Brachial Plexus Injury Lawyers
The brachial plexus is a network of five nerves that carry signals from the spinal cord to the shoulders, arms, and hands. A brachial injury can result from excessive pressure or stretching of these nerves, especially during a prolonged or difficult labor. When a newborn sustains a serious brachial plexus injury during their delivery, the injury could have a long-term or permanent impact on their life.
Sometimes these injuries are the result of medical malpractice, such as when a medical professional takes inappropriate actions or fails to take reasonable measures that would have prevented the injury during labor. If your child suffered a brachial plexus injury as a result of possible medical malpractice, a knowledgeable birth injury attorney can help you identify the cause of the injury and seek compensation.
The respected trial attorneys of Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C. have the resources and experience needed to handle even the most complex and catastrophic birth injury cases. Some examples from our successful track record include:
- An $8.9 million recovery on behalf of an infant who suffered brain damage as a result of medical negligence during labor
- A $4.5 million recovery on behalf of a newborn who was injured when the mother’s uterus was ruptured during childbirth due to a delayed evaluation
To learn more about how we can help with your brachial plexus injury case, contact us today for a free initial consultation.
What Are Brachial Plexus Injuries?
The brachial plexus is a large nerve cluster that runs through the neck and shoulder, connecting the arm to the spinal cord. The brachial plexus nerves carry signals from the spinal cord to the arm, hand, and fingers. They play an essential part in the arm’s functioning, providing sensation as well as the ability to move the muscles of the arm.
In some cases, damage to these nerves can affect a person’s ability to feel or move an arm. Brachial plexus nerves are sometimes damaged when they are overstretched, such as during difficult childbirth scenarios. The more they are stretched beyond the body’s acceptable range of motion, the more severe the resulting brachial plexus injury.
The most serious brachial plexus injury cases involve the nerves tearing or even pulling away from the spinal cord completely. When this happens, it can be difficult or impossible to repair the nerves, even with corrective surgery. Newborns who experience such damage to the brachial plexus can permanently lose full function to their arms and often face lifelong disabilities.
What Causes Brachial Plexus Injuries?
Many brachial plexus injuries occur when mothers and babies experience complications during labor. If a baby’s head and shoulder are forced apart during delivery, brachial plexus nerves can be damaged when the neck is overstretched.
Stretching a baby’s neck too far can rip the brachial plexus nerves or even cause them to dislocate from the spinal cord entirely. This can happen if a baby is pulled too forcefully through the birth canal while their arms, shoulders, or lower bodies are stuck.
Labor and delivery professionals are expected to recognize and respond appropriately to several factors that increase a newborn’s risk of sustaining a brachial plexus injury, such as:
- Higher-than-average birth weight
- Breech delivery position
- Longer periods of labor
- More difficult labor
Doctors, midwives, and other medical professionals can help mothers avoid unnecessary risks by exercising good judgment and ensuring deliveries proceed carefully. When these healthcare providers are negligent, their resulting medical malpractice can lead to birth trauma, such as injury to the brachial plexus.
Types of Brachial Plexus Injuries
Brachial plexus injuries, which range from minor strains to severe nerve trauma, are classified according to the extent of the resulting nerve damage. The main types of brachial plexus injury include:
- Neuropraxia – Brachial plexus neuropraxia, the least severe type, occurs when the nerves are pulled downward too forcefully. Neuropraxia injuries are sometimes called brachial plexus “stingers” or “burners” because the primary symptom is a stinging or burning sensation.
- Rupture – In brachial plexus ruptures, the nerves are partially or completely torn as a result of a forceful stretch. While ruptures can sometimes be healed with surgery, many patients experience severe pain, weakness, and loss of function in the muscles of the shoulder and arm.
- Neuroma – When brachial plexus nerves are injured, sometimes scar tissue forms on the damaged nerve ends as the body tries to repair itself. This kind of nerve growth is referred to as a neuroma, which can cause painful knots of tissue that may require surgical removal.
- Avulsion – The most serious type of injury is a brachial plexus avulsion, in which the root of a brachial plexus nerve becomes fully separated from the spinal cord. It is often impossible to reattach nerve roots when this occurs, so avulsion may lead to permanent loss of muscle strength, function, or feeling.
When a brachial plexus injury causes weakness in the shoulder and elbow, the resulting condition is known as Erb’s palsy. When the hand and wrist are weakened by a brachial plexus injury, however, patients develop a condition called Klumpke palsy.
What Type of Compensation Can You Recover from a Brachial Plexus Lawsuit?
If you suspect that your child may have suffered a brachial plexus injury due to the negligence of your healthcare provider, you have the pursue compensation to cover your losses. A successful claim for brachial plexus injury compensation can help you recover injury-related expenses such as:
- Corrective surgeries that attempt to repair the brachial plexus
- Ongoing costs of physical therapy, medication, or rehabilitation
- Assistive aids or mobility devices, such as braces or slings
- Home accessibility modifications
- Educational programs
- Mental and emotional therapy
- Subjective costs of physical emotional pain and suffering
- Lost wages, if parents are forced to miss work to care for their children
How a Lawyer Can Help with Your Brachial Plexus Injury Case
The brachial plexus injury lawyers of Eisenberg, Rothweiler, Winkler, Eisenberg & Jeck, P.C. can support your case by:
- Explaining your rights and offering professional advice
- Conducting professional investigations
- Identifying and preserving valuable evidence
- Consulting with medical providers and other expert witnesses
- Communicating with the insurance company on your behalf
- Representing you in court and demanding fair compensation
Our attorneys know the ins and outs of medical malpractice law in Philadelphia and New Jersey, and we are committed to fighting aggressively for the financial recovery you and your child deserve.
We work on a contingency-fee-basis, which means you’ll never owe us a dime unless we recover compensation for you. Contact us for a free case review to start seeking justice now.