There are many different types of birth injuries and, sadly, most of these can have devastating and debilitating effects on the victims and their families. If your physician failed to make provision for any risks present leading up to the delivery, you may be eligible for compensation. Going up against the skilled medical insurance providers and legal team at any hospital is a monumental undertaking, but our Virginia birth injury attorneys are experienced and equipped for this level of litigation.
Read on to learn more about some of the most common types of birth injuries and, if you believe your child’s injuries were caused by medical malpractice and/or negligence, get in touch with Breit Cantor Grana Buckner today for a free consultation. We have helped individuals and families throughout the state secure hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements and/or verdicts.
Contact us online or call (888) 635-9500 to request a consultation at our Richmond or Virginia Beach office.
Brachial Plexus Causes, Symptoms & Treatment Options
A brachial plexus injury can range in severity depending on how and where the injury happened. The brachial plexus is a group of nerve fibers running from the spine through the neck and into the arms. Often, infant brachial plexus is caused by excessive stretching and force during delivery, especially if the delivery was especially difficult or stressful.
Other causes of brachial plexus injuries include the following:
- Forceps or vacuum-extraction tools
- A breech delivery
- A large infant’s size and weight
- Infant’s shoulders stuck in the mother’s pelvic region
- Maternal diabetes
- Underdeveloped neck muscles
- Maternal obesity
Many factors, such as maternal obesity or the infant’s size and weight can be compensated for prior to delivery to reduce the risk of injury. There are several types of common brachial plexus injuries (Neurapraxia, Erb’s Palsy, Klumpke’s Palsy) that result in related, but slightly varied symptoms.
The following are common symptoms of brachial plexus injuries:
- Little reflex on the affected side
- Limited to no movement on the affected side
- Claw-like hand position
- Abnormal muscle contractions
Though many brachial plexus injuries heal on their own within three to six months, some are more permanent. The more serious the initial injury, the less of a chance there is for a full recovery.
Treatment options for brachial plexus injuries vary depending on the severity of the injury. While some infants heal naturally or within a few months with therapeutic assistance, others may need the help of surgery, such as a nerve transfer procedure. Often, physical therapy helps infants regain movement.
Causes of Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is often caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain, birth trauma, or premature delivery. A child born with cerebral palsy doesn’t necessarily indicate that a negligent birth injury has occurred. However, medical malpractice can be a factor that results in cerebral palsy.
Birth injuries leading to cerebral palsy often includes the following:
- Failure to identify or treat infections in the mother during pregnancy
- Failure to properly monitor fetal heart rate during labor
- Failure to detect a prolapsed umbilical cord
- Failure to plan a cesarean section if a baby is too large to pass through the birth canal
- Failure to perform a necessary cesarean section
- Unreasonable mistakes in using forceps or a vacuum during delivery
Proving negligent birth injuries involves complex medical and legal issues. It is imperative to retain the experience of a knowledgeable Virginia cerebral palsy attorney who can walk you through your options and successfully present your case to a jury in a way that they will understand.
Symptoms of Erb’s Palsy & Determining Medical Negligence
While many cases of Erb’s palsy heal on their own time, usually within three to six months, some cases result in permanent nerve damage to the brachial plexus nerves.
Symptoms associated with Erb’s palsy include the following:
- An arm held limply at the affected side
- A lack of grip in the affected hand
- Partial or full paralysis in the affected arm
- Loss of sensory or motor function in the upper arm
- Numbness in the affected arm
- Impaired development in the affected arm
Treatment for Erb’s palsy can range from mild therapy to nerve replacement surgery. It’s best to consult the legal advice of a seasoned lawyer to see if you are eligible for compensation.
The presence of Erb’s palsy does not simultaneously indicate the presence of birth injury negligence or malpractice. However, if your physician failed to identify and prevent certain circumstances that resulted in Erb’s palsy, you may need a skilled birth injury lawyer.
Medical malpractice resulting in Erb’s palsy often includes the following:
- Excessive pulling or tugging at the infant during delivery
- Improper use of forceps or other extraction tools
- Failure to perform a necessary cesarean section
- Failure to properly address birthing complications
Part of our job as Virginia birth injury attorneys is seeking out details and evidence that definitively indicate whether or not a medical professional performed in line with a reasonable standard of care. If you suspect that your physician may have been able to prevent your child’s injury, call our firm for a free case evaluation.
Our Firm Can Fight for You
In order to determine whether your physician fulfilled his duty of care toward you and your child, our Virginia birth injury attorneys will exhaustively investigate the circumstances surrounding your case. We often network with other professionals in the field so that we can obtain expert testimony on the subject. Our robust investigative process is one of our greatest strengths here at Breit Cantor. We exhaust every possible avenue in order to pursue just compensation on your behalf.
Our proven track record is nearly unparalleled in the state of Virginia. In fact, a large percentage of our cases come to our firm through word-of-mouth referrals. Our lawyers have been recognized for their skill, with multiple members of our firm achieving selection to Super Lawyers® and Best Lawyers® for 10 years running.
If your child was injured as a result of medical negligence, contact Breit Cantor online or by phone at (888) 635-9500 for a free, confidential case evaluation.