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What is the Lifetime Cost to Raise a Child with Cerebral Palsy?


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All parents have to make financial plans for their children, but nobody wants to have to consider what it might cost to care for a child with a serious illness or disability. Cerebral palsy, an incurable motor disability, affects 1 in 323 children in the United States and can be extremely costly over time. If your child has cerebral palsy, make sure you know how the long-term costs could affect you.

About Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a common disorder that encompasses several different kinds of symptoms and conditions. It varies in severity, depending on the individual, and can manifest in different ways. Cerebral palsy often impairs muscle movement, can prevent the children from walking or controlling their muscles, impair speech, and may cause learning disabilities. Children with cerebral palsy often develop other issues too, including hearing impairment, blindness, seizure disorders, and behavioral problems.

In most cases, infant brain injuries lead to cerebral palsy. Usually, cerebral palsy injuries occur either before a child is born, during birth, or shortly thereafter.

If a birth injury caused a child to develop cerebral palsy, the doctor, nurse, midwife, hospital, or birth center responsible for the injury could be liable for any resulting damage. Any parent who suspects medical malpractice should contact an attorney to discuss their situation immediately.

The Economic Expense

Not all expenses associated with cerebral palsy will directly affect the parents and families. In many ways, supporting someone with a motor disability impacts the economy on a larger scale. According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cerebral palsy costs the nation about 11 billion dollars each year, and continues to rise. However, an estimated 80% of these costs are indirect. In other words, the bulk of the expense is due to loss of productivity because individuals with cerebral palsy are often incapable of earning a sufficient living.

Personal Costs

Even though cerebral palsy can affect the economy, the expenses that directly impact the families of individuals with cerebral palsy carry more weight. These costs depend largely on a person’s medical benefits and the severity of the disorder, especially if the individual has other medical conditions in addition to cerebral palsy. However, the average cost a family pays to care for one child with cerebral palsy reaches between $900,000 and $1.24 million dollars over the course of a lifetime.

Some of the costs parents and caretakers may be responsible for include:

  • Doctor’s visits

  • Medication

  • Specialized medical equipment

  • Auto modifications

  • Home modifications

  • Special education

Again, these costs will vary depending on the severity of each child’s condition, as well as the medical coverage the child possesses. However, in most cases, parents will be at least partially responsible for medical expenses associated with cerebral palsy. Additional costs might also include loss of wages when a parent must stay home to care for the child, emergency room visits, extended hospital stays, and therapy.

If your child was recently diagnosed with cerebral palsy and you suspect a negligent or careless medical professional may be to blame, our firm wants to help. Cerebral palsy is a serious, chronic disease that can cost you and your family an excessive amount of money over the years to come. We want to work with you to help you acquire the compensation you need and deserve.

Contact Goodman Acker P.C. today to get discuss your birth injury case with our Detroit personal injury attorneys.