St. Louis Cerebral Palsy Lawyer

This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by Founding Partner, Terry Crouppen who has more than 40 years of legal experience as a personal injury attorney. Our last modified date shows when this page was last reviewed.

Learning that your baby will deal with cerebral palsy for life can be devastating. Knowing a preventable medical error caused your child’s condition can feel even worse. Cerebral palsy often occurs as a birth injury when medical practitioners make negligent mistakes and cause trauma to your baby’s brain.

If your child has cerebral palsy because of medical negligence, you may be entitled to considerable compensation. The St. Louis personal injury attorneys at Brown & Crouppen Law Firm can help you recover the damages you deserve.

Key Takeaways

  • Cerebral palsy is a brain injury that permanently affects muscle coordination and movement, and it is often caused by medical malpractice during pregnancy and birth.
  • Early signs of cerebral palsy include developmental delays, neurological problems, speech difficulties, feeding problems, and problems with movement and coordination. 
  • Medical errors that can lead to cerebral palsy include improper use of forceps, mismanaged maternal infections, delayed C-sections, and mismanaged neonatal strokes. 
  • A St. Louis cerebral palsy lawyer at Brown & Crouppen can help you pursue compensatory damages and, in some cases, punitive damages if your child develops cerebral palsy as a result of a birth injury.
  • In most cases, missing Missouri’s two-year statute of limitations will bar you from seeking compensation, so you should contact a St. Louis cerebral palsy lawyer as soon as possible after your baby’s diagnosis.
  • Brown & Crouppen is an award-winning law firm with over 40 years of experience serving St. Louis. We have recovered more than $1 billion in compensation for our clients.

How Can a St. Louis Cerebral Palsy Lawyer Assist You?

Learning to live with cerebral palsy is difficult. You should not have to spend countless hours fighting for the compensation you deserve. When you hire a knowledgeable cerebral palsy medical malpractice attorney to handle your case, you can sit back and focus on your family’s health and well-being.

Cerebral palsy law firms have attorneys on staff who understand the nuances of cerebral palsy medical malpractice claims. Your lawyer will consult with you on important information, but generally, they will handle your case. This means you do not have to remember filing dates or figure out how to collect evidence.

Hiring the right law firm to represent your claim is critical. Choosing the right local law firm with experience and knowledge about the St. Louis court system and cerebral palsy is key.

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Compensation for Cerebral Palsy Claims

You can recover damages from cerebral palsy lawsuits in several ways. The courts generally divide damages into compensatory and punitive damages.

Compensatory Damages

Compensatory damages are awarded for your losses. They are classified as economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages: These are quantifiable losses and include expenses such as: 

  • Hospital bills
  • Medication
  • Lost wages
  • Lost future wages
  • Lost earning potential
  • Future medical bills

Non-economic damages: These are relatively difficult to quantify impacts on the victim’s life and include issues such as:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish 
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Loss of enjoyment
  • Loss of companionship
  • Disability 
  • Disfigurement

Punitive Damages

The court may order the defendant to pay punitive or exemplary damages if their conduct was particularly inexcusable. The courts use punitive damages as a punishment. These damages can also send a powerful message to other parties that the court will not tolerate certain behavior.

Damage Caps

Economic damages are uncapped. However, non-economic damages in medical malpractice suits are capped, based on the severity of the injury.

“Non-catastrophic” injuries have a non-economic damage caps of  $457,749 in 2023. “Catastrophic” injuries have a non-economic damage cap of $801,061.  The caps increase by 1.7 percent annually.

A catastrophic injury is defined as quadriplegia, paraplegia, the loss of two or more limbs, significant and permanent cognitive impairment, irreversible failure of a major organ, or significant loss of vision.

The courts do not limit punitive damages unless the claim is against a public entity. In those cases, no punitive damages are allowed.

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Get started with a free consultation with one of our skilled Personal Injury Lawyers today.

About Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a group of neurological disorders permanently affecting muscle coordination and body movement. It usually appears in infancy or early childhood and is the leading childhood disability in the U.S. Its symptoms vary. One patient may suffer from severe symptoms and be unable to walk, while another patient may not need walking assistance.

Common Signs of Cerebral Palsy

There are many signs of cerebral palsy, but not all babies who display these signs will be diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

Typical symptoms include the following :

  • Movement and coordination problems
  • Issues with speech and eating
  • Developmental delays and delayed growth
  • Other neurological problems

Treatment for Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is not progressive, meaning it does not worsen over time. However, some symptoms may change as the child matures. Currently, there is no cure for cerebral palsy. But medications, supportive treatments, and surgery can help. 

Some recommended treatments that help some people with cerebral palsy include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Recreation therapy
  • Speech-language therapy
  • Muscle relaxers
  • Botulinum toxin, more commonly referred to as Botox

Surgeries that can prove effective include orthopedic surgery and selective nerve-cutting surgery.

Additionally, numerous assistive devices can help improve the quality of life for people with cerebral palsy, including:

  • Braces and splints to correct muscle abnormalities
  • Special chairs, braces, and wedges to make sitting easier and more comfortable
  • Hearing aids
  • Vision aids
  • Wheelchairs, powered scooters, and rolling walkers
  • Orthotic devices to compensate for muscle imbalance

Related conditions

People with cerebral palsy may be more at risk for these conditions:

  • Hearing loss
  • Impaired vision
  • Spinal deformities
  • Delayed development
  • Seizure disorder
  • Intellectual disability
  • Speech disorders
  • Learning difficulties

What Causes Cerebral Palsy?

Abnormalities within the brain or brain damage cause cerebral palsy. Abnormalities can occur if areas of the brain fail to develop as expected. Brain damage is usually caused by injury to the baby’s brain before, during, or after birth.

The types of brain damage that can cause cerebral palsy include:

  • Severe lack of oxygen to the brain
  • Bleeding in the brain
  • Abnormal brain development
  • Damage to the brain’s white matter

The fetal brain is most vulnerable between weeks 26 and 34. 

Can Malpractice Cause Cerebral Palsy?

Medical negligence can cause cerebral palsy. If medical malpractice results in abnormal development, lack of oxygen to the brain, bleeding in the brain, or other brain damage, cerebral palsy can result.

Some medical conditions during labor and delivery pose an increased risk of a cerebral palsy birth injury. These include:

  • Seizures
  • Jaundice
  • Complicated labor and delivery
  • Breech position

What Is Considered Cerebral Palsy Malpractice?

Any medical procedure that results low oxygen rates or brain damage could be cerebral palsy malpractice. Common examples of medical errors that cause cerebral palsy include:

  • The improper use of birth-assisting tools, such as forceps
  • Mishandling infections during pregnancy
  • Delayed C-section
  • Mismanaging neonatal stroke

Medical Malpractice Laws in Missouri

If you are considering filing a cerebral palsy lawsuit in St. Louis, it is important to understand the local medical malpractice laws. Laws related to medical malpractice in Missouri include:

  • Medical malpractice statute of limitations: You have two years from the date of injury or discovery of the injury to file a claim. Missing this deadline will likely prevent you from seeking compensation for your losses.
  • Medical malpractice damage limitations: Missouri imposes a limit on the  damage caps change annually. It is best to speak with a cerebral palsy attorney to discuss potential damages caps.

Help for Families Affected by Cerebral Palsy

Brown & Crouppen has been serving the community for over 40 years. Our lawyers have more than 1,000 years of combined legal experience. With access to over 250 legal professionals on staff, we have the resources you need.

The attorneys at Brown & Crouppen have received numerous awards and other recognition, including the following:

  • Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers Rising Stars
  • The National Trial Lawyers “Top 40 Under 40”
  • The National Trial Lawyers “Top 100 Trial Lawyers
  • Top Trial Lawyers in America’s Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • Top Trial Lawyers of America Multi-Million Dollar Advocates forum

More important are the incredible results that we provide for our clients. With more than $1 billion awarded to clients, including numerous multi-million dollar awards and settlements, Brown & Crouppen Law Firm knows how to get results and win. Contact us today.

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(314) 501-9510

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