Erb’s palsy is a type of brachial plexus injury that occurs when the nerves in the upper arm are injured, often, during a difficult labor and delivery. These types of injuries may be caused by a medical professional who excessively pulls a baby’s arm during childbirth. It also happens when a physician fails to anticipate and properly address the existing risk factors.
If your child has suffered birth injuries as a result of medical negligence, you may be able to obtain compensation from several parties including, but not limited to, the at-fault doctor, other medical staff, the hospital, technicians who were involved etc. Here are three things you should know if you are thinking of filing an Erb’s palsy lawsuit.
1. Do I have an Erb’s palsy case?
The symptoms of Erb’s palsy are quite obvious fairly early in the child’s development. The infant may not move his or her arm or may have limited movement in the affected arm. Sometimes, the arm is turned toward the body and in other instances just touching the affected arm causes the child extreme pain. Whether or not you have an Erb’s palsy case depends on the circumstances of the birth, the decisions made (or not made) by your doctor and medical staff and the actions taken (or not taken) by your medical team in an emergency situation.
Erb’s palsy may be caused by a difficult labor and especially, when the physician or other medical staff tug and/or pull at the infant from awkward positions and exert too much force. If an infant becomes stuck in the birth canal, there is an increased likelihood of oxygen deprivation, which may lead to more serious complications such as brain damage. In such crisis situations, physicians must act promptly to prevent these types of injuries.
It’s important to remember that Erb’s palsy can be caused by different kinds of tugging and pulling. For example, when the baby is feet-first or in breech position, a brachial plexus injury can occur when a doctor pulls the baby’s legs and feet causing stress on the shoulder joint. If the baby is too big for the birth canal, he or she may get squeezed and that might cause undue stress to the nerves of the brachial plexus as well.
Additionally, improper use of delivery assistance tools such as forceps and vacuum extraction can also lead to Erb’s palsy. A majority of Erb’s palsy cases are caused by improper medical procedures during delivery and therefore, those who are affected may be able to file a lawsuit seeking damages.
2. Damages in an Erb’s Palsy Lawsuit
Medical malpractice claims such as Erb’s palsy lawsuits typically seek compensation for damages for any type of expense or hardship that stems from the injury and/or disability. In most cases, you may be entitled to compensation for damages including all medical expenses associated with your child’s injury including past and future costs; rehabilitation costs including physical and occupational therapy; physical pain endured by the child due to the injuries; cost of in-home care, medication and specialized medical equipment; lost wages for parents who take time off or quit their jobs to care for their child, etc. The value of your Erb’s palsy lawsuit will likely depend on a number of factors such as the medical treatment that is required, cost of future treatment, the extent of the injury, if there is a permanent injury or disability, etc. as well as the extent of negligence involved.
3. How Long Will My Case Take?
A majority of these cases are settled out of court. But some do go to trial. A large number of birth injury lawsuits require extensive research and the use of experts who can provide testimony regarding medical procedures that were or were not performed or with regard to steps that might have helped prevent the injury. During the discovery phase, your attorney will provide evidence of your child’s injury and evidence to show that the injury was caused by medical negligence. If a settlement is not reached, your case will likely proceed to a jury trial where a panel of jurors will determine if there was medical negligence and how much in damages you should be awarded.
Contacting an Experienced Lawyer
The experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you. One of our clients secured a $2,850,000 verdict that was reduced by the appeals court to $1,850,000 because the verdict was so large. This was the highest amount upheld by the appellate courts for many, many years. In addition we recovered $1,400,000 for a newborn who lost motion in the arm during birth due to doctors applying incorrect force on the baby’s head.
Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.
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