Full effects of birth injury may take years to discover

Full effects of birth injury may take years to discover

If your child has been injured at birth, often the full effects of the harm may not be known for months, even years. For example, if you child was deprived of oxygen at birth the extent any potential brain damage may have on his or her development may not be apparent until time passes. If your child fails to meet certain physical or cognitive milestones, this may be an indication that he or she has sustained permanent, life-long harm as a result of the injury. For example, although in some instances it may be possible to diagnose Cerebral Palsy at birth, for the majority of babies it may take several months – up to two years or even longer. In some situations, a diagnosis may not be made until the child’s brain is fully developed, when they are 3 to 5 years of age.

Other birth injuries – such as a brachial plexus injury (an injury affecting the group of nerves near the infant’s shoulder) – that occur during the delivery may be discerned at the time of birth, but the permanency of the injury may be unclear. In milder cases, nerve injuries that weaken the arm, hand or grip of a child, may heal by the time the baby reaches six months. However, more severe brachial plexus injuries might require surgery and may never fully heal. Permanent brachial plexus injuries that may lead to muscle spasms or partial/total loss of function for the rest of his or her life.

While the extent of an injury may not be known for a period of time, if parents believe that their child has sustained a birth injury, it is important to contact an experienced California birth injury lawyer for an initial consultation and to begin an investigation into the factors surrounding the potential medical malpractice. The Statute of Limitations for bringing an action varies. For a baby, the law gives until they are 8 years old for a lawsuit to be filed. There are specific exceptions to these general rules, as in the case of filing an action against a California county hospital or one that is part of a public health care district. The statute of limitations for these institutions can be considerably smaller than private hospitals.

An experienced birth injury lawyer can ensure your rights are protected and preserved. For more information, please contact our dedicated Calfiornia birth injury team at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP for an immediate review.


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