Personal Injury Claims for Brachial Plexus Injury at Birth

Brachial Plexus Injury at Birth

A brachial plexus injury is a type of serious fetal harm that can permanently affect mobility and sensation in the shoulder, arm, and hand. Occurring in an estimated 1.5 out of 1,000 live births, the side effects can result in lifelong disability and ongoing medical expenses. A brachial plexus injury at birth is a potentially devastating diagnosis that can occur when the bundle of five nerves that run from the spinal cord, along either side of the neck and to the shoulders become stretched, compressed, or torn in a difficult delivery.

Personal Injury Claims for Brachial Plexus Injury at Birth

Parents of an infant who is diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury, may seek justice and compensation through a brachial plexus injury lawsuit on behalf of their child who was harmed due to medical negligence.

A brachial plexus injury lawyer can assess the case and discuss your legal options. Do not hesitate to set up a consultation with an experienced local attorney; personal injury cases are typically taken on a contingency fee basis, which means there are no upfront fees or charges.

What to know about brachial plexus injuries

The brachial plexus gets damaged when it is stretched; the farther it’s stretched, the more severe the damage. In severe cases, the nerves are stretched so far that they tear out of the spinal cord.

A less severe brachial plexus injury may result in a mild disability that is either treatable with surgery, physical therapy, and medications or that heals over a few months. On the other end of the spectrum, serious brachial plexus injuries can cause lasting or permanent symptoms, including:

  • Muscle weakness in the arm
  • Paralysis (varying degrees)
  • Loss of sensation in the arm
  • Lifelong disability

What causes a brachial plexus injury during the childbirth process?

Damage to the brachial plexus during childbirth is somewhat common. More than one out of every 1,000 infants born in the U. S. experiences some degree of brachial plexus injury during the childbirth process. The most common reason for the injury is a baby getting stuck in the birth canal during delivery and the subsequent pulling motion used by the OBGYN to get the baby out while the head or shoulder is stuck. This pulling action is what results in the nerves in the neck stretching out and causing damage.

Medical negligence in brachial plexus injuries

In some cases, damage to the brachial plexus could have been avoided if the doctor had used less force on the baby during the delivery process. If it can be shown that other OBGYNs presented with a similar situation would not have used the level of force that was used by the labor and delivery physician, a claim of negligence may be appropriate. The delivery doctor may also be found negligent if they should have recognized that labor would be complicated but failed to perform a Cesarean section to avoid those complications or if they used instruments like forceps that caused a serious brachial plexus injury.

If you believe that your child’s injury could have been prevented under the care of a competent doctor, it’s time to speak to a medical malpractice lawyer who can build a successful case.

A successful brachial plexus lawsuit will prove four things:

  1. A duty of care. The plaintiff must prove that the medical professional or facility (such as a hospital) being sued was given responsibility for your and your child’s medical care and therefore owed you a duty of care.
  2. Negligence. The plaintiff must prove that the medical professional or facility acted negligently – either by taking a negligent action or by failing to act when appropriate to avoid a negative outcome.
  3. Negligent care was the cause of the injury. The plaintiff must prove that the medical error/negligence led to the brachial plexus injury your child is suffering with.
  4. Actual damages were suffered. Your child must have suffered damages such as pain and suffering, medical bills, disability, etc.

The Seattle Personal Injury Lawyers You Want on Your Side

The personal injury attorneys at Tinker Law Firm have been winning birth injury, medical malpractice, and personal injury cases for individuals and their loved ones in Seattle and across Washington State since 1974. We seek justice for injury victims who have been harmed by preventable medical errors, and the negligent or abusive actions of another. Our clients pay no fees or expenses to file a personal injury claim; our firm advances out-of-pocket expenses and is only reimbursed when we recover a settlement on your behalf. Do not delay; personal injury claims in Washington State have a statute of limitations, which means they must be filed within a certain time from the date of the injury.

Call us now at 206-842-1000 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our skilled and experienced injury attorneys.