The last thing parents should have to experience when they’ve been joyfully expecting the birth of a child is a birth injury. And while some injuries are unavoidable, it is especially heartbreaking when the injury was caused by the very professionals they trusted to bring their new baby safely into the world. If you need help navigating the brachial plexus injury claim process, Kuhlman Law is here to help.
Brachial Plexus Birth Injuries
The brachial plexus is a group of five nerves that originate in the neck region on either side of the spinal cord, run down through the shoulders, and branch off into smaller nerves that continue down the arms. These nerves provide the ability to move and feel sensations.
This bundle of nerves can be injured during childbirth. Brachial plexus injuries occur in about one to three of all births. Although most of these injuries are minor and can heal on their own, in some cases, the nerves become torn or ruptured during the birth process, which can result in long-term issues and disabilities.
A brachial plexus injury can result in weakness, loss of sensation, and even paralysis of the arm, wrist, or hand. Depending on the severity of the injury and access to prompt medical and physical rehabilitation interventions, a child may be affected for life.
Can You Bring a Brachial Plexus Injury Claim Against Your Medical Provider?
Brachial plexus injuries are far too common. They can happen for a variety of reasons that include prolonged labor, breech presentation, the use of forceps or vacuum assistance, and even the size of the baby.
But when a birth team’s negligence causes an injury, it can be considered medical malpractice. Unfortunately, most parents don’t realize negligence is the culprit until it’s too late.
Bringing a Brachial Plexus Lawsuit Against Your Provider
Brachial plexus injuries caused by medical negligence can warrant a lawsuit against the doctor, hospital, or any member of the delivery team. A lawsuit provides a legal means to recover compensation for medical bills, rehabilitation, pain and suffering, and any other damages that result from getting the care and support parents need for their child.
The Elements of Proving a Brachial Plexus Injury Claim
But proving negligence can be complicated. For a brachial plexus lawsuit to be successful, certain elements of malpractice must be proven by a preponderance of evidence.
- There was a provider-patient relationship, and the provider had a duty of care toward the patient.
- The provider breached their duty of care by providing treatment that did not meet the expected standard of care.
- That breach caused injuries to the child.
- Those injuries resulted in damages.
While these can seem like simple steps, doctors and hospitals are typically not forthcoming when there is an issue of medical negligence. It is critical to get the help of a skilled brachial injury attorney with the experience required to understand the nature of the injury, what evidence will be required to prove negligence, and the ability to negotiate the best possible settlement or litigate the matter before a court of law.
The Steps of Navigating a Brachial Plexus Injury Lawsuit
An attorney will evaluate a potential claim and decide if it is strong enough to hold up through litigation. The financial damages will be calculated, including all current costs for medical and rehabilitative care, prescriptions, doctor visits, and other expenses. Damages may also include pain and suffering. If a child requires lifelong care, the financial damages will also provide for any long-term medical treatment or additional care.
Next, enough evidence must be gathered to prove medical negligence beyond a reasonable doubt. This will include a detailed account of the events before, during, and immediately after the delivery, witness testimony, medical records, and expert medical testimony. The attorney will then officially file suit, and the defendants will be notified. They have thirty days to provide their side of the story, and the discovery process begins.
Most brachial plexus injury lawsuits are usually settled before they go to trial, but when a settlement is insufficient, a trial will commence. At that time, a judge hears both sides and makes a decision about whether financial compensation is justified and for how much.
Experienced Brachial Plexus Injury Lawyers
Don’t try to navigate a birth injury claim on your own. If your child has suffered a brachial plexus birth injury, it is critical that you get the best possible legal representation. At Kuhlman Law, our skilled brachial plexus injury lawyers are dedicated to getting you the justice you deserve. Call us at (503) 479-3646 or contact us through our website contact form to schedule a no-cost consultation to discuss your options.
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