Cerebral palsy is an umbrella term for neurological disorders. If your child was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, it is possible that the condition may have developed because of a birth injury. Birth injury lawyers in Annapolis, MD, may review your case to determine if medical negligence may have played a role in your child’s diagnosis. If medical negligence is likely, you might consider having a malpractice lawyer file a lawsuit. Any resultant compensation can be used for your child’s future medical care and other needs.
Before a diagnosis of cerebral palsy can be confirmed, the doctor may request that the child undergo a series of medical tests . Typically, these can include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), cranial ultrasound, computerized tomography (CT), and laboratory tests. Depending on the child’s specific medical condition, the doctor may also request an electroencephalogram (EEG) and assessments of the child’s vision, hearing, speech, and cognitive function. Some of these tests may be covered by health insurance, although not all plans provide comprehensive coverage for diagnostics. If this is the case, then the costs can be considerable.
A medical negligence lawsuit may also seek compensation for the child’s surgery, if need be. Surgical intervention cannot cure cerebral palsy, but it may help remedy some of the child’s impairments. For example, it might correct the alignment of the limbs, alleviate muscle stiffness, treat spinal curvatures, correct foot deformities, and improve balance and coordination. If surgery is indicated, then the cost of raising a child with cerebral palsy will be increased substantially.
Multiple types of therapy are often required for children with cerebral palsy. A child’s therapy sessions may continue for years. Children with cerebral palsy often require extensive work with a physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech-language pathologist (SLP), and developmental therapist. Often, health insurance plans only cover a few therapy visits per year, which means that the parents must pay the rest out-of-pocket.
Cerebral palsy can result in significant mobility impairments. The parents may need to purchase mechanical aids such as motorized wheelchairs, walkers, and braces. The home may need to be modified to accommodate the child’s impairments. Additionally, depending on the degree of impairment of the child’s self-care skills, the child may require care around the clock for his or her lifetime. This may mean hiring a full-time home health aide.