Delays in Your Child's Development
Birth Complications Leading to Development Problems
Every child grows and develops at a unique rate, but there are certain widely accepted benchmarks which are used to determine whether a child is on target in achieving milestones such as sitting up, crawling, walking and talking. Many birth injuries are not immediately apparent, and take several months or even years to fully manifest. Developmental delays may be the first sign of a serious condition which has the potential to cause major problems throughout your child's life. If the injury was the result of a doctor's negligence, your family may be entitled to claim damages in compensation for the negative effects this situation could have on your child's future. The Tolson Firm, LLC has over 30 years of combined legal experience, and we are prepared to begin work on your medical malpractice lawsuit as soon as possible.
If you have noticed that your baby does not focus attention on nearby objects or respond to noises in the environment, as well as any type of difficult with movement or motor skills, it is advisable to seek a medical diagnosis as soon as possible. Various types of birth injuries could be responsible for your child's slowed development, particularly brain injuries. The brain is highly susceptible to damage during birth, especially from hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), which occurs when the oxygen supply is restricted due to umbilical compression or other causes.
Is Your Child Meeting Critical Developmental Milestones?
During the first three years of a child's life, they tend to move through many significant milestones at a rapid pace. From crawling to standing to walking, children begin to exercise their gross motor skills among others during this phase in life. While every child is unique and advances through these stages at a different pace, it is important to recognize when a child is not meeting the appropriate milestones.
When children experience developmental delays, they tend to move through these stages and milestones at a far slower pace than other children their age. In addition to a delay in gross motor skills, developmental delays can also extend to the following areas:
- Language skills – a child's ability to use gestures, speak, communicate and understand language.
- Social skills – a child's ability to feel empathy and sympathy, interact with others and have relationships.
- Fine motor skills – a child's ability to write, grasp small objects, fasten clothing, and other activities involving strength, fine motor control and dexterity.
- Cognitive skills – ability to learn, problem-solve, understand, analyze, remember, and determine action.
For more information on how to determine whether or not your child is meeting his or her milestones, visit these sites for helpful checklists: American Academy of Pediatrics (birth to young adult) and WebMd (birth to age five).
Developmental Delays & Medical Malpractice
What causes developmental delays in a child? Some types of developmental delays are genetic and are passed down through conditions such as Down syndrome and cystic fibrosis. While these conditions cannot be the result of medical negligence or malpractice, doctors and medical professionals do have a responsibility to identify these conditions early on in the pregnancy. A failure to inform the mother of genetic abnormalities in a fetus may result in a wrongful birth lawsuit
The other main causes of developmental delays are problems during pregnancy, labor or delivery. For example, a prolonged lack of blood and oxygen in the brain of a baby during labor or delivery can kill brain cells. This causes development delays and is why doctors must be on the alert when monitoring the condition of the baby during the birth delivery process. Birth injuries are not always manifested immediately, and sometimes they may not appear until a much later time.
Contact an Atlanta Medical Malpractice Lawyer for Help
If you suspect that your child's developmental delays may have been caused by the negligence of a doctor or hospital at the time of birth or delivery, do not hesitate to call The Tolson Firm, LLC. You likely have questions about your rights and how to pursue justice, and our legal professionals are ready to help you and provide the honest legal advice that you need. We have handled countless malpractice cases on the behalf of patients and parents throughout Atlanta, and we know what it takes to be successful with a claim.
An Atlanta medical malpractice attorney from our team will consult with you to determine whether medical mistakes were the cause of your baby's condition. Whether it is the result of oxygen deprivation, a brain injury caused by kernicterus, or an undiagnosed brachial plexus injury which has only partially healed, your child may require ongoing medical care, and may face a life of disability. The earliest signs of developmental delays could be the precursors of conditions such as mental retardation, Erb's palsy or cerebral palsy. You should do everything you can to ensure that your child will be able to receive the necessary treatment and will have the needed financial support in the future. We have successfully litigated dozens of multi-million dollar settlements-let us fight for you.
If you have noticed delays in your baby's development, contact an Atlanta birth injury lawyer to learn more about how we can help.
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