The pressures of birth can be so strong that a baby’s arms could get damaged by the force. Yet many arm injuries are caused by negligent doctors who pull too hard on the baby’s head or shoulder and stretch a nerve bundle called the brachial plexus.
If your child suffered a brachial plexus injury or has been diagnosed with related injuries like Erb’s palsy, your medical team may owe you and your child significant compensation. Our Tucson birth injury attorneys have experience in brachial plexus injury cases. Here’s how we can help you get justice.
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About the Brachial Plexus
The brachial plexus is a bundle of five nerves in each shoulder that extend into the muscles of the arms, shoulders, and hands. If these nerves get stretched or torn, victims lose the ability to use their arms in different ways depending on which nerves are damaged.
Common symptoms are weakness, pain in the arm, or a strange twisting or paralysis of the arms and hands. Erb’s palsy is a common brachial plexus injury in babies that makes the arm and hand twist inward and stay paralyzed.
Some brachial plexus injuries heal on their own. Some are permanent or require major surgery. In all cases, there are things your doctor may have done to reduce the chances of a brachial plexus injury. If we can discover they were negligent about your care, you could get compensation.
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What Can I Get Compensated for?
A medical malpractice suit pays victims money for injury done to them by a medical professional. The money is intended to compensate victims for the damages they suffered at the hands of an incompetent or negligent doctor. You could receive both economic and non-economic damages for your birth injury case.
Economic damages are things like your child’s medical bills, payment for specialists, transportation, medicine, medical gear, and anything else that has a price tag related to the injury. It also includes any lost wages because you had to take care of your child.
Non-economic damages are things like pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life. Your Tucson brachial plexus injury attorney will negotiate the price of these with the insurers or the court and gather evidence to prove what you’re owed to them.
What You Need to Prove in a Brachial Plexus Injury Case
Winning your brachial plexus injury case requires four things. First, your child and whoever you are suing must have a medical relationship. Second, there must be an injury with enough damages to make it worth suing about.
The third thing is a breach of the medical standards of care. This is the hardest thing to prove, and it’s why your lawyer will take time to dig up every piece of evidence they can. Malpractice is a fact-based area of law. We have to show what the standards of care were when the injury happened and how the doctor broke them.
Finally, we have to show causation. The negligent breach has to be directly or indirectly responsible for your child’s injury. If we can show all four things, you have a legitimate claim, and the defendant owes you compensation for what happened to your child.
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Is There a Limit to How Much I Could Receive?
Three major limits exist to how much compensation someone receives in a personal injury case. The first is the evidence. Any damages we claim must be backed up by evidence. Your Tucson brachial plexus attorney will help you get the evidence you need to get as much as you can.
The second is the insurance policy limits. An insurer is only obligated to pay up to the policy limit. One way to get around that is to sue multiple parties, like suing a doctor and their hospital. Another is to take your case to trial. A jury could decide that you’re owed more, but going to trial is always risky. Most cases settle out of court.
The third limit doesn’t apply to Arizona. There are no damage caps for any type of civil damages in Arizona. The state Constitution forbids caps, so you don’t have to worry about the court saying you can only get a certain amount even if an insurer or a jury agrees you’re owed more.
How Soon Must I File a Lawsuit?
Adults have two years from the discovery of an injury to file a personal injury lawsuit in Arizona. After this point, the statute of limitations applies. This is the deadline for filing a case. Beyond that point, the courts will say that you took too long to file and deny your case. Once this happens, insurers will be much less likely to negotiate in your favor.
However, children have a much longer deadline. Parents can sue on their children’s behalf until they turn 18. After that, your child will have until their 20th birthday to sue. In short, the clock doesn’t start for child injuries until the child becomes an adult.
It is far better to start your case sooner than to wait years after the fact. As time passes, it’s harder to get the evidence needed to prove your case and easier for insurers to claim that any injuries you have happened after you were out of your doctor’s care. Call us as soon as you believe they hurt your child for the best chance of success.
Contact a Brachial Plexus Lawyer in Tucson
If a doctor has diagnosed your child with a brachial plexus injury, you owe it to your family to see if you have a malpractice case. Find out if you do by contacting the Birth Injury Lawyers Group. We can connect you with a brachial plexus injury attorney in Tucson for free.
Our attorneys all work on contingency, so you will owe us nothing if you do not win your case. Learn your legal options and how we can help you with one phone call or email. Call us at the number on your screen, or use our contact page to send us an email. Let us help you get justice for your child’s injury.