Modern parenting has agreed on several “milestones” measuring a child’s development progress. These include ages for such actions as grabbing, crawling, talking, and walking. While some children are delayed in reaching these milestones, those who suffer latent birth injuries may not reach them at all. But what does that mean? What is a latent birth injury?
Latent Birth Injuries Explained
Physical birth injuries are difficult to ignore. The muscular stiffness associated with cerebral palsy or a brachial plexus injury is often obvious. However, birth injuries only affecting the brain are much more difficult to notice. Some symptoms may not be obvious until the child reaches (or misses) developmental milestones like walking and talking.
As latent birth injuries affect the brain, the impacts are almost always permanent. A child caught in the birth canal, for example, may develop cognitive impairment or speech difficulties as they age. There’s simply no way to know until the child matures.
Signs of a Latent Birth Injury
While the extent of a latent birth injury won’t be fully realized until the child grows older, there are early warning signs. Every parent should be able to recognize the signs of a latent birth injury, even if they believe their child is unaffected.
Common symptoms of a latent birth injury include:
· Baby doesn’t react to loud noises or bright lights.
· Baby doesn’t respond to play and they rarely laugh or cry.
· Baby doesn’t pick up objects by 12-months-old.
· Baby is nonverbal by 16-months-old.
Keep in mind that a delayed milestone does not necessarily mean the baby suffered a birth injury. However, it does warrant opening an investigation into the matter.
Options for Parents
While there’s no way to reverse damage from a latent birth injury, parents can hold negligent doctors responsible for their malpractice.
Generally speaking, parents have three years from the date of the negligence to file a birth injury claim (usually the date of birth). Even if your case happened over three years ago you may still be able to pursue the matter, but you should contact an experienced medical lawyer immediately.
Determining the precise deadline for filing a medical lawsuit can be complex and requires that an experienced medical malpractice lawyer review the medical records and facts, especially in cases involving latent birth injuries.
If your child suffered a severe birth injury, we will listen. If you’d like an experienced North Carolina birth injury attorney from Daniel Pleasant Holoman LLP to evaluate your case, please send us an email or call (866) 380-2281.