A child develops cerebral palsy because of damage to the brain late in fetal development or during delivery. When a child in New Mexico is born with cerebral palsy, the cause may not always be clear. However, there are situations in which incidents that happened during birth may be the likely reason.

Symptoms of cerebral palsy may not appear until months or years after birth. These include problems with motor control and muscle tone, trouble walking and developmental disabilities. A common form causes difficulty walking, and children might need to wear leg braces or use a wheelchair. In some cases, children may learn to walk unaided through physical therapy. In other cases, surgery may be necessary. There may be several over a number of years.

Parents whose children have cerebral palsy may wonder whether they can bring a claim of medical malpractice against the doctor or other medical professionals involved in their child’s delivery. If the infant was deprived of oxygen during the delivery, medical staff could be held responsible if their actions led to the umbilical cord being wrapped around the child’s neck. They might also be responsible if they did not act quickly to help the child or if the child was deprived of oxygen in some other way because of their actions.

Parents who believe a birth injury caused cerebral palsy or another condition for their child may want to discuss the situation with an attorney. A successful claim of medical malpractice needs to demonstrate both that harm occurred and that it happened because a medical provider did not provide a reasonable standard of care. It may be possible to settle a medical malpractice claim out of court. If parents are not happy with the offer made for compensation, they can continue on to litigation.