Nerve Damage And Paralysis
Help for Victims of Spinal Injury and Nerve Damage Through Medical Malpractice
There are two common causes of nerve damage that lead to claims of medical malpractice: surgical mistakes, and errors in administering anesthesia. During an operation, a surgeon may stretch or sever nerves on the way to another body part. (Surgeries that involve gathering bone marrow or the esophagus are two of the most likely to impact nerves.) Anesthesia is typically administered prior to a surgical procedure. Both local and regional anesthesia are injected using a needle, which presents a possibility of contact with a nerve. Injections in the spinal region are the most dangerous when it comes to damaging nerves. Nerve damage may also occur during birth, commonly in a birth injury called brachial plexus injury.
If you or a loved one has suffered nerve damage or paralysis at the hands of a medical provider, contact the Kansas City medical malpractice attorneys at Norton & Norton, P.C., for a free consultation at (816) 454-5800. There may be compensation available.
What Are Nerves?
Nerves are part of the central nervous system that are necessary for most movement and bodily functions. They are tiny bundles of fiber that transmit messages from the brain through the spinal cord to the body and back again. There are three types of nerves:
- Autonomic: Nerves that manage many of the body’s involuntary functions, including digestion of food, blood pressure, and heart rate.
- Motor: Nerves that conduct signals from the brain and spine to the muscles throughout the body. They execute actions and movement.
- Sensory: These nerves essentially function opposite to the way motor nerves do. They interpret or detect conditions such as pain or heat and send signals back to the brain accordingly.
There are dozens of varieties of nerve damage that can occur and they may vary in severity and symptoms.
Spinal Cord Injury
Medical negligence can cause injuries that strip people of nearly all quality of life, creating innumerable problems for individuals and families. The spinal cord is especially delicate and susceptible to the slightest errors or lack of attention. We have achieved significant compensation for clients who have suffered serious injuries, including:
- Spinal cord damage during back surgery
- Undiagnosed hematoma following spine surgery
- Improperly installed spinal bracing
- Paralysis due to surgical error
Surgical errors that occur in close proximity to either the spine or brain are among the leading causes of paralysis. The problem stems from a failure to transmit information between the brain and muscles, and nerve damage can accomplish this. Paralysis can be partial or complete. Examples of partial paralysis include both legs, known as paraplegia; or in both the arms and legs, known as quadriplegia.
During childbirth, the most common nerve damage is a brachial plexus injury, temporary or permanent paralysis of the hand, arm, and shoulder. This happens when the nerves in the neck of the baby (the brachial plexus) are strained or torn, and may lead to Erb’s palsy or Klumpke’s palsy.
Proving a Medical Malpractice Claim
Missouri statute defines medical malpractice as a claim based on a personal injury or death caused by the actions or inactions of a healthcare provider. It must be proven that the provider failed to provide care that met the level of skill that another provider in the same profession would have met under similar circumstances. In addition, this failure must have caused the injury that the plaintiff incurred.
The economic and non-economic damages that are potentially recoverable include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and more. Punitive damages, or damages intended to punish the defendant, are rarely awarded – they are applicable only when the defendant acted willfully or with malice.
Kansas City Lawyers for Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice often leads to very severe injuries, such as nerve damage and paralysis. In these situations, it is critical that you retain seasoned legal counsel who will seek rightful compensation on your behalf. At Norton & Norton, P.C., we have been pursuing justice for victims and their families in the greater Kansas City area since 1952. Make the call to (816) 454-5800 today for a free consultation.