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Economic costs related to caring for victims of cerebral palsy

Few things are more heart-wrenching than visiting with children suffering from birth injuries. Many of them are sweet-natured and fun-loving. Most of these children are generally aware that they are different from other kids, but otherwise have the same childlike enthusiasm for life. However, the parents of those children are certainly aware of their kids' special needs.

Cerebral palsy is one of many birth injuries that affects children early in life. Like many birth injuries, CP has some preventable causes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a child born from a pregnancy using certain infertility treatments experience greater chances of having CP. Additionally, problems associated with the delivery of a child can result in CP. This includes things like placenta detachment, uterine ruptures or a bind in the child's umbilical cord that affects the infant's oxygen supply.

Parents have a right to seek compensation from doctors or hospitals who cause birth injuries due to negligent practices or procedures. This is important because the costs of treating a child suffering with CP can be an enormous. A 2003 estimate from the CDC indicated that an individual living with CP could expect to generate medical costs of almost $1 million over the course of his or her lifetime.

There may also be other additional costs associated with CP. Roughly 41 percent of children suffering from CP also suffer from epilepsy. Many children with CP also have difficulty moving around. Many are confined to wheelchairs or have limited ability to walk. Parents who have children with both cerebral palsy and some other form of cognitive disability can expect to pay 26 times more for their children's medical expenses than parents of children born without those disabilities.

Texas statutes allow parents of injured children to sue negligent health care providers for compensation related to their children's birth injuries. A consultation with a birth injury attorney can help you examine the facts of your case and determine whether you should move forward with your civil lawsuit.

Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, "Data & Statistics for Cerebral Palsy" accessed Mar. 17, 2015

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