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Who Can Be Held Liable if My Baby is Diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy in Maryland?

Cerebral palsy is a group of permanent movement disorders appearing in early childhood. While this condition can sometimes result from natural causes, there are many more instances where medical negligence contributed to the child developing this condition.

When the most precious person in your life is harmed by another’s carelessness, you naturally want justice from those responsible. In cerebral palsy cases, several parties could be liable for your child’s condition. Numerous healthcare professionals are responsible for a child’s medical care during their early development. However, our experienced team knows the signs of malpractice when they analyze a case and can help you identify where the mistakes happened with your child. Our firm has been fighting for cerebral palsy victims and their families for years and is ready to help you get justice for this tragic miscarriage of professional care.

For a free case review with our Maryland medical malpractice attorneys, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291.

Parties that Can Be Sued if Your Baby is Diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy in Maryland?

Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that affects movement, muscle tone, and posture. It is caused by damage to the developing brain, often before, during, or shortly after birth. If your child is diagnosed with cerebral palsy, our Annapolis, MD medical malpractice attorneys can help determine if malpractice played a role in your child’s condition. In Maryland, the following parties can be held liable if negligence contributed to the development of cerebral palsy in your child:

Obstetricians and Gynecologists

During pregnancy, it is the responsibility of healthcare professionals to ensure the health and well-being of both the mother and the fetus. They must carefully monitor the pregnancy, diagnose any potential maternal infections such as urinary tract infections, STIs, or bacterial vaginosis, and provide appropriate treatment. In addition, they should screen for gestational diabetes and preeclampsia, which can have serious consequences for both the mother and the fetus if not detected and treated promptly.

During delivery, healthcare professionals should properly handle any complications that might arise, such as umbilical cord prolapse, placental abruption, shoulder dystocia, or fetal distress. They should also be prepared to perform emergency procedures such as forceps delivery, vacuum extraction, or cesarean section if necessary and in a timely manner.

Negligence on the part of healthcare professionals often includes failure to diagnose or treat maternal infections, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, improper handling of a complicated delivery, or failure to perform a cesarean section when fetal distress is evident. Such negligence can lead to the development of cerebral palsy.

Nurses and Midwives

During labor, other healthcare professionals might be responsible for monitoring the health of both the mother and the baby. These individuals, often referred to as midwives and delivery nurses, play a critical role in identifying any potential issues that arise during labor. One of the tools they use to monitor the baby’s health is the fetal heart rate monitor, which measures the baby’s heart rate and can provide important information about the baby’s well-being.

It is crucial that these healthcare professionals are able to properly interpret the information provided by the fetal heart rate monitor, as any misinterpretation could potentially lead to serious complications. Additionally, effective communication between the midwife and delivery nurse and the attending physician is essential to ensure that any concerns are addressed promptly and appropriately.

Neonatologists and Pediatricians

After a baby is born, pediatric specialists play a critical role in identifying and treating any medical conditions that might increase the risk of developing cerebral palsy if left untreated.

For instance, they might closely monitor newborns for jaundice, which can cause brain damage if not addressed promptly. Similarly, they might watch out for signs of infections or breathing difficulties, which can also lead to cerebral palsy if not properly diagnosed and treated.

Hospitals and Medical Institutions

The hospital or medical facility where the birth took place could also be named in your lawsuit. Under the theory of “corporate negligence,” the hospital can be held responsible for failing to ensure that an adequate standard of care is provided to the mother and newborn.

This responsibility includes several aspects. First, the hospital must ensure its staff members are properly trained and certified to carry out their duties. This ensures that the staff are competent and capable of providing quality care to patients.

Second, the hospital is responsible for maintaining all equipment and tools used during the birthing process in working order.

Additionally, the hospital must implement procedures that safeguard the health of its patients. This can include measures such as proper hygiene practices, regular check-ups, and emergency response plans in case of unexpected complications.

Pharmaceutical Companies

In rare cases, pharmaceutical companies might be held legally responsible if a medication prescribed during pregnancy or labor is found to have contributed to the development of cerebral palsy in the baby. This would typically involve situations where the company knew of potential risks associated with the drug but failed to provide adequate warning to doctors and patients.

In such cases, the company might be liable for damages caused by their medication. However, this issue is complex, and liability depends on various factors. In most cases, expert witnesses must testify on your behalf to explain these complicated issues.

Damages You Can Claim if Malpractice Caused Your Child to Develop Cerebral Palsy in Maryland

In Maryland, parents can pursue compensation for various damages stemming from negligence that caused cerebral palsy in their child. Economic damages refer to the quantifiable costs that are directly linked to a child’s cerebral palsy condition caused by malpractice.

This can include both immediate and future medical expenses, such as surgeries, medications, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and any other treatments that might be required throughout the child’s lifetime.

Additionally, children with cerebral palsy might need assistive technology and home modifications to cater to their disability, such as wheelchairs, walkers, communication devices, and special living environments.

Furthermore, given the long-lasting impact of cerebral palsy, there might be a calculation for the loss of potential earnings that the child would have been capable of if not for the disability.

Compensation for the non-economic damages caused by cerebral palsy is intended to address the intangible and non-quantifiable effects that this condition has on both the child and their family.

For instance, pain and suffering damages provide compensation for the physical discomfort and emotional distress that the child experiences as a result of cerebral palsy. Although it can be challenging to quantify the extent of their suffering, it is an essential aspect of damages in malpractice cases.

Loss of enjoyment of life damages cover the restrictions that cerebral palsy places on the child’s ability to participate in various activities and experiences that other children without such disabilities enjoy. This category acknowledges that the child’s quality of life might be significantly diminished and, therefore, requires compensation.

Finally, emotional distress damages recognize the profound psychological impact that cerebral palsy can have on both the child and their parents. This impact can include anxiety, depression, and trauma related to the child’s diagnosis and the challenges that come with it.

Our Maryland Medical Malpractice Attorneys Can Help You Get Justice for Your Child’s Harm

Call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 for a free assessment of your case with our Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers.