Childbirth can be a difficult procedure for both the mother and the child. In many cases, complications arise that make the birth more difficult and potentially cause injuries to either the parent or the child. However, many of these injuries are avoided or immediately treatable with precise and attentive medical care. If your doctor fails to give your child the proper care they deserve, your child could suffer injuries and birth defects, including brachial plexus injuries.
For a free consultation on your child’s brachial plexus injury case and to learn more about whether you can sue your doctor for the injuries your child suffered, call Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA today. Our Miami brachial plexus birth injury attorney may be able to help with your case and fight to get you the compensation you need. For a free legal consultation on your case, call our law offices today at (305) 694-2676.
What Is a Brachial Plexus Injury?
A brachial plexus injury (BPI) is an injury to the bundle of nerves in your shoulder near your collar bone. This group of nerves is the main pathway between your spine and your arm, and all of the nerves that control the movement and feeling in your fingers, hands, and arms run through the brachial plexus. Injuries to the brachial plexus commonly occur when the shoulder is cramped or bent at an odd angle, cutting off the signal in this nerve cluster.
In adults and older children, BPI can occur because of a traumatic blow, such as in sports or a car accident. During surgical procedures, “positioning injuries” might harm the brachial plexus if the patient is left in an awkward position for a prolonged period. In childbirth, these injuries most often occur because the baby’s neck is stretched too far to the side and the arm is stretched down and away from the neck during delivery. This can occur for numerous reasons, but it is often attributed to a doctor’s errors during a difficult delivery, including unnecessary or excessive use of forceps or force.
Effects of a Brachial Plexus Injury During Childbirth
Injuries to the brachial plexus can cause reduced feeling and motor control in the arm. Any time that a nerve is injured, its ability to carry signals back and forth between the brain and your limb is impeded. This can result in the following sensations:
- Loss of sensation
- A “pins-and-needles” feeling
- Motor control problems
- Muscle weakness
- Total paralysis
In cases where the nerves are stretched or compressed, the injury may be temporary, and feeling and motion could return after moving the arm around or undergoing physical therapy. In cases of more severe injury, the BPI could result in permanent loss of feeling or movement.
Erb’s Palsy from Brachial Plexus Injuries
The effects of a brachial plexus injury are commonly known as Erb’s Palsy. This includes the numbness, muscle weakness, and loss of feeling in the arm and shoulder. A child may recover from Erb’s palsy if the damage was not severe enough and treatment was properly administered right after the injury and on an ongoing basis. In some cases, the injury will be permanent and the child will suffer the effects of Erb’s Palsy for the rest of their lives.
Suing for Brachial Plexus Injuries in Childbirth Malpractice
If your child’s Erb’s Palsy or brachial plexus injury was caused by negligent healthcare during the delivery, you may be entitled to sue your doctor or other healthcare provider for financial compensation. These damages cannot reverse the injury, but they can pay for things like physical therapy, occupational therapy, and other ongoing care. Having a prolonged injury, especially a visible injury like Erb’s Palsy, could cause severe mental and emotional suffering for your child as well as physical pain and discomfort. Substantial compensation can help you and your child with these injuries and ongoing care costs.
Damages may also cover the projected loss of future earning capacity. Hopefully your child will grow up and become able to take care of themselves and become an independent, working adult. However, their childbirth brachial plexus injury may make it more difficult to perform certain job tasks or to find work, and a lawsuit for the birth injury might be able to help defray some of those damages.
Talk to a lawyer about what your case might be worth and what additional compensation you and your child may be entitled to for BPI. Your doctor will likely be represented by their own attorney and medical malpractice insurance company, and these parties might try to convince you to drop your lawsuit or settle your case. These groups do not represent you or your best interests, and you should speak with an attorney instead of relying on their statements about the viability of your claim or the value of your case.
When you sue for childbirth injuries, you need to prove that the doctor did something wrong that justifies holding them responsible for the damages you faced. In many cases, this is accomplished by having another doctor testify to how the procedure should have gone and what errors your doctor committed. This “expert witness” is a vital part of your case, and your attorney can help you select a good expert and present their testimony in court.
Call Our Childbirth and Brachial Plexus Injury Lawyers for a Free Consultation
If your child suffered from a brachial plexus injury or Erb’s Palsy after being born, contact a lawyer immediately. Your doctor’s care may have fallen below the duty of care you and your child were entitled to, and you may be eligible to file a lawsuit to seek substantial compensation for your child’s birth injuries. For a free legal consultation on your case, call Miami brachial plexus birth injury lawyer Prosper Shaked today. You can reach Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA at (305) 694-2676.