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Developmental delays occur when a child is not meeting certain milestones that they should at any given age. These delays can be physical, emotional, or mental and could show up during early childhood.
Causes of developmental delays include premature delivery, excess blood loss, injury from medications that were given to a mother during pregnancy, head trauma during labor, and insufficient oxygen flow to the baby during labor and delivery.
While some pregnancy and birth complications cannot be prevented or anticipated, birth malpractice can sometimes cause developmental delays. A doctor, nurse, or another medical professional who was present during labor or assisted a mother during her pregnancy may be responsible for a baby’s health issues.
Symptoms of Developmental Delays from Birth Malpractice
If a baby or young child is experiencing developmental delays, they may have issues with their:
- Speech or language
- Cognitive skills
- Social and emotional skills
- Motor skills (movement)
If a child has a significant delay in two or more of these areas, then they may have what’s called a global developmental delay. It means that infants and preschoolers who are up to five years of age demonstrate delays that last at least six months.
Symptoms of developmental delays include:
- Limited movement in arms and legs
- Unable to sit without support by nine months of age
- Floppy or loose limbs or trunk
- Unable to stand up by one year of age
- Unable to say three simple clear or unclear words by 12 to 15 months of age
- Not responding to their name
- Trouble with logical thinking
- Inability to do everyday tasks like using the bathroom or getting dressed
- Lower than average IQ scores
- Repetitive movements
- Coordination issues
- Lack of facial expression
- Dislike of playing with others
- Dislike of cuddling
- Stiff legs and arms
Developmental delays could be symptoms of other conditions like cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorder, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, genetic disorders like Down syndrome, Landau Kleffner syndrome, and muscular dystrophies.
A doctor will able to diagnose a child with a condition and ensure they get on the right treatment plan.
Treatment for Developmental Delays from Birth Malpractice
A doctor is going to prescribe treatment based on the developmental delays a baby is experiencing. Typically, children with developmental delays will go to physical therapy to work on their gross motor skills, as well as occupational therapy to help with fine motor skills and sensory processing. They may need to enroll in early childhood special education to develop their play skills and attend speech and language therapy to treat their issues with producing speech and language sounds. They might also have to go to behavioral therapy so they learn how to behave in an appropriate manner in social situations.
If a baby has severe physical issues caused by a condition like cerebral palsy, then they may need to get surgery, take medications such as sedatives and anticonvulsants, go to different types of therapy, and use medical equipment to function from day to day.
Treatment for developmental delays may need to start when a child is first born and then continue for the rest of their lives.
How Do I Know if Medical Malpractice Caused Developmental Delays?
If your doctor failed to act when complications came up, put off the proper treatment, or did not advise you on the risks of medical procedures performed, then you may be able to sue them for medical malpractice.
However, you need to keep in mind that it’s very hard to prove medical malpractice. The law makes it difficult because it if were simple to sue your doctor, the medical profession would suffer. Nobody would want to become a doctor out of fear of being sued and going into bankruptcy.
You need the right birth injury lawyer on your side along with proof that medical malpractice occurred. Proof could include your medical records, photos of your baby’s injuries, and witness statements. Your lawyer, who is a skilled negotiator, will attempt to prove medical malpractice and figure out a solution for you, including a possible settlement.
How Much Will I Receive From a Developmental Delays Malpractice Settlement?
If you and your birth injury lawyer are able to show that medical malpractice caused your baby’s developmental delays, then you could receive compensation for damages like:
- Medical bills
- Loss of companionship and enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
- Future medical care
- Loss of earning capacity
The amount of your settlement will depend on the damages you’re claiming. For example, if your baby now needs lifelong care, you could not only go after damages for your current medical bills, but you could also request compensation for future medical care as well. Then, you’ll be able to pay for things like therapy, schooling, medical equipment, medication, and tutoring.
Settlement Offers in a Developmental Delays Malpractice Case
When you contact a birth injury lawyer, they will collect your evidence and help you gather any additional evidence you may need to prove your case. Then, they will reach out to the medical professional you believe was responsible. They would be the defendant.
Your lawyer will attempt to negotiate a settlement with the defendant based on the economic and non-economic damages your lawyer calculated for you. In addition to retrieving money for your medical costs, you may also receive money for pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life, for instance.
The defendant can choose to settle the amount proposed, offer you a lower settlement, or deny the settlement. The next step would be to take them to court if they deny any wrongdoing and are not willing to settle. As the court date approaches, they may change their mind once they see the evidence you have. They might not want to risk hurting their reputation and end up having to pay you a much higher settlement.
Why Contact a Birth Injury Lawyer?
When you were pregnant, you were ecstatic. Then, once you gave birth and saw what happened to your baby, you became traumatized. Now, all you want to do is care for your baby and ensure they’re going to be OK. You just don’t have the time or energy to dedicate to a legal battle. Don’t worry, because your birth injury lawyer will do all the work for you. You can focus on your baby’s health and know that someone is on your side during this tough point in time.
Developmental Delays Birth Injury Attorneys
If you believe your baby experienced developmental delays from birth malpractice, then you need to get in touch with a birth injury lawyer.
Contact Gilman & Bedigian 24/7 for a free consultation at (800) 529-6162.