Understanding the Rights of Your Child With Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy is a condition that affects muscle tone, movement, and fine motor skills. It is often the result of brain damage that occurs from oxygen deprivation during pregnancy, during childbirth or shortly after birth. It may affect each person differently, depending on the extent of the damage and which part of the brain is involved. However, most children who suffer from this condition face severe life long difficulties. If your child suffers from this condition, there are things you should know to help protect them. Here’s what you need to know about understanding the rights of your child with cerebral palsy.
The Americans with Disabilities Act
For those who are parents with children with Cerebral Palsy, it is essential to know that there are protections in place to protect your child’s best interests as they age. These legal protections are set forth in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This act was designed to help limit the negative impact any unfair behaviors or policies may have on a child. The act expressly “prohibits discrimination and ensures equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in employment, State and local government services, public accommodations, commercial facilities, and transportation.”
The ADA ensures that reasonable accommodations must be made to allow those individuals, regardless of what their special needs may be, access to activities, events, facilities, services and more. This may mean access to a wheelchair ramp, accommodations for visual impairments, or a wheelchair lift on a bus. All these accommodations must be made to help adhere to ADA requirements, ensuring all children are granted equal access.
State-Based Health and Disability Services
Parenting a child with Cerebral Palsy can be challenging and exhausting. Most often, your child will qualify for state-based medical, health and education services. In New Jersey and Pennsylvania, Medicaid services will provide health insurance to your child that almost always includes at-home nursing services for at least a portion of the day. Nurses assist with feedings, medications, therapy, and transportation. In addition, when your child reaches school age, nurses will typically accompany your child to his or her special needs school in a special transportation vehicle provided by the State.
Birth Defect Damages
The rights of your child with cerebral palsy aren’t just limited to the health, education, and compliance with ADA. Your child may be due monetary compensation if the condition was the result of medical malpractice.
Often, a lack of oxygen to the fetus is the reason a child will suffer from cerebral palsy. This often occurs due to the inability of the obstetrician to deliver the child in a timely manner. In some cases, this may be due to the failure to identify fetal distress that occurs during labor and childbirth. In other cases, this may be due to baby’s size or the size of the mother resulting in the baby’s shoulder becoming stuck on the mother’s pubic bone (known as shoulder dystocia) leading to delayed delivery and lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain. Many times, the inability to deliver the baby through the birthing canal is not recognized until it’s far too late, forcing the doctor to take emergency, last-minute maneuvers that might cause serious injury to both the baby and the mother. This includes Erb’s Palsy and Klumke’s Palsy, conditions caused by the stretching of the brachial plexus nerves in the baby that leads to nerve and arm dysfunction and disfigurement.
Contact an Experienced Birth Injury Attorney Today
At Rossetti & DeVoto, we are experienced birth injury lawyers here to assist you, your family, and your children who suffer from birth injuries including Cerebral Palsy, Erb’s palsy, and Klumke’s palsy. We are experts in all facets of birth injury and obstetrical malpractice law in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
At Rossetti & DeVoto, we work tirelessly for our clients to protect their rights and their future. If your family is the victim of obstetrical malpractice or a birth injury, give us a call today at 844-263-6260.