When your baby is born, the best result you can ask for is that they are born happy and healthy, without complications. But, unfortunately, that isn’t always how it goes. While accidents do happen, sometimes they are avoidable.
If your child has suffered a birth injury affecting one arm, an Erb’s palsy lawyer in Maryland could help you obtain financial compensation. Negligent doctors and nurses should be held accountable for malpractice, and a birth injury claim can help your family begin to move on from this painful experience.
If you want to know what a qualified birth injury lawyer can do for you, contact us to schedule a free consultation.
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What Is Erb’s Palsy?
Erb’s palsy is a condition in infants caused by a brachial plexus injury, usually during the delivery process.
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, the brachial plexus is a network of nerves connecting the arm and shoulder to the spinal cord. The brachial plexus nerves are responsible for sensation and movement in the arm, and if they are damaged, it could result in paralysis.
Symptoms of Erb’s palsy can include:
- A stiff arm held close to the body.
- Lack of movement in the affected arm.
- Lack of reflexes in that arm.
- Weakness in the arm.
If you suspect your baby has Erb’s palsy, cerebral palsy, or any birth injury, you should have them examined by a doctor to get a diagnosis. These conditions often require treatment and rehabilitation, so the sooner you act, the better.
The most common cause of the brachial plexus injury that results in Erb’s palsy is shoulder dystocia, which occurs in difficult deliveries where an infant’s shoulder becomes stuck in the mother’s pelvis during childbirth. This can happen during natural birth and cesarean sections and could indicate malpractice.
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Can You Sue If Your Baby Has Erb’s Palsy?
If the injury that caused your child to have Erb’s palsy occurred because of medical malpractice, then yes, you can most likely sue for damages.
Medical malpractice suits are built on the following assumptions:
- A health care provider owed you or your child a duty of care. This is true of every medical professional; when they treat someone, they are expected to act reasonably.
- The provider breached their duty of care. This breach is called negligence.
- The provider’s negligence resulted in economic and non-economic damages to you and your child.
Malpractice can take many forms, but shoulder dystocia typically happens when excessive force is used when removing the baby from the birth canal. This is often because doctors or nurses incorrectly pull the infant or misuse instruments like forceps and vacuum extractors.
You can always schedule a consultation with an Erb’s palsy lawyer in Maryland if you suspect your child’s birth injury resulted from negligence. Our lawyers can sit down with you to assess your case and tell you what steps you could take to get compensation.
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What Damages Can You Sue for in an Erb’s Palsy Case?
If your child has been diagnosed with Erb’s palsy due to medical negligence during birth, you may qualify for various damages. Legal action can help you secure the funds needed to provide your child with the best care and support available.
Here are some of the damages you can pursue in an Erb’s palsy case:
- Medical expenses: You could seek compensation to cover all past, current, and future medical expenses related to your child’s condition. This includes doctor visits, hospital stays, surgeries, medications, and other necessary medical care.
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation: Erb’s palsy often requires extensive physical therapy and rehabilitation to help improve the child’s range of motion and functionality. You can seek damages to cover the costs of these therapies, ensuring that your child receives the appropriate care for their condition.
- Pain and suffering: Your child may have experienced significant physical pain and emotional distress due to Erb’s palsy. By filing a birth injury lawsuit, you can seek compensation for their pain and suffering and any associated mental anguish.
- Disability and impairment: Erb’s palsy can lead to long-term or permanent disability or impairment, impacting your child’s quality of life and future opportunities. You may be eligible for damages to compensate you for the limitations and challenges your child will face.
- Emotional distress: As parents, watching your child endure the consequences of Erb’s palsy can be emotionally distressing. You can seek compensation for your emotional distress, including anxiety, depression, and other related psychological injuries.
- Diminished quality of life: Erb’s palsy can affect your child’s ability to participate in certain activities and perform daily tasks, which may result in a diminished quality of life. You can seek compensation to address the impact on your child’s daily life, personal relationships, and overall well-being.
- Loss of future earning capacity: Erb’s palsy can impact your child’s ability to pursue certain careers or earn a living. By suing for damages, you can seek compensation for the potential loss of earning capacity due to their condition.
Remember, each Erb’s palsy case is unique, and the damages you can recover will depend on the specific circumstances. Therefore, it is essential to consult with an experienced birth injury attorney who can evaluate your case and pursue the compensation your child deserves.
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What Can a Birth Injury Lawyer Do for You?
The range of services a birth injury attorney provides is wide, but the most important thing they can do for you and your family is take some of the stress off your shoulders. While you focus on caring for your child, an experienced birth injury lawyer could handle all the details of your claim.
Things that your birth injury will do for your claim include the following:
- Investigate your case.
- Gather evidence of medical malpractice.
- Calculate the full scope of your damages.
- Negotiate with the insurance company for a fair settlement.
- Fight for you in court, if necessary.
It’s rare that birth injury claims ever become actual lawsuits. Instead, they’re usually settled outside of court. However, if your claim goes to trial, your lawyer will fight for your right to compensation.
Our medical malpractice lawyers work on a contingency-fee basis, meaning they don’t get paid unless you get compensation. Instead, the legal fees will come out of your settlement or court award. That way, you don’t have to worry about paying for an attorney who doesn’t get results.
How Long do You Have to Sue for Erb’s Palsy in Maryland?
The statute of limitations for medical malpractice lawsuits in Maryland is five years from the date of the incident or three years from the discovery of the malpractice, whichever is later. This timeframe is outlined in Maryland Code §109.
That said, the deadline may be longer if an adult wants to recover damages from malpractice that happened to them as a minor. An injured person may have as long as their twenty-first birthday, as the clock may start ticking for them when they turn 18.
Regardless of the exact time limit, getting started on a medical malpractice claim as soon as possible is best. The longer you wait, the harder it is to gather evidence, and the smaller your chances are of getting compensation for your child’s birth injury. A lawyer can tell you how long you have to file your specific claim.
Talk to an Erb’s Palsy Attorney in Maryland for Free
You have a right to be angry after a negligent healthcare provider permanently injures your child. Infants are vulnerable, and any slip-up can cause irreparable harm. The Maryland Erb’s palsy attorneys with Birth Injury Law Group can help you hold the responsible parties accountable.
Call or contact us online for a free, no obligation consultation with a birth injury lawyer today. The clock may be ticking on your claim, so don’t hesitate.