When it comes to birth injuries, many of them are clearly evident immediately after delivery. This would include things like cuts, swelling, bruising, seizures, or breathing difficulties. However, there are also occasions where the symptoms do not become apparent until some time after the delivery. That could mean a few days, several months, or even years. When symptoms are delayed, you may not immediately make the connection to a birth injury. However, even if symptoms are delayed, you may be able to work with a birth injury lawyer in Knoxville to file a lawsuit.
Potential Symptoms of a Birth Injury
One of the most common symptoms of a missed or delayed birth injury are those affecting cognitive function and development. These signs will usually become noticeable in children between the ages of 12 months and 36 months. They could indicate an acute illness, but they could also result from an injury suffered at birth. You will want to pay attention to symptoms including:
- Speech delays
- Delay in walking, crawling, sitting, or standing
- Poor fine motor skills
- Hearing or vision problems
- Learning disabilities
If you feel your child could be suffering from these symptoms due to an incident that happened during your pregnancy or delivery, you might want to discuss your options with a birth injury lawyer in Knoxville to see if you have a viable lawsuit.
Delayed Symptoms in Mothers
Although we immediately think of injuries sustained by infants when discussing birth injuries, it is important to remember that it can also apply to injuries to the mother. There are a lot of symptoms that may not become apparent until postpartum, with injuries that occur internally in the pelvic region. The attending doctor may have overlooked these injuries during the delivery, or if they were noted, the medical team might not have repaired them appropriately. Either of these situations could lead to more severe or long-term health problems. If that is the case, you need to consult a birth injury lawyer in Knoxville to move forward with a lawsuit. Some symptoms that may indicate a delayed birth injury might include:
- Heavy bleeding that continues weeks after the delivery
- Pain when urinating or other symptoms of bladder dysfunction
- Pain or numbness in the lower body
- Muscle weakness or impaired motor skills
It's easy to focus on a newborn baby, but the mother's health is just as important and should be prioritized by doctors before, during, and after delivery. Suppose the doctor or other healthcare professional was negligent in relation to postpartum care. In that case, there are grounds for a lawsuit, and you should meet with a birth injury lawyer in Knoxville as soon as possible.
Understanding the Statute of Limitations
When a child or mother suffers a birth injury, it is best to speak with a birth injury lawyer in Knoxville as soon as possible to get the lawsuit underway. The statute of limitations for birth injuries is one year in Tennesse. So, what does that mean for birth injuries with delayed symptoms? In most cases, the term of the statute of limitations will remain at one year, but this will begin from the date of discovery. The date of discovery refers to the date on which you found out that there was damage from a possible birth injury. For example, if your child was delivered with lacerations from improper use of forceps, then you must file a birth injury lawsuit no later than the child's first birthday. However, if your child appeared to be perfectly healthy immediately after the delivery, but you begin to notice developmental delays when they are around 18 months of age, that would be the date of discovery. The one-year countdown starts on that day, meaning your lawsuit must be filed before the child is 30 months old. There are some complex cases where the statute of limitations may be extended. It is best to discuss these with an experienced birth injury lawyer in Knoxville if you feel you might be eligible for this consideration.
Why Pursue a Birth Injury Lawsuit?
If your child has suffered a birth injury, you may be on the fence about pursuing a lawsuit, especially in delayed discovery cases. However, it is important to take into account the fact that the long-term impact of a birth injury may not be immediately apparent. Since there is a limited window of opportunity for you to recover financial damages, it is important to act swiftly. You don't want to find yourself in a position where your child has ongoing medical needs, but the statute of limitations on their injury has expired. The cost of care for lifelong disabilities caused by birth injuries can be substantial. If you hire a birth injury lawyer in Knoxville and file a lawsuit, you may be able to recover damages for:
- Ongoing healthcare costs
- Cost of specialized care
- Reimbursement for equipment or training required to manage the injury
- Pain and emotional distress
- Medical expenses from birth until the present, and in some cases, future expenses
Butler, Vines and Babb is a leading law firm in Knoxville, TN, with extensive litigation experience in Medical Malpractice Law, Birth Injury Law, Trucking Accident Law, Personal Injury Law, and Business Law. Contact us today at www.bvblaw.com or call 865-637-3531.
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