Florida Clavicle Fracture Birth Injury Malpractice Attorneys
The birth of a baby is generally a happy event. However, when a pregnancy has proceeded normally with no complications, yet the baby is injured, parents’ happiness can quickly be overshadowed by anxiety and grief.
Although not every birth injury is caused by the negligent acts or omissions of health care providers, almost all cases of clavicle fracture birth injuries are preventable and the result of medical negligence. If parents suspect negligence caused their infant’s injury, it is important they obtain legal advice from an experienced birth injury malpractice lawyer.
The Florida birth injury malpractice attorneys at Paul Knopf Bigger have decades of experience helping parents and their injured children hold negligent health care providers liable for their negligence and obtaining the compensation to which they are entitled. We look forward to hearing about your potential medical malpractice claim, answering any of your legal questions and helping you achieve justice.
What Is a Birth Injury?
The most common definition of a birth injury used by gynecologists is, “an impairment of the neonate’s body function or structure due to an adverse event that occurred at birth.” These injuries can occur during labor, delivery, or after delivery.
A birth injury may be as minor as a cut or abrasion. It may also be so severe that the child will never live a normal life. A clavicle birth injury, for instance, may heal quickly, or it may damage nerves and forever affect the child’s use of his or her arm on the affected side.
What Causes a Clavicle Fracture Birth Injury?
The most common birth injury is a fractured clavicle or collar bone. The fracture is caused when the shoulder gets stuck in the birth canal during a difficult delivery. The clavicle can also be broken during a cesarean delivery or by other birth trauma.
The main causes of newborn clavicle fractures are:
- Macrosomia, which means the baby is too large for the birth canal.
- Shoulder dystocia, which occurs when the physician has difficulty delivering the shoulders after the head has been delivered. This happens more often when the baby is too large due to the mother’s gestational diabetes which results in large babies with broad shoulders.
- The baby’s shoulder gets stuck behind the mother’s pelvic bone during delivery.
- The birth canal is too narrow for the delivery.
- The improper use of tools, such as forceps or vacuum extractors, to assist with the delivery.
- In a breech delivery when the arms are extended above the head.
What are the Symptoms of a Clavicle Fracture Birth Injury?
The newborn will feel the pain of the broken bone but, of course, cannot speak, so cannot tell healthcare providers or the parents about it. Symptoms to watch for include:
- A fussy baby that will not stop crying.
- Shrieks of pain when you pick up the baby.
- A drooping shoulder on the injured side.
- Swelling of the injured area.
- Little or no movement of the limb on the injured side.
- Absence of Moro reflex on the affected side. A normal Moro reflex occurs when the baby is placed on a soft surface, and its head is raised and then softly dropped, the baby outstretches its arms with the palms up.
The existence of some of these symptoms alone does not necessarily mean that a baby’s clavicle is fractured. An accurate diagnosis is made with X-rays or ultrasound imaging.
Treatment and Prognosis of a Clavicle Fracture Birth Injury
When a newborn is diagnosed with a clavicle fracture, treatment depends on the type of fracture. In some cases, no treatment is required, and the fracture heals quickly. Other possible treatments include:
- Pinning the baby’s sleeve of the affected arm to the front of the clothing to prevent movement
- Using a splint or cast to stabilize the arm while the clavicle heals
- Pain medication
Most broken clavicles heal with no long-term effect. However, if nerves get trapped, the child may also suffer from an injury to the brachial plexus. This may result in the baby’s inability to move his arm on the injured side. This condition may be temporary until the nerve heals, but it could also cause permanent injury.
How Do I Prove Medical Malpractice was the Cause of my Baby’s Fractured Clavicle?
To prove medical malpractice caused the fractured clavicle birth injury, you must prove:
- You had a patient/healthcare provider relationship. This is easily proved by the fact the healthcare provider delivered your baby, was part of the birthing process team and/or was the health care facility where your baby was born.
- The healthcare provider(s) had a duty to provide you and your newborn care within the acceptable standard of care provided by other similar healthcare providers in a similar situation.
- The healthcare provider breached that duty and the care provided to you was below the acceptable standard of care.
- Your baby was injured and suffered damages because of the breach of that duty.
What Kind of Financial Compensation Can I Obtain for a Birth Injury with a Florida Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?
When you can demonstrate that your child was injured due to health care providers’ negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for the damages you and your child suffered. Florida law allows for compensation for both economic and non-economic damages, such as:
- Medical expenses you incurred or will incur in the future for the treatment your child requires because of the injury.
- Long-term rehabilitation or accommodations your child requires now or in the future because of the injury.
- Your child’s pain and suffering, as well as your suffering in having to watch your child experience pain.
- Lost income due to missed work because of the need to care for your injured child.
- Loss of earning capacity if your child is permanently injured and will not be able to earn the wages he or she might otherwise have earned.
- Other damages recoverable under Florida law.
Proving that the doctor or other healthcare providers’ negligence caused your child’s birth injury and you and your child suffered damages because of the injury is a complex legal process. It requires a comprehensive understanding of all the facts, high quality expert testimony, skill as a trial attorney and experience successfully handling Florida medical malpractice cases.
The birth injury medical malpractice attorneys at Paul Knopf Bigger have the experience and skill you need to achieve justice for you and your child. We have a track record of success representing clients who have been seriously injured by medical negligence in Florida and have won many multi-million-dollar settlements and awards for them. We are committed to putting our passion for justice, skill and knowledge to work to obtain the substantial compensation you and your child deserve.
Is There a Statute of Limitations for Florida Broken Clavicle Birth Injury Malpractice Cases?
The statute of limitations for all medical malpractice cases in Florida is two years from the date the medical negligence occurred, was discovered or should have been discovered. The absolute latest date permitted for the discovery of malpractice is four years from the date the act of negligence occurred. However, when the medical negligence involves children, you are allowed to bring a medical malpractice action up until their eighth birthday, as long as you would not be expected to have known about the injury and the possibility that it was caused by medical malpractice earlier.
Proven Fractured Clavicle Birth Injury Malpractice Attorneys in Florida
Florida medical malpractice cases can be very complicated. Attorneys working on these cases must have expertise as negotiators and trial attorneys and access to the resources of a successful law firm. The Paul Knopf Bigger attorneys have the both the expertise and resources you can trust to win your child’s birth injury case.
Lawyers across Florida and the U.S. turn to us to handle their clients’ complex Florida medical malpractice claims. If your child was injured due to a fractured clavicle caused by medical negligence, you too can rely on us for the high-quality legal representation, personal attention and substantial compensation you deserve.
For a free legal review of your case, please contact us at 855.292.2111 or submit the form on our website. One of our experienced, knowledgeable medical malpractice attorneys will listen to what happened and advise you on your best course of action at no cost to you.
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital. (2021). Fractured clavicle in the newborn
McKee-Garrett, T.M. (2019). Neonatal birth injuries. UpToDate.
MedlinePlus. (2021).Moro Reflex.
Nationwide Children’s Hospital. (2020). Newborn clavicle fractures.
Walnut Hill Obstetrics & Gynecology Associates. Brachial Plexus Palsy and fractured clavicles. (2021).