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What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral Palsy is a term used to describe a group of chronic conditions affecting body movements and muscle coordination. It is caused by damage to one or more specific areas of the brain. “Cerebral” refers to the brain and “Palsy” to a disorder of movement or posture. If someone has Cerebral Palsy it means that because of an injury to their brain (cerebral), they are not able to use some of the muscles in their body in the normal way (palsy). Children with cerebral palsy may not be able to walk, talk, eat, or play in the same ways as most other children.

What is Cerebral Palsy Malpractice?

So, what exactly causes Cerebral Palsy and how can it result from medical malpractice? In some cases, Cerebral Palsy is caused by events that occur shortly before, during, and after birth. Many times this type of birth injury is medically preventable. Preventable brain injuries that cause Cerebral Palsy can happen in many ways, including but not limited to:

  • Failure to treat or prevent infection in the mother or baby during pregnancy, labor, or delivery
  • Failure to consider, recommend or offer Cesarean Section in a timely manner
  • Failure to timely respond to fetal distress
  • Failure to timely respond to signs of a lack of oxygen to a baby
  • Failure to timely respond to abnormalities on fetal heart monitor strips
  • Improper use of forceps
  • Improper use of vacuum extraction
  • Failure to timely respond to severe jaundice
  • Failure to properly treat kidney and urinary tract infections in the mother
  • Failure to respond to Rh incompatibility
  • Toxicity from inappropriate medications during pregnancy

If you have experienced any of these errors, consider contacting our PA and NJ cerebral palsy medical malpractice lawyers.


If your loved one has been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, you’ll likely want to know what kind and what sort of symptoms they may present with. Some common types of Cerebral Palsy are:

  • Spastic Cerebral Palsy: This is the most common form, constituting approximately 80% of individuals diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. Spastic Cerebral Palsy results in reduced motor function for patients and difficulty transitioning from one position to another. It also causes permanently contracted and stiff muscles.
  • Ataxic Cerebral Palsy: Individuals diagnosed with Ataxic Cerebral Palsy often have difficulty making coordinated movements or with their balance. They may also experience tremors and struggle with depth perception.
  • Athetoid Cerebral Palsy: Individuals with Athetoid Cerebral Palsy can have slurred speech, impaired posture, and difficulty swallowing. They may also present with hypotonia, or low muscle tone.

Symptoms and Effects of Cerebral Palsy

Some general symptoms associated with common types of cerebral palsy include, but are not limited to:

  • Impaired speech
  • Learning disabilities
  • Visual impairment
  • Hearing impairment
  • Difficulty walking
  • Incontinence
  • Difficulty eating
  • Drooling
  • Limited motor skills
  • Paralysis
  • Seizures

Treatment of Cerebral Palsy

Our specialized Cerebral Palsy medical malpractice team is based in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. We seek compensation for those who have been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy due to preventable medical malpractice. While unfortunately as lawyers we cannot treat or cure this condition, early detection of Cerebral Palsy and targeted therapy will increase a baby’s chance of achieving a better long-term outcome. Depending on the types and severity of impairment a child experiences he or she may require:

  • Physical therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Psychological treatment
  • Surgery
  • Medications to prevent seizures
  • Full time in-home care or institutionalization

What to Do After Cerebral Palsy Malpractice

If you suspect that your child may have Cerebral Palsy, proper and timely treatment will maximize the chances that your child will survive with as little damage as possible under the circumstances. Unfortunately, many children will nevertheless require a lifetime of expensive medical care. Many will need to be followed by several different types of pediatric specialists and participate in ongoing physical and occupational therapy.

In some cases, care at home is beyond the best capabilities of caring parents and placement in a specialized institution becomes the only viable option.

It is in your child’s interest to be in a position to benefit from the very best and most advanced treatment available in your region, or if you are local, throughout New Jersey and Philadelphia. There may be a significant difference in the treatment and services that private medical insurance or such programs as Medicaid will cover, and the most desirable state of the art treatment.

If your child has suffered a preventable birth injury in NJ or PA, getting the compensation that you deserve may be the only way to provide the care and services needed to maximize your child’s recovery and potential.

For more information on Cerebral Palsy please visit our Cerebral Palsy Frequently Asked Questions page.


PA and New Jersey Cerebral Palsy Lawyers Weiss & Paarz have collectively presented over 40 medical malpractice cases involving a Cerebral Palsy injury to juries, having helped many families obtain the financial assistance needed to lessen or eliminate the financial burden caused by Cerebral Palsy. They are committed to using their knowledge and experience to help the victims of preventable birth injuries obtain fair compensation.

If you believe your child may have experienced such an injury, contact our W&P New Jersey offices in Toms River, Cherry Hill, Iselin, and Northfield; or contact our Pennsylvania offices in Philadelphia and Bala Cynwyd. Speak to one of our specialized Cerebral Palsy Medical Malpractice Lawyers today!

*The firm handles cases in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. For cases outside those states, Weiss & Paarz works with local attorneys in the state where the medical care took place, at no additional cost to the client.


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Call 1-800-952-8444

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