At What Age Can Cerebral Palsy Be Diagnosed?

Thousands of children in the United States will be born with cerebral palsy, an incurable motor disability originating from brain damage. While some cases of cerebral palsy are unexpected and cannot be easily linked to a particular event, many are actually caused by a doctor’s mistake.

Medical malpractice that leads to a birth injury, which in turn causes cerebral palsy in an infant, should be entirely preventable. In such cases, the child and their family should be provided full necessary compensation from the negligent party, whether it is paid out by a hospital group or insurance company. However, before any claim can be made and validated, the child’s cerebral palsy needs to be diagnosed, and when that diagnosis occurs can also play a part in how the claim pans out.

How Soon Can Cerebral Palsy Be Diagnosed?

A complication of cerebral palsy cases is that it cannot be easily diagnosed or seen at a glance. Detection often depends heavily on the suspicion that something might be wrong and the approval of a doctor to run tests. The varying circumstances makes the diagnosis window for cerebral palsy relatively wide.

In some cases, if it is quite noticeable that a doctor’s negligence caused a birth injury, a diagnosis might be possible through testing soon after birth. When cerebral palsy has not caused significant development issues, it could be up to five years before parents are given reason to suspect that something could be unusual with their child. Although, there is a noticeable majority of cerebral palsy diagnoses around or soon after a child’s second birthday.

Filing a Birth Injury Claim for Compensation

There is a pervading concern among parents that they will not be able to seek compensation if their child is not diagnosed with cerebral palsy until several years of their birth. After all, Pennsylvania has a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury claims. Would it not be too late to file a claim if your child’s cerebral palsy was not diagnosed until they were three or older? Thankfully, no.

Pennsylvania’s statute of limitations begins once an injury, illness, or condition becomes known. Parents can file a birth injury claim against a negligent medical team up to two years after their child’s cerebral palsy is diagnosed. Our Philadelphia birth injury lawyers at Golomb & Honik, P.C. recommend taking legal action sooner than later when so much is on the line. If you believe your child’s cerebral palsy was caused by another party’s negligence, call 215.278.4449 to request a free case evaluation with our team, during which we may be able to estimate how much compensation you should be given.