Step #1 in a Cerebral Palsy Birth Injury Case: Collect All Medical Records for Expert Review

 There are few things more harmful to a child and a family than cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy birth injuries are rare but when they occur they are devastating.

Cerebral palsy birth injuries are not always or even most of the time related to medical malpractice.  However, even one case of medical negligence leading to cerebral palsy is too many.  One instance is not just a statistic.  It is a child and a family irreparably harmed.

Many Possible Links in the Chain of Medical Care

These providers include a host of possible culprits from doctors, nurses, physicians’ assistants, midwives to many possible providers in the course of care. The negligence is often overlapping and cumulative.

The existence of medical malpractice must first be determined which is not as easy as one might think.  From there, it is then necessary to determine who all was negligent in the line of care of the mother and child.

Review by Medical Expert is Absolutely Essential

All medical malpractice claims, including cerebral palsy claims, require an expert medical review. Without one, the case does not get out of the gate. In cases were medical malpractice is suspected as a cause of a child’s cerebral palsy, it is important to have the medical records reviewed by a medical expert. This will serve both to determine if medical malpractice was to blame and to identify each and every medical provider that played a role.

Without an expert review and the proper experts willing to testify in court, the case gets dismissed summarily by the court by the defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment. It cannot be stressed enough how important experts are in these cases.

Most often due to the expense of obtaining an expert, the medical records review will begin with an attorney who can both conduct the initial review of the records and then if merited identify appropriate and credible experts for a more extensive review of the records.

Collins & Collins, P.C. advances the costs of experts recovering those costs out of any judgement or settlement. We can be reached at (505) 242-5958.

Catastrophic Harm to Child and Family

There will a lifetime of physical, mental and financial harm to the child and the family The injuries and other harm in a cerebral palsy case can be catastrophic to the child and the family both emotionally and financially with a lifetime of care, medical expenses, rehabilitation, therapy, limited job opportunities and more.

In fact, the medical expense alone over the course of lifetime will typically be in the millions and in the high millions in case of very serious cases. These are determined based upon a review of the medical records with both medical experts and economists. They will help to create a life-care plan that will insure that the child is properly cared over a life-time of treatment, rehabilitation, physical therapy, speech therapy, mental health services and the list goes on.

The future medical and related costs will constitute the bulk of financial damages. However, in many cases there can be other financial consequences as well such lost earnings due to the need of the parent(s) to provide care to the child. All told, the financial harm can be enormous and the negligent medical providers and hospitals should bear the financial responsibility of the harm that they have caused, not an innocent child and family.

Step #1: Obtain the Medical Records

Get ALL Medical Records The first step is to gather all medical records including prenatal, birth and post birth records. In cases where cerebral palsy is the result, the fetal heart monitoring strips are absolutely essential. It is shocking how often these are neglected or misused during the delivery process. It is then essential to have those records reviewed by an independent medical expert.

It is best to obtain the records yourself due to the reduced delay and expense. However, there are times when it can be very difficult and expensive to obtain them.

Seek the Guidance of an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney

CP is extraordinarily difficult for a family. An experienced attorney can shoulder the legal aspects so the family can focus on more important things. Everything about cerebral palsy cases is extraordinarily difficult on the family. Parents may be overwhelmed as it is just trying to care for their child without having to deal with possible legal claims. These cases have enormous stakes for the child and the family. It is highly advisable to seek the guidance of an experienced medical malpractice attorney.

Free Case Review

Collins & Collins, P.C. provides a free review of those cases arising out of care provided in New Mexico. If the injuries appear to be the result of medical malpractice, we then send the records to a medical expert at no costs to you. Our fees and costs are paid out of any settlement or judgement.

Beware of important deadlines. There can be different deadlines for the parents’ and the child’s claims. It is important to act on these as soon as you know your child has been harmed and you believe it was the result of medical malpractice. There are extended deadlines on personal injury claims for children. However, the length of the extension is dependent upon whether the medical provider(s) was a private doctor, a qualified healthcare provider (CHP), a free clinic or a governmental facility.

More importantly, the extension of deadlines for the child’s claims do not apply to the personal injury claims of the parents who are bound by the standard guidelines applying to medical malpractice claims.   Even these will vary again depending upon the nature of the medical provider; private, CHP, governmental or free.

It is critically important that you understand all the possible deadlines that might apply to the case. The best way to do this is to contact an attorney. Collins & Collins, P.C. can be reached (505) 242-5958.

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