What Is the Brachial Plexus?
Every year, many Indiana parents learn that their children have suffered a brachial plexus injury due to a medical professional’s negligence. The brachial plexus is a group of nerves located between the shoulders and neck and controls muscles in the arms, hands, chest, and shoulders.
During birth, damage to the brachial plexus may result in temporary loss of muscle function or permanent paralysis. The effects of the brachial plexus injury depend on its severity.
Many Brachial Plexus Injuries Are Caused by Medical Negligence
Brachial plexus injuries commonly occur when the baby’s neck is stretched to one side. Brachial plexus injuries are more likely to occur in the following scenarios:
- Breech (feet-first) births
- Long labors
- The shoulders cannot move through the birth canal
When physicians, nurses, and other medical professionals attempt to maneuver the baby during birth, they may damage the brachial plexus. If these medical professionals acted negligently during the birth of the child and caused the brachial plexus injury, it may be possible to pursue an Indiana birth injury claim.
How Do I Know if My Child Has a Brachial Plexus Injury?
If your child has suffered a brachial plexus injury, it may not be immediately apparent. If you notice any of the following symptoms, contact your child’s pediatrician:
- A weak grip
- Odd positioning of limbs (for example, the arm hangs limp beside the body)
- Lack of movement
If your baby is diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury, it may heal on its own, or your child may require physical therapy. In more severe cases, surgery may be necessary.
You do not have to bear these expenses on your own. If your child’s injury was caused by a medical error, an Indiana birth injury attorney can help you recover damages. Your attorney will study your child’s medical records to determine if a medical error has occurred.
If your child is diagnosed with a brachial plexus injury, you should schedule a consultation with an Indiana birth injury attorney as soon as possible so that your potential claim may be reviewed.
How Long Does an Indiana Birth Injury Claim Take?
There are many factors that impact the length of an Indiana birth injury claim. Every birth injury claim is different and presents a unique set of challenges.
First, in most cases a “Medical Review Panel” complaint must be filed. After reviewing evidence and taking testimony from witnesses, the panel has up to 180 days to issue an opinion as to whether the medical professional breached the standard of care. After this point, a medical malpractice claim may be filed in the Indiana court system.
Gathering all of the necessary medical records may take several weeks, or even months. Scheduling depositions and coordinating dates with the attorneys, court reporters, and witnesses may also take a significant amount of time. Negotiating settlements, whether between attorneys or with the assistance of a mediator, may also take several weeks. Therefore, it is not unusual for a birth injury claim to take a year or longer to resolve.
The sooner a claim is filed, the better. After an extended period of time, witnesses may have moved away or may not remember the details of the claim. Additionally, it may become more difficult to locate evidence.
If Your Child Suffered a Brachial Plexus Injury, Call Today to Have Our Indianapolis Birth Injury Attorneys Review Your Case
At Doehrman Buba, our attorneys have decades of experience in Indiana birth injury claims. We fight for you to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve. To schedule your free consultation with our firm, contact us today.