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Cerebral Palsy in WA

Seattle Cerebral Palsy Lawyers

Seattle-area cerebral palsy attorneys fighting for you and your child

At Smith McBroom, we understand the profound impact that cerebral palsy can have on a child's life and the challenges it poses for families. If you suspect that medical negligence may have played a role in your child's cerebral palsy, you are not alone. Our dedicated team of Seattle cerebral palsy attorneys is here to provide compassionate support and legal guidance. Cerebral palsy cases are intricate and often require a deep understanding of both medical and legal complexities. Our experienced medical malpractice attorneys specialize in representing families affected by cerebral palsy, seeking justice for those whose lives have been forever altered by preventable medical errors.

Free Case Evaluation

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Call 206-677-5941 now or fill out the form above to receive a free, confidential consultation.

What is cerebral palsy?

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) defines cerebral palsy as follows:

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a group of disorders that affect a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture. CP is the most common motor disability in childhood. Cerebral means having to do with the brain. Palsy means weakness or problems with using the muscles. CP is caused by abnormal brain development or damage to the developing brain that affects a person’s ability to control his or her muscles.

Cerebral palsy is a group of neurological disorders that affect movement and posture. There are four main types of cerebral palsy, classified based on the predominant movement issues and the parts of the body affected. These types are:

  1. Spastic cerebral palsy. Spastic cerebral palsy is the most common type of CP. It is characterized by stiff and tight muscles, making movements difficult. This stiffness can affect one side of the body (hemiplegia), both legs (diplegia), or all four limbs (quadriplegia).
  2. Dyskinetic (athetoid) cerebral palsy. Dyskinetic cerebral palsy is characterized by involuntary and uncontrolled movements, often accompanied by fluctuations in muscle tone. These movements can affect the face, arms, and trunk. People with dyskinetic cerebral palsy may have difficulty sitting or walking, and their speech may be affected.
  3. Ataxic cerebral palsy. Ataxic cerebral palsy primarily affects coordination and balance. Individuals with ataxic CP may have shaky movements, difficulty with precise motor tasks, and problems with balance and depth perception. It is the least common type of cerebral palsy.
  4. Mixed-type cerebral palsy. Some individuals with cerebral palsy may have a combination of symptoms from more than one type, leading to a mixed or combined type. For example, a person might exhibit both spastic and dyskinetic features. The specific combination of symptoms varies widely among individuals.

It's important to note that the classification of cerebral palsy is based on the main symptoms, and individuals with cerebral palsy can have a wide range of abilities and challenges. Additionally, the severity of cerebral palsy varies, with some individuals experiencing mild symptoms and others facing more significant impairments.

What are the symptoms of cerebral palsy?

The symptoms of cerebral palsy can include:

  • “Lack of muscle coordination when performing voluntary movements (ataxia)
  • Stiff or tight muscles and exaggerated reflexes (spasticity)
  • Weakness in one or more arm or leg
  • Walking on the toes, a crouched gait, or a “scissored” gait
  • Variations in muscle tone, either too stiff or too floppy
  • Shaking (tremor) or random involuntary movements
  • Delays in reaching motor skill milestones
  • Difficulty with precise movements such as writing or buttoning a shirt”

Additionally, children may display these other related conditions:

  • Intellectual disability
  • Seizure disorders
  • Spinal deformities
  • Impaired vision and/or hearing
  • Speech and language disorders
  • Excessive drooling
  • Incontinence
  • Learning difficulties
  • Bone problems
  • Psychological issues

The National Institute of Health also notes, “Infants with CP frequently have developmental delays, in which they are slow in learning to roll over, sit, crawl, or walk.”

Smith McBroom, PLLC

What causes cerebral palsy?

Cerebral palsy is a group of neurological disorders affecting movement and posture, and its exact cause often involves a combination of factors. The origins of cerebral palsy can be challenging to pinpoint, with several potential elements identified across prenatal, perinatal, and postnatal stages.

In the prenatal phase, genetic factors play a role in some cases, although the majority of instances are not directly linked to genetic causes. Infections during pregnancy, such as rubella, cytomegalovirus (CMV), or toxoplasmosis, can elevate the risk. Rh incompatibility, where there is a mismatch in blood types between the mother and baby, may lead to jaundice and subsequent brain damage, increasing the risk of cerebral palsy. Multiple births, such as twins or triplets, are associated with a higher risk, often due to preterm birth or low birth weight.

Perinatal factors encompass the time of birth and include preterm birth, a significant risk factor for cerebral palsy, especially when combined with low birth weight. Complications during labor and delivery, such as lack of oxygen or other birth-related issues, can contribute to the development of cerebral palsy.

Postnatal factors involve events occurring after birth. Brain infections or injuries during early childhood may lead to cerebral palsy. Severe jaundice, if left uncontrolled, can result in kernicterus, a type of brain damage that may contribute to the development of cerebral palsy.

Not all children exposed to risk factors will develop cerebral palsy. It’s important to utilize early identification, intervention, and ongoing medical care for managing the condition and improving the quality of life for individuals with cerebral palsy.

What is the statute of limitations for my Seattle cerebral palsy claim?

In Washington State, the statute of limitations for a cerebral palsy lawsuit is three years from the date of the injury. The statute of limitations can also be one year from the date the damage was discovered.

If a parent doesn't file a claim, a child can file it once they turn 18.

You should consult a Seattle attorney to ensure you don’t miss any deadlines.

Do you have a Seattle cerebral palsy attorney near me?

Smith McBroom is located at 16400 Southcenter Parkway, Suite #210, Seattle, Washington, 98188. We’re right off I-5 and I-405, near Southcenter Mall. There is a bus stop near our office, and we offer free on-site parking.

Talk to our Seattle-area cerebral palsy attorneys today for help

If you believe that your child's cerebral palsy may be the result of medical negligence, it's time to take action. Your child deserves the best chance at a fulfilling life, and holding responsible parties accountable is an important part of that journey. Take the first step towards seeking justice for your child's cerebral palsy. Contact us today for a confidential consultation and let us fight for your family's rights. Call our Tukwila-based offices or fill out our contact form today to schedule a meeting with one of our compassionate attorneys.