Birth Injuries & Missed Developmental Milestones
When injuries occur around the time of birth, it’s important for steps to be taken right away to assess the extent of those injuries and determine what treatment, if any, is needed. But how do you know if your child has been injured?
Some of the immediate signs of birth trauma include limp limbs, tense muscles, seizures, low oxygen or heart rate, a hand that curls into a claw-like shape, excessive drooling, an arched back while crying, or difficulties with eating. If there’s been physical trauma, there may be bruising, lacerations, or bone fractures. If there are issues involving breathing, such as a loss of oxygen during delivery or a need for CPR on the baby, there’s an increased risk that an injury may have occurred.
It’s also important to understand that while some signs of birth trauma can be evident right away, birth trauma isn’t always immediately obvious. Very often, parents don’t begin to realize that their child may have sustained a birth injury until months, sometimes years, later when their child begins missing developmental milestones. In the case of cerebral palsy, for instance, there may be some early symptoms in a severe case, but symptoms very often don’t become apparent until months or years after birth.
While it’s very common for babies to develop differently and hit their milestones at slightly different times, missed developmental milestones can be a sign of a birth injury. For example, a one-year old might be unable to speak, crawl, or stand with assistance. A three-month old might be unable to support their head or grasp objects. A one-month old might not respond to bright lights or make minimal movements in their limbs. An older child might have difficulties with their fine motor skills (needing help with eating or dressing themselves, difficulties with drawing), have impaired vision or hearing, or have tremors.
Time Limitations for Michigan Birth Trauma Cases
Even if it took time for you to see signs of birth trauma in your child, you may still have legal options. In the state of Michigan, the statute of limitations for birth trauma cases is two years from the time of injury or within six months of discovering the injury or when the injury reasonably should have been discovered. In cases of birth trauma that involve medical malpractice, Michigan law states that if the malpractice occurs in a patient under the age of 8, a lawsuit must be filed before the child’s 10th birthday.
Contact a Michigan Birth Trauma Lawyer
If you have reason to believe your child sustained an injury around the time of birth, don’t hesitate to contact a birth trauma lawyer. A lawyer will be able to help answer any questions you have and help you understand your legal options. If you have a case, a lawyer will fight on your behalf to make sure you get the justice you deserve so that all of your child’s care needs will be met. At Goodwin & Scieszka, you’ll be able to get help from a lawyer experienced in helping the victims of birth trauma. Birth trauma is often the result of medical malpractice and we’re also experienced in handling Michigan medical malpractice claims. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.