Tampa Brachial Plexus Injuries Lawyer
A newborn infant commonly experiences brachial plexus injuries during prolonged labor or as a result of the child being forcefully pulled from the birth canal. These injuries commonly heal in months with monitoring and even physical therapy exercises designed to help the child regain maximum use of the affected arm. However, sometimes these injuries require surgical repair or will permanently lose strength and function in the shoulder, arm, or hand.
While the medical community would have you believe that brachial plexus injuries are simply a birth-related risk, many of these injuries result from medical negligence. If your child suffered this type of injury during birth, a Tampa brachial plexus injuries lawyer from Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys could help you understand if the injury resulted from medical malpractice. If so, we can seek compensation for the expenses and impacts of your child’s injury.
You Can Trust Fernandez Firm With Your Child’s Brachial Plexus Injury Claim
The experienced legal team at Fernandez Firm has over 25 years of experience helping injured people and their families throughout Florida recover compensation after being injured due to someone else’s negligence. With a focus on personal injury, we deeply understand the expenses that injuries commonly produce and the short-term and long-term impacts a debilitating injury can have on someone’s life and the lives of their loved ones.
We are pleased to offer a full range of legal services to personal injury claimants through our Tampa office. We are conveniently located at 2503 West Swann Avenue, Suite 100, just down the street from HCA Florida South Tampa Hospital. Contact us for your free case evaluation today.
How Much Is a Brachial Plexus Claim Worth?
Boston Children’s Hospital explains that the brachial plexus is a complex network of nerves between the neck and shoulders that control the muscle functions in the chest, shoulders, arms, and hands. The nerves are also responsible for sensation in the upper arms.
In one to three of every 1,000 births, the brachial plexus nerves are stretched, compressed, or torn during the birth process. This results in the loss of muscle function or even paralysis in the upper arm. In a small number of cases, the infant will experience significant pain due to the injury.
Most brachial plexus injuries heal within a few months with medical monitoring and physical therapy exercises to maximize the use of the affected arm and prevent involuntary tightening of the muscles and joints in the area.
However, if these interventions do not work, surgery can be performed, including nerve transfer or nerve grafting procedures and surgeries to cut and reorient the bones to improve function, reposition tendons and muscles, or tighten the tissues around the shoulder joint. Many children suffer permanent weakness on the affected side.
The value of a brachial plexus injury claim depends on several factors, including:
- The severity of the injury. Brachial plexus injuries resulting from surgery are typically valued much higher than those treated through physical therapy and monitoring due to the understandable increase in medical expenses and impacts.
- The presence of permanent damage that will likely impact the child through the course of their life
- The amount of medical malpractice insurance held by the at-fault provider
Medical malpractice insurance is a type of professional liability insurance that healthcare facilities and providers obtain to compensate those injured by a medical error. Florida law states that as a condition of licensing or maintaining an active license to practice medicine, providers must have a medical malpractice policy that provides at least $100,000 per claim and $300,000 worth of coverage per year.
Because OB/GYNS face several situations in the common course of their practice that can injure patients, OBs in Florida may obtain malpractice policies up to $1 million per claim.
The Birth Injury Claims Process
When a child suffers a brachial plexus injury, the medical malpractice claims process is the appropriate avenue for seeking compensation. Unfortunately, these are not easy claims. The attorney will first perform a thorough investigation of the birth to determine which providers were present and the procedures that were used. This will help them determine whose malpractice insurance policy the claim should be filed against.
When an injury occurs due to a doctor’s negligent actions, a claim will usually be filed against their malpractice policy. However, if the injury occurred due to the actions of other medical staff, such as a nurse, the claim will be filed against the hospital’s policy.
Once a brachial plexus injuries lawyer from Fernandez Firm has determined the source of liability for the claim, they will value the claim based on several factors, including the severity of the injury, the presence of permanent injuries, the level of negligence that led to the injury occurring, and the amount of coverage the at-fault provider has on their medical malpractice policy.
In addition to covering the expenses of treating the injury, the compensation sought through the claim can include other expenses, such as modifications to the claimant’s home that are made to accommodate the injury. The claimant can also seek compensation for the psychological impacts of the injury on their child, such as physical pain, suffering, and inconvenience.
After the claim is valued, the attorney will submit it to the at-fault provider’s insurance company, which will assign a claims adjuster to evaluate it. After they’ve completed their evaluation, the adjuster can pay the claim outright, deny it with a written reason for the denial, or offer to settle the claim out of court for less than its established value.
Initial settlement offers are generally far below the claim’s value, and the claimant’s attorney will be tasked with negotiating with the insurance provider to get them to increase their offer.
The claim can be filed as a medical malpractice lawsuit if the insurance provider fails to make a fair settlement offer. In Florida, parents have until their child’s 8th birthday to file a claim seeking compensation for birth injuries. Along with the claim, the claimant’s attorney must provide an affidavit of merit stating that they consulted about the case with a qualified medical professional who deemed that there was merit to the claim and that it was being filed in good faith.
It should be noted that the provider’s medical malpractice insurer can still make settlement offers after the claim has been filed and even after trial on the matter has begun, as long as a judge or jury has yet to decide on the matter.
After the claim where there has been a resolution through an out-of-court settlement or a courtroom verdict, the claimant’s attorney will help them receive their award and satisfy any medical liens that have been placed on it by insurers or medical providers who treated the infant’s brachial plexus injury.
Fighting the Insurance Company for the Compensation Your Family Needs
Insurance companies stay in business by collecting premiums and keeping the cost of payouts for claims low. To do this, they assign a claims adjuster to evaluate all claims to determine whether the policy the claim is filed against covers the damages sought, whether the insured was liable for the injury that was incurred by the claimant—or in the case of a brachial plexus injury, their child—and determining how much the insurer must pay for the claim.
The claims adjuster works for the insurance provider to serve their financial interest. They aren’t on your side and make it nearly impossible for medical malpractice claimants to receive fair compensation without the assistance of an attorney.
Your Tampa brachial plexus injuries lawyer from the Fernandez Firm understands the process of seeking compensation for medical malpractice and the hard work to prove this type of claim. Our team will fight for your family to receive the maximum compensation available for the often significant expenses that can accompany this type of injury and the psychological impacts your child has incurred or likely will incur due to the injury.
What to Do if Your Child Suffered a Brachial Plexus Injury
One of the many benefits of having an experienced medical malpractice attorney help you with your brachial plexus injury claim is the amount of work they and their legal team will do for your claim, such as gathering documentation and evidence to that helps show how your child’s injury occurred and the cost of repairing it, valuing the claim, and negotiating with the insurer for a fair settlement.
However, you protect the value of your claim by:
- Following the treatment plan, your doctor has proposed to treat your child’s injury
- Not speaking with the at-fault provider’s insurer without the assistance of your attorney
- Keep a journal that includes the appointments you’ve attended with your child, the treatments provided, and how your child is recovering from the injury
- Keeping all bills for services, receipts, or information from your doctor about your child’s prognosis to ensure that they are included in the claim’s value
- Contacting the firm with any questions you have during the claims process
Tampa Birth Injury? Fernandez Firm Can Help
In 25 years, the Fernandez Firm legal team has gained a deep understanding of the type of expenses that can arise from birth injuries such as brachial plexus injuries. We understand parents’ worry about the long-term impacts of the injury and the need to hold negligent healthcare providers accountable for the injuries they cause to the youngest of patients.
Let an experienced Tampa personal injury lawyer from Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys help you explore your legal options for obtaining compensation for the expenses and impacts of your child’s injury. For your free case evaluation, call us at (813) 278-1032 or message us online.
The Fernandez Firm – Tampa Office
2503 W Swann Ave #100,
Tampa, FL 33609
Phone: (813) 278-1032