Florida Facial Paralysis Birth Injury Malpractice Attorneys
One of the most devastating experiences for new parents is having the joy of childbirth overshadowed by worries and pain when they discover their newborn was injured during the birth process. The shock and dismay they feel can be especially grievous when they realize the injury may have caused permanent damage.
If part of your child’s face is paralyzed due to a birth injury, the damage could affect their ability to eat, blink, close their eyes, speak and convey emotion through facial expressions. Understanding what types of treatment are available for your child and planning for future care are both important. So too is holding your doctor and/or other health care providers accountable for negligence in causing the facial paralysis injury.
If your child suffered a birth injury due to medical negligence, you may be able to hold the negligent healthcare provider(s) liable for negligence and the harm it caused. With a Florida medical malpractice claim, you could potentially obtain substantial compensation for your child’s medical expenses, care, pain, suffering, and other damages resulting from the malpractice.
The Florida medical malpractice attorneys at Paul Knopf Bigger have many years of successful experience with Florida birth injury malpractice cases and have won numerous multi-million-dollar settlements and awards for the families whom we have had the privilege of representing. We are committed to achieving justice for our clients and helping you obtain the compensation you deserve.
What are the Symptoms of a Facial Paralysis Birth Injury?
The most common symptoms of facial paralysis in a baby are:
- Lack of movement on one side of the face when the infant cries
- Difficulty feeding
- Inability to close the eyelids or blink on the affected side of the face
- Uneven lower face when the baby cries
- Asymmetrical smile with one side of the mouth drooping
- No movement in areas on the affected side of the face
- Difficulty in speech as the baby develops
Generally, a physical exam and observation of uneven facial movements are enough to diagnose facial paralysis. However, nerve conduction tests may be needed to determine the exact location of the nerve injury, and MRI or CT imaging of the head may be required. Blood tests may also be done to rule out any genetic cause for the paralysis.
How Is Facial Paralysis Treated?
A baby suffering from facial paralysis needs to be closely monitored to see if the paralysis is going away or remaining the same. Treatment that may be needed to promote improvement includes:
- Frequent eye drops if the eyelid does not close all the way
- An eye patch to protect the eye
- Surgery to relieve pressure on the nerve in severe cases
- Surgical nerve grafting
- Physical therapy.
- Special therapy for infants and children if the paralysis is permanent
Many facial paralysis birth injuries get better without treatment. Unfortunately, however, in some cases, the face is permanently paralyzed, and the child has to undergo extensive physical and speech therapy and endure living with an eye that does not blink or close, a lopsided smile, difficulty in chewing food, and more.
What are the Causes of a Facial Paralysis Birth Injury?
The common causes of a facial paralysis birth injury are:
- The use of birthing instruments, such as forceps, when the baby has difficulty traveling through the birth canal, often due to its large size.
- The baby’s head getting too much pressure on it from the mother’s pelvis when the pelvis is too small or the baby is too large.
- A long labor and delivery.
- Use of Pitocin to cause labor, which may result in stronger contractions than normal.
How Does a Parent Prove Medical Malpractice Was the Cause of Their Child’s Facial Paralysis Birth Injury?
Although every case of a facial paralysis birth injury is not due to medical malpractice, when the injury is due to the pressure that occurred during the birthing process, medical malpractice is often the cause. To prove this, you must show:
- The healthcare provider(s) with whom you had a professional relationship had a duty to provide you the standard of care other similar healthcare providers would have provided in the same situation.
- Your healthcare provider(s) breached their duty to you by providing care that was below the accepted standard of care.
- The breach of the duty of care caused your baby’s facial paralysis.
- You and your child suffered damages due to the facial paralysis caused by the breach of duty.
All health care providers who were involved in or who were associated with the birthing process that caused the facial paralysis injury may be held liable. This includes doctors, midwives, nurses, nurses’ aides, technicians, the hospital, and possibly others.
What Compensation Is Available to Parents and Children Who Have Suffered a Facial Paralysis Birth Injury?
If your case meets all the elements of medical malpractice, you may be entitled to collect compensation for the damages you and your child suffered due to medical negligence. Florida law allows for both economic and non-economic compensatory damages, including compensation for:
- Medical expenses. All medical expenses resulting from the injury, including current expenses and expenses, an expert witness projects your child will suffer in the future due to the birth injury.
- Speech and physical therapy costs. Babies with facial paralysis need speech and physical therapy if the damage is permanent. They may also need long-term treatment for their eye if the nerve is permanently damaged and they are not able to fully close their eyelid.
- Pain and suffering. Parents can collect for their pain and suffering caused by watching their children suffer. Children may collect for the pain and suffering they experience.
- Other damages. There may be other damages available depending on the unique circumstances of your case.
Proving that health care providers’ negligence caused your child’s facial paralysis and you and your child suffered damages as a result of the injury is a long, complicated legal process. You need an experienced medical malpractice attorney advocating for your rights in order to hold the negligent health care providers accountable and obtain the substantial compensation you deserve.
The experienced Florida birth injury attorneys of Paul Knopf Bigger have the medical malpractice expertise you need to advocate successfully for justice for you and your child. We have achieved many multi-million-dollar awards and settlements for our clients who have been seriously injured by medical negligence in Florida and are committed to putting our skill, knowledge and resources to work to win your case.
Proven Florida Facial Paralysis Birth Injury Malpractice Attorneys
Florida birth injury medical malpractice cases can be very complicated, requiring the expertise and resources of high-quality, experienced trial attorneys. The Paul Knopf Bigger medical malpractice attorneys have the experience, skill and resources you need to achieve justice.
Attorneys throughout Florida and the U.S. trust us to litigate their clients’ complex Florida medical malpractice claims. If your child suffered a facial paralysis birth injury due to medical negligence, you too can trust us to provide the outstanding advocacy, service and commitment to justice you need.
Call us at 800-673-9585 or submit the form on our website to speak to one of our outstanding medical malpractice attorneys about your case. Your free consultation can give you the facts you need to determine the best course of action for you and your family.
- Bruns, A.D. (2020). Congenital facial paralysis. Medscape.
- Facial Palsy UK. (2019). Birth trauma,
- Johns Hopkins Medicine. (2021). Facial paralysis in children.
- MedLinePlus. (2021). Facial nerve palsy due to birth trauma.