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Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Our Connecticut Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Lawyers Represent Families of Children

A child leaning on her mother's lap.For parents of children who are born with developmental disabilities, determining the cause of their child’s condition is an important early step in the coping and recovery processes. Not only can determining the cause be essential to understanding the long-term risks and the treatment options that are available, but it can also help you understand if you have a claim for medical malpractice.

As Connecticut developmental disabilities attorneys, we regularly speak with parents who have concerns about the causes of their children’s developmental disabilities. We handle these and other birth injury claims against hospitals and birth centers throughout the state, and we have a long record of success securing just compensation for our clients. If you have questions about your family’s legal rights, our attorneys can explain everything you need to know and we encourage you to contact us for a free consultation.

Developmental Disabilities Caused by Medical Malpractice

There are many different types of developmental disabilities. As we discuss below, virtually all types have the potential to result from medical mistakes. Some of the most common developmental disabilities linked to medical malpractice during pregnancy, labor, and delivery include:

Cognitive Disabilities

Cognitive disabilities, also known as intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs), are disorders that result from improper brain development in the womb. This can result from various factors, many of which can be attributed to medical negligence. Cerebral palsy and other forms of palsy are examples of IDDs, as are various other conditions that can result in long-term or permanent cognitive impairments.

Degenerative Conditions

Degenerative conditions are developmental disabilities that worsen over time. Various birth injuries and developmental defects can cause a child’s brain, nervous system, musculoskeletal system, or other body systems to lose functional capacity as the child grows. And depending on the specific issue(s) involved, this can potentially result in multiple types of disabilities that become more apparent as the child ages.

Metabolic Disorders

Hypothyroidism and phenylketonuria (PKU) are metabolic disorders that can have lifelong implications and that can also result from medical mistakes during pregnancy or childbirth. In addition to chronic fatigue, muscle weakness, swollen joints, and other physical effects, these disorders can also lead to IDDs and respiratory complications.

Nervous System Disorders

Developmental issues that impact the central nervous system can also lead to IDDs, and they can have various other severe consequences as well. Behavioral problems, speech problems, and movement disorders are all possible effects of nervous system disorders, as is autism, down syndrome, and fragile X syndrome.

Sensory Disabilities

Various disorders caused by developmental complications can also lead to sensory disabilities. For example, children diagnosed with fragile X syndrome may experience extremely high sensitivity to loud sounds. Williams syndrome is another common developmental disability that causes visual impairments, and children born with congenital rubella syndrome (CRS) due to birth defects may suffer from deafness and other disabilities.

Medical Mistakes That Can Lead to Developmental Disabilities

A child with a disability sitting on her wheelchair.Essentially all types of medical malpractice during pregnancy and childbirth have the potential to directly or indirectly cause birth defects that result in developmental disabilities. Maternal and fetal infections, birth asphyxia, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), traumatic birth injuries, and failure to diagnose fetal health risks are potential factors, and they are all risks that can – and should – be avoided in most cases.

Specific examples of medical mistakes that can lead to developmental disabilities include:

  • Failure to monitor maternal and fetal health during pregnancy
  • Failure to order necessary medical tests
  • Failure to timely diagnose maternal infections, fetal infections, umbilical cord problems, and other potentially serious complications
  • Failure to timely recommend induction of labor or a cesarean section (C-section) delivery
  • Improper use of forceps and vacuum extractors during delivery
  • Improper treatment of the child (or failure to treat the child) after delivery

How We Help Families of Children Diagnosed with Developmental Disabilities

The costs of medical treatment, therapy, special education, childcare, home adaptations, and other expenses necessitated by a developmental disability can be substantial. For many families, they can become insurmountable. As a result, holding negligent medical providers accountable for their mistakes will often be a necessity.

At Berkowitz Hanna, our Connecticut intellectual and developmental Disabilities lawyers have decades of experience helping families throughout Connecticut. If your family is entitled to financial compensation due to medical malpractice, we can help you recover the financial compensation you deserve. It will be important that we begin working on your case as soon as possible, so we encourage you to contact us to schedule a free consultation today.

Speak with a Connecticut Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Attorney at Berkowitz Hanna

Do you have questions about your family’s legal rights related to your child’s diagnosis with a developmental disability? To speak with one of our experienced attorneys in confidence, call 203-487-5667 or request an appointment online now.