Las Vegas Cerebral Palsy Attorney
Cerebral palsy is a neurological condition resulting from an injury sustained before birth. The condition primarily affects muscle coordination and body movement and is not a progressive condition. Any damage to the developing brain can cause cerebral palsy, and the extent of the effects depends on the extent of the damage. Most current research suggests that brain injuries prior to birth, brain malformations, labor complications, and medical negligence are the leading causes of cerebral palsy. When medical negligence causes cerebral palsy, parents should contact our Las Vegas cerebral palsy attorneys to learn about their options for legal recourse.
Living With Cerebral Palsy
The symptoms of cerebral palsy vary from case to case. Typically, it causes movement dysfunction in the limbs. It may affect the arms, legs, or both. It may also interfere with facial movements. Cerebral palsy can cause muscles to contract too much or too little or make it impossible to control certain muscle groups. Some people with cerebral palsy experience tremors or shaking in the limbs, and some fine motor functions will be very difficult, such as typing or tying shoelaces.
Cerebral palsy is not a progressive condition, so it will not worsen with time. It is, however, incurable and permanent. Some people with milder cerebral palsy symptoms may be able to live independently or with minimal assistance, while others will experience total physical impairment and require constant living assistance.
Do I Have a Case?
Most lawsuits regarding cerebral palsy result from preventable birth injuries. Any oxygen loss during delivery can damage an infant’s brain and result in cerebral palsy, as well as a doctor who misuses surgical instruments like forceps or vacuum extraction tubes. Poor prenatal care may also cause cerebral palsy. The parents of children born with cerebral palsy need to know when medical negligence has occurred, so appropriate legal action can be taken.
A lawsuit for a birth injury that caused cerebral palsy will fall under medical malpractice law. While most medical malpractice cases follow a framework similar to personal injury lawsuits, there a few distinct facets of Nevada’s medical malpractice laws you should know before filing a case. First, the state allows for a three-year statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice claim following the date of an injury, or one year from the discovery of an injury. Filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in Nevada also requires a sworn affidavit from an expert medical witness who can attest to the merit of your claim.
Nevada also places a $350,000 cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice lawsuits. This means a plaintiff may only receive up to $350,000 for damages such as pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, permanent scarring, and other non-economic damages. There is no cap on economic damages such as medical expenses and lost income, however.
Proving Negligence in a Cerebral Palsy Lawsuit
Once a plaintiff has filed an initial complaint with a sworn affidavit of merit, the plaintiff will need to prove four aspects of medical negligence to succeed with the claim, including:
- The plaintiff must provide proof that an official doctor-patient relationship existed with the defendant.
- The plaintiff must prove how the defendant was negligent. Typically, an expert medical witness will explain to the court how the defendant’s behavior fell outside the scope of medically acceptable treatment for the situation.
- The plaintiff may only sue if damage occurred. In cerebral palsy cases, the damage is measurable and evident.
- The plaintiff must also prove a link between the doctor’s negligence and the damages in question. In a medical malpractice case for cerebral palsy, this means proving the cerebral palsy resulted from the defendant’s actions and not some other cause, such as natural brain malformation.
The right Las Vegas cerebral palsy lawyer will make a tremendous difference in your lawsuit. Contact the team at Panish Shea & Boyle LLP today to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys. We’ll review your cerebral palsy case and help you decide the best course of action.