Diagnosing cerebral palsy late may impact child’s rights

Donald Saiontz

By Donald Saiontz
Posted October 27, 2006


In many cases, diagnosing cerebral palsy does not occur until the child is several years old.  Even though the disability is often caused by something that happens at the time of birth, the diagnosis is not always apparent during early childhood.  Especially for children with mild cerebral palsy, the abnormal development of muscles or lack of coordinated movement are often attributed to developmental delay instead of a brain injury.

>>RESOURCES: Cerebral Palsy Resources

Cerebral palsy is a caused by brain damage which effects the child’s ability to control their muscles and movements in certain parts of their body. In many cases, the disability could be caused by a medical mistake made by the doctor, hospital or nurses at the time of birth.  Our cerebral palsy lawyers investigate claims nationwide to pursue financial benefits for children whose condition could have been prevented with the exercise of proper standards of medical care.

>>INFORMATION: Cerebral palsy lawsuits 

Unfortunately, diagnosing cerebral palsy several years after birth may result in the child never being able to pursue the benefits to which they should be entitled.  Every state has a statute of limitations which places a deadline on claims for medical malpractice, even if it involves a child.  While many states provide several years after the 18th birthday to file a claim, some states have much shorter deadlines which could require that a claim be filed within a few years after the birth.

It is important to consult with a qualified attorney to determine what deadlines may be applicable to a child’s legal rights.  There are a lot of websites which attempt to provide specific information on the statute of limitations in each state.  However, these sites are often outdated, unreliable and fail to provide sufficient information to interpret the language of the statute.  There are many factors that need to be considered to determine the specific deadline applicable to a particular birth, and different state courts have interpreted the tolling of the statute of limitations for minors differently.

Our experienced cerebral palsy lawyers offer free consultations to determine if a child is eligible to make a claim and whether they may be entitled to financial compensation.  We can review the circumstances surrounding the birth to detemine if cerebral palsy could have been prevented.  If a parent suspects that a child’s cerebral palsy was caused by a medical mistake, they should review the claim as soon as possible as limited time may be remaining for the child’s claim.


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