The birth of a child is one of the happiest days in the lives of parents and grandparents. That joy may turn to sorrow when an infant suffers a birth injury. There are many types of injuries that can occur during the labor or delivery process. Some are serious in nature, such as brachial plexus birth injuries. These may be quite severe and sometimes physically disabling.

Brachial Plexus Palsy

The brachial plexus is a cluster of nerves that is located near the shoulder and neck. It contains nerves that send signals that communicate with the brain. When these nerves are damaged the result may be one of group of serious injuries, sometimes known as Erb’s palsy. Brachial plexus palsy is paralysis or weakening of the nerves in the brachial plexus. This may affect the muscles in the arms, hands, neck, and shoulder. Depending on the severity of the injury, it could cause a lifelong disability.

Injury at Birth

Newborns are at risk for brachial plexus injuries when the labor or delivery is difficult. A large baby is one of the most common reasons for potential problems during delivery. The mother may require assistance from the doctor to deliver a large baby. The doctor may use instruments such as forceps or a vacuum to assist in pulling the baby, or may use his hands. When the baby is forcibly pulled it can cause pressure or tugging on the brachial plexus. The baby can suffer serious injuries as a result.

Medical Malpractice

In cases where an infant was injured during birth, the doctor may have caused the injury because of negligence. Medical professionals such as doctors are held to a high standard of care and are required to provide proper care to patients. When a complication arises during birth, the doctor must take the necessary precautions to prevent injury. For example, if the birth is high risk or the baby is large, the doctor may need to consider performing a c-section rather than try to deliver the baby vaginally.

Birth Injury Claims

When a birth injury occurs, legal action may be the last thing on your mind, yet it may be necessary. A claim may be required to seek the money necessary to pay for medical costs and future needs of the child. These expenses can put an unnecessary financial burden on family. Parents should speak with a personal injury attorney to represent them in resolving the situation and get the compensation they deserve.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Brachial Plexus Birth Injuries, or any other personal injury, please feel free to contact Brian T. Allen at  480.461.5335,  log on to,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.