Cognitive Developmental Disabilities and Birth Injuries
An Atlanta birth injury attorney can fight for your family
Developmental cognitive disability (DCD) is a condition that causes children to have significantly below-average intellectual functioning. Most children with these disabilities have special needs and require special education and related services.
If your child’s cognitive disability was caused by a birth injury, you may have legal recourse under Georgia law. That’s why it’s important to speak with a birth injury lawyer at Tyrone Law Firm, PC. We can help.
Warning signs of a cognitive disability
Every child develops differently. And it’s not always clear whether a developmental delay is within the normal range or a sign of a potentially serious issue. Some warning signs of a cognitive disability include:
- Learning more slowly than children the same age
- Difficulty rolling over, sitting up, crawling or walking
- Speech delays
- Difficulty socializing with other children
- Inability to connect actions with consequences
- Difficulty with toileting or toilet training
Depending on the nature and severity of a cognitive disability, it may become apparent in the first few months of life, or it may not be noticed for years. It’s important to bring your child to all of his or her checkups with a pediatrician and talk to the doctor about developmental milestones. Early intervention is key. The sooner the warning signs are recognized, the better.
Understanding the causes of cognitive disabilities
In general, cognitive disabilities are caused by brain damage or abnormal development of the brain. A baby’s developing brain is particularly vulnerable to damage that can cause a permanent cognitive disability. Some common causes of brain injuries include:
- Lack of oxygen to the brain during labor and delivery, which causes brain cells to die (hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy).
- Untreated hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), which starves the brain of fuel.
- Untreated jaundice, which leads to elevated bilirubin levels in the blood and a type of brain damage called kernicterus.
- Infections that spread to the lining of the brain (meningitis).
- Traumatic injuries to the head (for instance, due to misuse of forceps or vacuum extractors) during labor and delivery.
Unfortunately, these causes are all preventable. Doctors and nurses who work with newborns are trained to recognize the warning signs of these medical conditions and intervene to prevent brain damage. When medical professionals don’t meet that standard of care, children get hurt. Some sustain injuries can affect them for the rest of their lives. We stand up for families in these situations.
How we can help
A cognitive disability can have a long-term cost numbering in the millions or even tens of millions of dollars. Your child may need care for the rest of his or her life. If a doctor’s mistake led to the disability, let us help you hold the negligent medical provider accountable. We’ll fight for the compensation your child needs to have the best possible care and quality of life.
If your child has a cognitive developmental disability and you believe that malpractice was the cause, contact the Atlanta birth injury lawyers at Tyrone Law Firm, PC. We’d be honored to meet with you for a free consultation and discuss your legal rights and options.