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Ohio and Kentucky Newborn Brachial Plexus Injury Attorneys
Brachial Plexus and Erb’s Palsy Birth Injury Lawyers
Bringing a new life into the world can be a magical experience that you remember for the rest of your life. Unfortunately, it can also be fraught with mistakes and medical negligence. Medical professionals have to follow a duty of care to all patients, and life-altering mistakes can happen when that duty is breached. At TLF: The Medical Injury Law Firm, we understand how devastating birth injuries can be. Our Ohio and Kentucky birth injury attorneys can help you fight for what you deserve from the responsible parties. To speak with an experienced Ohio brachial plexus injury lawyer, call us today at 800-698-4054.
Brachial Plexus Injury in Newborn
Labor and birth are functions of life that everyone will experience in one way or another. Many births happen without any complications, but some aren’t as lucky. Any number of things that can go wrong during labor and delivery, and brachial plexus birth injuries are some of the most common types of birth injuries. The brachial plexus is a bundle of nerves located between the neck and shoulder that controls sensation and function in the hands, arms, shoulders, and chest. Any damage to this complex bundle of nerves can result in lifelong disabilities.
What is a Brachial Plexus Injury?
Brachial plexus birth injuries occur when the brachial plexus is stretched, compressed, torn, or avulsed. These nerves provide movement to the baby’s arm and shoulder, as well as sensation and feeling. A minor stretch injury usually results in some numbness and arm weakness. Minor injuries also tend to heal on their own or with help from a physical therapist. A more severe injury can cause loss of muscle function and paralysis in the baby’s upper arm. Damage to the upper nerves of the brachial plexus affects the shoulder and elbow, while damage to the lower nerves affects the hand and forearm.
How are a Baby’s Brachial Plexus Nerves Affected?
Brachial plexus injuries are more formally known as neonatal brachial plexus palsy or brachial plexus birth palsy. Palsy refers to muscle weakness associated with nerve damage. Nerve damage can result in scar tissue forming around the nerve, and some cases may require surgery to correct. Severe cases often result in complete paralysis and total loss of arm function.
Types of Brachial Plexus Injuries
Nerve fibers can be damaged in a variety of ways, from compression to full detachment. Severe damage means severe symptoms and a longer recovery period, if recovery is even an option. Below are some of the most common types of brachial plexus injuries:
- Neurapraxia: Neurapraxia is the stretching of the nerve. This injury is mild and usually heals in a short amount of time.
- Neuroma: A neuroma is an extreme stretching of the nerve, which usually needs physical therapy to heal. This type of injury results in scar tissue on the nerve.
- Ruptured Nerve: A ruptured nerve is a nerve fiber that has been torn. This injury cannot heal on its own and needs surgery.
- Avulsion: Avulsions are the most severe injury. An avulsion means that the root of the nerve was detached from the spinal cord. Surgery can sometimes help recover some loss of movement, most babies suffer lifelong issues.
Types of Brachial Plexus Birth Palsy
The location of the injury determines the specific muscles affected and the name for the injury. The most common type of brachial plexus birth injury is Erb’s Palsy. This occurs when the upper nerves are affected, and it results in loss or reduced function in the shoulder and bicep. Total plexus involvement occurs when the entire brachial plexus is injured. This type of palsy affects the entire arm from the hand to the shoulder.
What Causes a Newborn Brachial Plexus Birth Palsy Injury?
Brachial plexus injuries cannot be predicted in every case, though there are some risk factors associated with birth injury causes. A brachial plexus injury, for instance, can occur due to several factors, including:
- Large baby (or large relative to the birth canal)
- Gestational diabetes
- Overweight mother
- Poor neck development in baby
- A doctor or medical professional using excessive force during delivery
- Shoulder dystocia
- Shoulder dystocia is a common cause of Erb’s Palsy. Shoulder dystocia occurs when the baby’s head is outside the birth canal, but the baby’s shoulder gets stuck behind the mother’s pelvic bone.
How is a Brachial Plexus Injury Diagnosed?
Symptoms of a brachial plexus injury include a weak grip, an odd position of the arm, and a reduced or uneven Moro reflex. Although brachial plexus injuries are common, diagnosis can be difficult. A physical examination will not provide a complete diagnosis or show the extent of nerve damage. Doctors can order X-rays, MRIs, a nerve conduction study, and electromyograms to test for a brachial plexus injury.
How is a Brachial Plexus Injury Treated?
Treatment options for brachial plexus injuries are dependent on the extent of the nerve injury. Mild injuries often heal with no intervention, but many newborns need physical therapy. In severe cases, newborns can undergo surgery to regain movement and sensation in the affected arm. Surgical treatment includes nerve grafts, nerve transfer, muscle transfer, and tendon transfer. Early diagnosis and treatment provides the best chance of recovery.
Brachial Plexus Injury at Birth: Long-Term Effects
Brachial plexus palsy can result in lifelong issues for you and your child. Severe injuries can mean your newborn will have to undergo surgery and experience a long recovery process. Even if the surgery is successful, they will still need physical therapy and may even need assistive devices. The affected arm will also not grow at the same rate as the other arm.
If your child’s injury was caused by the negligent actions of a medical professional, you and your child deserve compensation. Our team of experienced Ohio and Kentucky medical malpractice attorneys will perform a full investigation into your claim and determine every potential avenue for compensation on your behalf.
Do I Have an Erb’s Palsy Lawsuit?
Birth injury cases can be intense and complicated. An experienced Erb’s Palsy attorney will work with you to prove many aspects of your case. To file an Erb’s palsy lawsuit, you and your legal team must prove:
- The negligent party had a duty of care to you and your child
- That duty of care was breached by negligence or malpractice
- Substandard care caused an injury
- That injury caused damages (physical or financial losses)
Medical professionals have a duty of care to their patients. If the doctor or nurse makes a decision that another vigilant party would not have made in the same situation and that decision resulted in your child’s injury, you could have a case. Seeking help from a qualified medical malpractice lawyer allows you the best chance at recovering damages through an Erb’s palsy settlement.
Compensation for Erb’s Palsy Lawsuit
After a brachial plexus birth injury that results in Erb’s Palsy, your child is likely to have a lifetime of difficulty. You or your spouse may have to quit your job to care for your child, and the medical expenses alone can result in a mountain of debt. Compensation from a brachial plexus lawsuit can help.
You and your family may be able to receive compensation for:
- Lost wages of the parent who had to stay home
- Lost income potential for the child
- Medical expenses including
- Doctor visits
- Corrective surgeries
- Medical aids to assist the child in daily life
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- In-home care for the child
- And more
A medical malpractice settlement can’t cure your child’s brachial plexus injury, but compensation can give your family some financial relief and prevent the same injuries from happening to other children. Erb’s palsy lawsuits can lead to providers and hospitals taking more care and implementing new policies to prevent these injuries in the future. Reach out to our experienced Covington and Cincinnati birth injury attorneys today to see if compensation may be available to you.
Erb’s Palsy Statute of Limitations
Most medical malpractice lawsuits have a statute of limitations of one year. This means you have one year from the date of injury to file a claim to recover compensation. This statute changes when children are involved. If your child suffered a birth injury like Erb’s palsy at the hands of a negligent provider, you and your family have one year after the child’s 18th birthday to file a lawsuit.
The best course of action is to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after the injury occurs. Memories can be forgotten, evidence can be destroyed, and other issues can arise if you wait 19 years to file the suit. Plus, the sooner you contact a birth injury lawyer at TLF, the sooner we can begin fighting for you to ensure your financial needs are met.
Why You Need an Erb’s Palsy Lawyer
An Erb’s Palsy attorney can help you and your family recover much-needed compensation for your child’s brachial plexus injuries. If your child’s birth injury was caused by someone else’s mistakes or negligence, you have legal rights. The Kentucky and Ohio birth injury attorneys at TLF: The Medical Injury Law Firm can support you through every step of this complicated legal process.
Call Our Cincinnati and Covington Birth Injury Lawyers to Set Up a Free Consultation Today
The skilled Kentucky and Ohio birth injury attorneys at TLF: The Medical Injury Law Firm can help you through every aspect of your brachial plexus and/or Erb’s Palsy case. Our experienced attorneys have both the medical knowledge and the experience needed with medical malpractice state laws to pursue your claim. Our team of seasoned attorneys is also supported by a nurse on staff to give us professional medical advice. To learn more about the process and begin your attorney-client relationship, call us toll-free at 800-698-4054 right away.
You Pay No Fees Unless We Win!
We are happy to offer a free consultation to evaluate your case. If you hire us as your legal counsel, we will represent you on a contingency-fee basis. You will pay no attorneys’ fees unless we recover financial damages.