Most New York parents are no different from others who love thinking back to the very day their child was born. You've probably done this a time or two as your son or daughter has continued to grow. Having a baby is often an exciting and rewarding experience. Sadly, this is not every parent's recollection as some births have gone terribly wrong due to doctor error or other medical mishaps. What if your child seemed fine at birth, however, and you had no idea an injury occurred?
Up go the red flags
So, you brought your baby home from the hospital and settled into your new family routine. In what seemed like the blink of an eye, you were celebrating that child's third birthday. By now, you've likely filled several scrapbooks with photos and souvenirs from various milestone moments in his or her development.
As time went on, you began to notice that something just didn't seem quite right. Perhaps it was in your child's posture when he or she stands upright, or something was off in his or her gait when walking around the house. The closer you observe, the more you begin to realize your child is not developing according to the average accepted standards for his or her age group. It may well be that your child's problems began several years ago during the birthing process.
Your first reaction to the previous statement might be, "How on earth could my child have suffered a birth injury and I not know about it until now?" You are certainly not the first parent to have that reaction. In fact, you might be surprised to learn how many birth injuries go undetected for weeks, months and even years after children are born.
The following are common signs that alert parents to possible delayed discoveries of birth injuries. Your child may be a victim of medical error if:
- He or she exhibits problems walking.
- His or her speech is slurred or abnormal sounding.
- Poor motor skill development has alerted you that something may have gone wrong at birth that remained undetected until now.
- Physical coordination appears "off" may also signify you are dealing with adverse effects from a previous birth injury.
The fact is many conditions do not present symptoms until some time after the birth injury has occurred. This might be as soon as hours afterward, or as late as several years beyond the child's birth date. Just because you were unaware of the problem does not mean you are unable to seek support.
Getting your child much needed help
After your initial shock wears off regarding your child's birth injury, you may wonder where to turn for help in getting needed assistance to help him or her reach full potential in life. You may have already heard there are statutes of limitation in New York and most states regarding medical malpractice claims.
If you were not aware of your child's birth injury until several years had passed, there may still be grounds for seeking monetary judgment against any and all parties deemed responsible. Such statutes often include special instructions for parents with extenuating circumstances. An experienced personal injury attorney would be able to clarify all laws pertaining to your particular situation, and some provide representation on a contingent basis, meaning no fee is charged unless a settlement or verdict is obtained in the client's favor.