When a child suffers a birth injury that affects the brachial plexus, the consequences can last a lifetime. A brachial plexus injury can result in anything from numbness to total paralysis of the arms and hands. While most minor brachial plexus injury victims recover all or most of the function in their arms over time, severe injuries often require surgery to mend.
If your baby sustained a brachial plexus injury because of the negligence or a willful act of another party, you could be able to recover compensation from the liable party. At the Birth Injury Lawyers Group, we have helped countless victims recover compensation for medical malpractice claims. Learn more about your legal options through a free consultation.
For a free legal consultation, call 1-800-222-9529
The Four Elements Needed to Prove Fault for a Brachial Plexus Injury
When your child suffers a birth injury that results in damage to the brachial plexus, recovering compensation from the liable party can be a critical step to helping your baby heal. However, before you can collect damages, you must first prove who is liable. When attempting to establish negligence, there are four things that must be proven. These elements are:
- That the defendant had a duty of care
- That the defendant violated their duty of care
- That the plaintiff incurred damages
- That the plaintiff’s damages were a direct result of the defendant breaching their duty of care
Existence of a Duty of Care
The first thing you must show is that the defendant owed your child a duty of care. When the defendant is a doctor, nurse, or another medical professional, establishing the existence of a duty of care is often simple. If they were in any way involved with the delivery or aftercare of your child, then a duty of care existed.
Violation of the Duty of Care
After establishing that a duty of care existed, you will need to show that the defendant breached that duty of care. Any action taken by the defendant that is not in line with the actions another person in their situation with similar training and experience would reasonably take constitutes a breach of their duty of care.
An expert witness can help prove a violation of the duty of care by testifying how a medical professional with similar credentials would likely have acted in the same situation. If the defendant’s actions were not up to the level of their average peer, then they breached their duty of care.
Damages Were Sustained
This step is typically straightforward and easy to prove. If your baby suffered an injury to their brachial plexus, then they sustained damages. A doctor not involved in the incident that caused the injury can examine your child and testify that they did, in fact, sustain an injury.
The Breach of the Duty of Care Caused the Damages
The final step is tying the breach of the duty of care to the damages. Showing that all of the above elements existed is not enough to prove that negligence occurred. You must also be able to show that the breached duty of care directly caused the brachial plexus injury sustained by your baby.
An experienced Gilbert brachial plexus lawyer can help you demonstrate this connection so that you can recover fair compensation.
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Damages You Can Pursue Following a Brachial Plexus Injury
After your baby has suffered a brachial plexus injury, recovering compensation can be essential for paying for their treatment. It is critical that you identify all the damages you are eligible to pursue so that you can recover the full value of your claim.
Fortunately, an experienced attorney can help you identify which compensatory damages you can claim and if punitive damages apply.
Economic damages cover any losses resulting from the injury that hurt your finances. Common economic damages you may be able to claim after a brachial plexus injury include:
- Lost income if your baby’s injury forced you to miss work
- Lost earning ability if the brachial plexus injury will likely affect your child’s ability to earn income in the future
- Medical bills
- Future medical costs for continued treatment
- Funeral costs if the injury resulted in your baby’s death
Non-economic damages cover all other losses endured due to the injury. Common non-economic damages you may be able to claim after a brachial plexus injury include:
- Permanent disability
- Mental anguish
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Pain and suffering
- Diminished quality of life
- Emotional distress
If a judge determines that the actions of the liable party constituted gross negligence or if they were carried out with the purpose of causing harm, you may be able to collect punitive damages as well.
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The Deadline for Filing a Brachial Plexus Injury Lawsuit
Under the Arizona statute of limitations, injury victims generally have two years to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the liable party. Failure to submit the necessary paperwork by this deadline will likely result in the loss of your right to pursue compensation.
Of course, there are exceptions to the statute of limitations that could permit you to file a lawsuit long after the standard deadline has passed. A common exception in birth injury cases is that the injured baby can file a lawsuit within two years of turning 18 if their parents did not collect compensation after the injury occurred.
You should also note that certain exceptions can further limit the amount of time you have to file. Instead of two years, you could be restricted to a matter of months. A brachial plexus injury lawyer in Gilbert can help you determine the correct deadline for your case.
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Contact a Gilbert Brachial Plexus Injury Attorney Today
When pursuing compensation for a birth injury, it is critical that you hire a lawyer with experience handling these types of cases. At the Birth Injury Lawyers Group, we have made it our mission to help injury victims recover the compensation they require.
Reach out to us today by calling or completing our online contact form and scheduling your free consultation.
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