Overview, http://www.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/cerebral-palsy/
- Cerebral PalsyCosts.com, Costs for Children, http://cerebralpalsycosts.com/children.html