Cerebral palsy is a birth injury that impacts a child’s cognitive functions and musculoskeletal control. In some cases, it will be near-immediate to notice that a child has been born with cerebral palsy. However, the norm is that its symptoms are so subtle, they go unnoticed for quite a while.
Some common symptoms of cerebral palsy include:
- Difficulty with coordination and balance
- Strained movements
- Paralysis of a limb, or one half the body
- Speech complications or disorders
- Slow or incomplete learning
- Unusual walking gaits
- Occasional tremors
- Constant grinding of the teeth
Due to the fact that many of these symptoms worsen with time and first appear as slight hindrances, it might not be possible to diagnose cerebral palsy accurately until the child is between three and five years old. It is important for parents to find a trusted pediatrician and speak to him or her whenever there is reason to suspect that a child might be suffering from a birth injury.
Importance of Diagnosing Cerebral Palsy
The sooner a child can be diagnosed positively, the better. As cerebral palsy is a degenerative condition, an earlier diagnosis could potentially reduce its total impact. Treatment options may include physical therapy to address musculoskeletal issues and attending specialized educational courses reserved for children with learning or mental disabilities. Surgery may also be able to correct some physical problems, although this solution is rarely explored due to potential risks associated with any type of surgery.
Knowing that your child has cerebral palsy also creates the possibility of pursuing compensation through a claim or lawsuit. This condition is believed to be caused before birth in nearly all cases. It is also believed to be preventable in many cases with the right obstetrician care. That is to say, if doctors perform the correct tests and monitor a pregnant mother and her unborn child adequately, cerebral palsy could be avoided or mitigated.
Filing a Claim, Even Years Later
If your child was born with cerebral palsy and was not diagnosed until years after his or her birth, you may still have an opportunity to file a birth injury claim in pursuit of justice and compensation. California medical malpractice laws begin the statute of limitations on such claims once the condition is apparent, not on the date of birth itself. In most cases, an injury or condition discovered after the fact will be governed by a one-year statute, so you still need to act quickly.
Contact Habbas & Associates to speak with a San Jose birth injury attorney about your case. During a free initial consultation, we may be able to determine if your claim is still valid, or how much time is left on your statute of limitations. We know you will be able to trust in our team to take care of you and your child, and we want to do everything in our power to prove that to you.