Brachial Plexus Injury at Birth
Child birth is a natural process, but it can also be a traumatic experience. If complications arise, injuries can occur, some of which lead to long-term consequences. While some birth injuries are unavoidable, many are the result of negligent medical care.
One of the most common types of birth injuries is a brachial plexus injury. Here, the birth injury lawyers at Zucker & Regev, P.C. go over the potential damages associated with a brachial plexus birth injury, and help birth injury victims understand when it may be time to take legal action with the help of our Brooklyn, NY, attorneys.
What Causes Brachial Plexus Injuries at Birth?
The brachial plexus is a network of nerves that is located between the neck and the shoulders. These nerves control the feelings in the upper limbs; they also control movement in the muscles of the chest, arms, hands, and shoulders. A brachial plexus birth injury can occur when these nerves are compressed, stretched, or torn during a difficult delivery, often because the baby becomes wedged in the birth canal or is too large to fit through the birth canal.
A great deal of brachial plexus birth injuries are the result of medical errors, such as:
- Forcibly pulling on the neck or shoulders
- Using forceps or an extraction pump incorrectly
- Delaying a C-section
- Failing to respond to fetal distress
Effects of a Brachial Plexus Injury
The effects of a brachial plexus injury vary based on what type of injury occurred (compression, stretching, or a tear), and what part of the nerves are damaged. The most common effects of a brachial plexus birth injury include:
- Muscle weakness in the hand, arm, or shoulder on the effected side
- Limited range of motion in the effected limbs
- Partial paralysis of effected muscles
- Numbness or tingling in the hands
If a brachial plexus injury is minor, the child may recover within the first couple of years, especially if they receive appropriate treatment and therapy. Unfortunately, some of our Brooklyn clients can expect a less favorable outcome. Severe brachial plexus injuries can result in long-term or lifelong disabilities.
Can I Seek Compensation for Losses?
If a brachial plexus birth injury was the result of medical negligence, the child’s parents have the right to pursue a medical malpractice case. To demonstrate medical malpractice for our Brooklyn clients, our legal team will work with experts in the field to gather evidence that proves:
- A doctor or other medical professional failed to provide the accepted standard of care during the birth
- Medical negligence was the direct cause of the birth injury
- The birth injury resulted in losses (financial and/or non-financial) for the victim and their family
Medical Malpractice Damages
The specific damages awarded in a medical malpractice case are dependent on the plaintiff’s losses. The most common types of damages to be awarded in a case involving a brachial plexus birth injury are:
- Past and current medical expenses for the injury
- The cost of anticipated future medical care and therapy
- Lost wages related to time taken off work to care for the injury, attend medical appointments, etc.
- Pain and suffering
If you suspect that medical negligence has resulted in a birth injury, the lawyers at Zucker & Regev, P.C. would be happy to help you explore your legal options. To discuss your case in further detail, contact our legal team online or call (718) 521-2559.