ERNST & YOUNG
Injuries occurring to a mother or her child during childbirth can amount to medical malpractice. The injuries, like brachial plexus, can be reason enough to file a lawsuit, but only if there is proof of negligence on the healthcare provider’s part. Birth injuries attract some of the highest damages awards if a case is successful. Unfortunately, not many people know this, and they live to pay for medical negligence mistakes for the rest of their lives.
What Is a Birth Injury Lawsuit?
Birth injury lawsuits refer to legal action aimed at helping families receive financial compensation. It covers birth injuries like Erb’s palsy, cerebral palsy, Brachial Palsy, and other conditions. The lawsuits are against nurses, doctors, and other responsible medical personnel in each particular case.
During the lawsuit, lawyers build their cases and then come together to try to agree on a settlement. This will either end the case or see it move to trial.
It’s, therefore, essential to work with skilled lawyers with experience in birth injury cases. Such lawyers help families get an appropriate amount of money to cater for the medical expenses. It also serves as compensation for their pain and suffering.
Lawsuits differ from one situation to another. Some cases have seen families awarded millions to cover surgery, medications, therapy, and other related birth injury medical expenses.
Types of Medical Malpractice Birth Injuries
Birth injuries can occur due to the size of the baby or position during labor and delivery. Complications may also arise from the health condition of the mother.
Some other risk factors that increase the probability of birth injuries include:
- High birth weight
- Narrow pelvis
- Long labor
- Baby’s position
The child can suffer birth injuries like
- Bone fractures
- Nerve damage injuries
- Brain damage
- Soft tissue and skin injuries
While some of these injuries may be attributed to something different from medical malpractice, some can result from medical negligence.
Brachial Plexus Birth Injury Lawsuit
Brachial plexus is one of the damages that can happen among the injuries above, under the nerve damage category. Further, it refers to injuries that affect the nerves that supply sensation to the arms, shoulder, hands, forearm, and fingers. As such, these organs lose sensitivity and muscle control.
Brachial plexus injuries occur in several types, depending on the location of the nerve injury. Other names used in referring to the damage include brachial plexus birth palsy, Erb’s palsy, or neonatal brachial plexus.
Causes of Brachial Plexus Injury
Brachial plexus childbirth injury can happen if the neck of the baby stretches excessively to one side. The brachial plexus nerves all originate from the spinal cord and come together to form an extensive network. They spread to the neck and reach the armpit. They then branch and spread out to the forearm, fingers, and hands.
When strong force is applied, it increases the angle between the shoulders and neck, causing the nerves to tear or stretch. The injury may also cause the nerve roots to pull out of position from the spinal cord. The damaged nerves lose sensation and lose the strength to control muscle movements.
Signs of brachial plexus damage include
- A weakened grip
- Full or complete lack of movement
- An off position like the arm bending toward the body
How to Know If a Brachial Plexus Injury Was Preventable
The first step in establishing medical negligence is to know the appropriate medical standard of care applicable to childbirth. This includes the medical information available to the healthcare provider during the time of injury. Courts may not hold a doctor liable for something they couldn’t have known at the time of the damage.
After establishing the standard procedures of care, the healthcare provider’s actions are measured against that standard. A medical expert checks what the doctor or healthcare provider did during delivery against what a similarly skilled care provider would have done. This is measured based on the information and facts reasonably available at that time.
The next step is to decide whether the doctor’s deviation from standard care is the legal cause of the birth injury. The last step is to identify and calculate the damages involved and the losses incurred. Some medical errors that may amount to medical negligence include:
- Application of excessive force
- Failing to identify and address fetal distress
- Incorrect use of vacuum extractors or forceps
- Failure to follow up after delivery
- Incorrect dosage of medication
- Administration of dangerous medications
- Failure to perform a cesarean section when it’s needed
How Long Does It Take to Reach a Settlement?
Birth injury lawsuits follow a standard procedure that typically takes anything between eighteen months and two years. This includes the time it takes to file the lawsuit until the case is settled or goes to trial. The timeline may vary, depending on several factors. These include:
- The jurisdiction where you file the lawsuit
- The extent of damages
- The number of experts working and involved in the case
- Accessibility to medical records
- Availability and ability of witnesses to cooperate with the litigation process
The litigation process includes gathering medical records, consulting professional medical experts, and reviewing the documents. All these stages take time, depending on the circumstances of each case.
Every state has a provision for the period within which a complainant should file a claim after medical malpractice injuries. Once this period has expired, it’s not possible to pursue legal action. As such, you must contact a birth injury attorney as soon as possible after a suspected case of birth injury.
Get Help in Filing Brachial Plexus Injury Lawsuit
In many cases, many plaintiffs don’t bother with birth injury lawsuits. This is unless there are sufficient damages to justify the process, expenses, and time it takes to file a medical lawsuit.
Taking a step towards getting justice for medical negligence leading to brachial plexus injury doesn’t have to be an uphill task. If you’re thinking of taking legal action against a healthcare provider’s failure and mistake during child delivery, talk to a qualified lawyer.
By enlisting the help of an experienced birth injury, you enhance your chances of getting fair compensation for the damages. Reach us today for a free case evaluation, and let us help you in this journey.
Who Can You Trust with Your Case?
Have you or a loved one been injured due to negligence? We want to help. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you believe you have a case; time is an important factor. Interested in learning more? Get in touch with us so we can better evaluate and serve your needs in getting the justice your loved one deserves. You may very well be entitled to compensation.
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