Erb’s palsy is a serious injury to the nerves that control the arms. It can happen in newborns when doctors use too much force to deliver a baby. Stress on the neck and shoulders can stretch or even tear delicate nerves.
Birth Injury Lawyers Group has Erb’s Palsy lawyers in the District of Columbia with experience in similar cases. You may receive compensation for your child’s injuries and help them get the care they need to heal their arms.
For a free legal consultation with District of Columbia Erb's Palsy lawyer, call 1-800-222-9529
What Causes Erb’s Palsy
Erb’s palsy is identified by a peculiar inward twisting of the arm and hand along with an inability to raise the arm. There are about 12,000 cases each year in the United States, and it happens most often with larger infants that need help during delivery.
A common cause of Erb’s palsy happens when a doctor has to shift your baby’s head to one side to free the shoulder of the baby. This can stretch the nerves in the neck and shoulder, especially a bundle known as the brachial plexus, which controls arm movement.
Stretching or tearing of the nerves of this cluster creates Erb’s palsy. Infants who have it may need surgery if it doesn’t heal on its own. Worse, the recovery time could take years. In rare cases, the damage may be permanent.
District of Columbia Erb's Palsy Lawyer Near Me 1-800-222-9529
What Doctors Should Look for to Reduce the Chances of Erb’s Palsy
There are risk factors that raise the chances of a baby getting Erb’s palsy during delivery. Your doctor should know them and explain the risks. If they don’t, or they ignore warning signs that something is wrong, you may be able to file a birth injury lawsuit. Some of the risk factors include:
- A very large baby, or obesity in the mother
- Diabetes in the parent
- Births with multiple children
- Certain medications
- A previous pregnancy with shoulder dystocia
- Breech births
You should have been warned about these risk factors and possible ways to mitigate them. For instance, a doctor may recommend a cesarean section birth to prevent shoulder dystocia (a medical emergency) and reduce the chances of Erb’s palsy.
If you’re unsure whether your doctor took the right steps to avoid Erb’s palsy in your baby, then it’s time to speak with a District of Columbia Erb’s palsy attorney. Our experience and connections with medical experts can determine whether your child’s injury was unavoidable or whether something could have been done.
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The Standards of Care
To win an Erb’s palsy case, we have to show that one of your medical providers violated the standards of care. Sometimes a doctor has to be rough to free a stuck child. Leaving your baby in the birth canal could cause great injury or even death to them and you.
The question at the heart of these cases is whether a doctor in a similar circumstance could have avoided injuring your child. Standards of care set up guidelines for doctors and courts to determine whether a doctor went too far, and those who violate them can get sued for malpractice.
The four things we must prove to win your Erb’s palsy claim are:
- You and the defendant had a medical relationship
- The defendant violated the standards of care
- That violation caused injury to you or your child
- Documentation of how you were injured physically, financially, and emotionally
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What Damages Could My Child Receive?
As a parent, you can receive damages on behalf of your child to help care for their medical needs. You can also receive damages for losses you’ve suffered or will suffer taking care of your child. You could receive compensation for things like:
- Your child’s medical care related to Erb’s palsy, including medications, surgery, specialist visits, and rehabilitation
- Any medical care you received during the time the injury happened
- Any lost wages because you took time off to care for your child
- Pain and suffering for you and your child
One advantage of working with a District of Columbia Erb’s palsy lawyer is they can find the compensation you may not know you’re eligible to receive. Also, they can negotiate for higher compensation with the insurers. Malpractice insurers pay for most medical malpractice claims.
How Long Do I Have to File My Claim?
Parents should consult with a lawyer as soon as a doctor has diagnosed their child with Erb’s palsy. Early legal action makes it much easier to preserve the evidence needed in your case to get the best possible outcome. However, there is also a maximum time limit by law.
In the District of Columbia, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims and for professional malpractice is three years from when the harm was discovered. If the court learns that your injury happened beyond this date, your case could get dismissed.
However, children have an exception to this rule. Since they cannot sue until they turn 18, the clock starts then and runs for three more years. Getting evidence for a claim that long ago will be extremely difficult, though, so it’s better for parents to sue on behalf of their children as soon as possible.
Working with an Erb’s Palsy Lawyer is Essential
Malpractice cases are among the most difficult cases to litigate, so working with a DC Erb’s Palsy lawyer is essential for success. Laypeople do not typically have the skill or access to case law and medical experts to win these cases on their own.
Malpractice insurers need powerful evidence to convince them to pay you what your case is really worth. It’s more than a matter of pointing out your child’s injury. Linking that injury to a negligent act by your medical provider is the key point.
Even the best doctor cannot save every patient or prevent further injury. Your lawyer will investigate whether your case was a matter of bad fortune or whether your doctor could have prevented it.
Speak With an Erb’s Palsy Attorney in Washington, D.C.
If your child was diagnosed with Erb’s palsy in Washington, D.C., one call can help you and your child get justice. The Birth Injury Lawyers Group has attorneys in your area who will help you file a malpractice claim against your doctors.
Find out if you have a case and how much it may be worth. Call us at the number on your screen or email us through our contact form. Your consultation is free and without obligation. Call today.