Bell's Palsy / Facial Paralysis

Birth Injury Lawyer Assisting Residents of the Baltimore Area

The birth of a child is supposed to be a momentous occasion, but it can quickly become extremely distressing if something goes wrong. No one wants to think about the possibility of a birth injury, but unfortunately, they are more common than you may think. If your child developed Bell’s Palsy (facial paralysis) due to a birth injury, you should not delay in reaching out to a skilled Baltimore birth injury lawyer. At Arfaa Law Group, we will be able to determine whether medical malpractice occurred and advise you accordingly. With many years of experience, we know how to navigate these types of claims.

Understanding Symptoms and Causes of Bell’s Palsy

Bell’s Palsy, also known as facial palsy or facial paralysis, is a paralysis or weakness of the muscles on one side of a person’s face. The condition results in an individual’s inability to control the facial muscles on the affected side. Damage to the facial nerves also causes the affected side to droop and may affect a person’s sense of taste, as well as how they produce tears and saliva. The condition ranges from mild to severe. While Bell’s Palsy is not usually a long-term condition, it sometimes leads to other serious complications.

There are several different causes of Bell’s Palsy, including:

  • Improper use of forceps during delivery;
  • Head trauma, causing skull fracture and paralysis of the facial nerves;
  • Long labor or prolonged pregnancy;
  • Diabetes of the mother;
  • Improper use of the epidural and anesthesia during the delivery process;
  • Past history of birth trauma to the mother; or
  • Viral infection (i.e., herpes).
Bringing a Medical Malpractice Claim Based on Bell’s Palsy

Facial nerve trauma is often a result of medical malpractice during the delivery process. Medical malpractice cases require proving negligence. Medical negligence occurs when a health care provider causes an injury or death because they failed to adhere to the standard of care that a reasonably prudent medical professional in the same specialty would have used in the same or similar circumstances. “Standard of care” is the legal term used to refer to the threshold of what constitutes negligence in a malpractice claim. The standard of care may vary in each situation, since it depends on a number of factors, including the medical condition being treated, the patient’s age, the patient’s overall health history, and the health care provider’s specialty. Any health care provider, such as a physician, surgeon, nurse, pharmacist, or hospital administrator, may be held accountable for damages that arise because they failed to use the accepted standard of care.

It is important to note that in cases in which the cause of Bell’s Palsy is unknown or goes undetected, especially in infants, establishing medical malpractice may become difficult because it is hard to ascertain whether the condition was caused by a pre-existing infection or a medical professional’s negligence. This is why it is important to be vigilant and keep a close eye on your newborn, and you should reach out to an attorney even if you suspect that there is some sort of facial paralysis.

If your child suffered any type of facial paralysis because of a medical professional’s error or incompetence, you will be able to recover damages. Under Maryland law, a plaintiff will typically be able to seek compensation for past, present, and future medical expenses, lost income, mental anguish, and pain and suffering. Of course, the exact amount of compensation will depend on the nature and extent of the injuries.

Contact a Baltimore Lawyer for a Birth Injury Case

If your child suffered facial paralysis due to a medical professional’s error, we can help. At Arfaa Law Group, Baltimore attorney Julia Arfaa can aggressively advocate in pursuit of the compensation that you deserve for your harm. We understand that there are few things more stressful than a health issue affecting your child. We represent parents across the state of Maryland who need a medical malpractice lawyer to assert their child’s rights. For a free consultation, do not hesitate to call us at 410-889-1850 or contact us online.