If you’re a parent and you’ve noticed some inconsistencies in your child’s development, it may be the result of a birth injury.
We’re going to break down how a developmental delay is considered a birth injury and what delays they cause.
These developmental delays can be grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit and you can receive a free consultation to review your medical malpractice case.
If you’d like to speak with someone about your potential case, fill out this quick in-take form to speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney.
What are Developmental Delays?
Developmental delays can mean a few different things.
There are six main types of developmental delays your child may experience from a birth injury including:
- Social and emotional
- Speech and language
- Fine and gross motor skills
- Daily living
Cognitive developmental delays are a delay in the ability to think, learn, and solve problems. This can include ADHD, dyslexia, aphasia and brain injuries like cerebral palsy.
Social and emotional developmental delays are when your child isn’t able to communicate with others, or they withdraw from others in social settings. If your child cannot show and communicate their feelings, they may have a social or emotional developmental delay.
Speech and language developmental delays are delays within using and understanding language. This can include not responding to noises or certain social cues, such as coo-ing or understanding what “yes” and “no” means.
Fine and Gross Motor developmental delays are when your children have difficulty using their fine or gross motor skills. An example of fine motor skills would be like using a crayon and an example of gross motor skills would be walking or rolling over.
Daily Living developmental delays are delays within circumstances surrounding our daily activities – such as eating, bathing, and dressing.
Observing Developmental Milestones Over the Ages
Observing your child and their interactions is the best way to tell if your child has any developmental delays. There are significant milestones at each developmental age that are essential in their development and growth. Signs to look for at each developmental stage of your child include the following.
- Infancy – 1 year old: Failure to respond to loud noises, inability to feed, inability to focus or follow with their eyes, and unstable or stiff arms or legs.
- 1-3 years old: Failure to talk, laugh, or make noises; failure to stand or crawl; failure to follow instructions.
- 3 – 4 years old: Inability to socialize or total social withdrawal, inability to throw a ball, or inability to do daily functions such as dressing themselves.
- 4-5 years old: Excessive aggression or excessive timidity; further difficulties in daily functions such as eating, dressing or bathing.
If you notice that your child isn’t meeting certain steps, reach out to your pediatrician.
Your pediatrician will be able to examine if your child does in fact have a developmental delay. If that is the case, then you should also speak with a medical malpractice attorney to review what kind of legal options you have.
Why would this be necessary? Because some developmental delays are preventable, and if that’s considered to be true with your medical malpractice case, then you deserve compensation.
How are Developmental Delays Preventable?
Developmental delays fall under birth injuries in the legal world and some birth injuries are in fact, preventable.
Birth injuries occur during, or at the time of birth and can have either a short-term or life-long effect on you or your baby.
Common birth injuries can include:
- Large birth weight creating complicated labor
- Prolonged labor
- Shoulder dystocia
- Abnormal hemorrhaging
If you, or your child, has experienced a birth injury then your medical provider, or the hospital they care under, may be found at fault for medical negligence.
Medical negligence is when your medical provider fails to provide the standard level of treatment or care.
An example of medical negligence would be if a medical provider failed to follow proper protocol during prolonged labor, depriving the baby of oxygen and causing a brain injury such as cerebral palsy.
When Should You File a Developmental Delay Lawsuit?
It’s important to speak with a medical malpractice lawyer as soon as you’ve noticed any kind of developmental delay in your child.
In most legal cases, the Statute of Limitations apply. The Statute of Limitations is essentially how long you have to file your lawsuit. Each state has different rules for how long you have to file your suit.
An experienced medical malpractice attorney will explain this more in detail and what this means for your medical malpractice case.
Take Action With Grover Lewis Johnson
There’s a lot to consider when it comes to medical malpractice cases. A lawsuit can be a lengthy process and typically can cost a lot of legal fees along the way.
A trial lawsuit, however, isn’t always the best route for every case. Your medical malpractice attorney may be able to settle instead.
Either way— be prepared for either scenario and what that would mean for you.
Your medical malpractice lawyer will also need to prove your child’s developmental delay is directly due to a birth injury caused by your medical provider. This will require obtaining and organizing evidence, such as photos, doctor’s notes, lab records, and receipts for prescriptions or therapy.
At Grover Lewis Johnson, our team doesn’t mess around and take you to trial if it’s not in the best interest of your case.
We don’t expect a single payment until we win your case. But we will provide you with honest legal advice to help you make the best decision for you and your child.
Reach out to us today to get the compensation you and your family deserve.