Handling a newborn can be hard even if they’re born healthy. Infants need constant care – if they’re injured during birth, they need even more care and possibly expensive treatments. If a negligent doctor caused your child’s condition, an Erb’s palsy attorney in Massachusetts may be able to help you get compensation.
We want to help you and your child move past your traumatic childbirth experience. Our MA birth injury lawyers offer free consultations so you can learn what your options are. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team.
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What Is Erb’s Palsy?
Erb’s palsy is a condition that affects a child’s arm and shoulder, causing stiffness or even paralysis. It’s usually caused by damage to the brachial plexus, a network of nerves that connect the spinal cord to the arm.
While Erb’s palsy can affect a child for years, it can be treated. Through physical therapy or even nerve surgery, your child can overcome Erb’s palsy and live a normal, healthy life. Treatment isn’t cheap, though, and the medical expenses for your child’s recovery can add up quickly.
Brachial plexus injuries can be caused by any number of things, and can even happen outside the delivery room. However, there is a chance that your child’s birth injury was no simple accident. The injuries that are tied to Erb’s palsy are often tied to negligent doctors.
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Can You Sue for Erb’s Palsy?
If your child’s injury was in any way caused by malpractice, then yes, there is a chance that you could sue for Erb’s palsy. Injury claims like yours are built on negligence, and to prove that you deserve compensation, your Massachusetts Erb’s palsy attorney has to show that the following is true:
- Your caregiver owed you a duty of care. That is the standard to which any professional at their experience level and geographic location can reasonably be held.
- That professional breached their duty of care – this is negligence.
- The caregiver’s breach of duty caused you specific damages, including financial expenses and costs to your quality of life.
In most situations, doctors are contractors, and therefore they are the ones liable for your child’s injury. However, in the occasion that a salaried employee commits malpractice, then the hospital could actually be held responsible. The hospital could also be liable if they contracted a doctor even though they knew the doctor had a history of malpractice.
Many malpractice claims don’t even make it to the lawsuit stage. Most of the time, your lawyer will be able to come to an agreement with the other party and the insurance company on a settlement. Neither party will want to go to court, so the at-fault side will most likely pay your compensation before that is necessary.
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How Malpractice Can Cause Erb’s Palsy
Any number of things can happen during childbirth that can cause a birth injury. Sometimes these events are unavoidable and a doctor has to do their best to deliver the child with as little trauma as possible. Sometimes, though, the events that lead to Erb’s palsy can be avoided–if that’s the case, then you could have a valid malpractice claim.
Events often tied to malpractice during childbirth can include:
- Shoulder Dystocia, which happens when a child’s shoulders become stuck in the mother’s pelvis during delivery. According to the March of Dimes, this happens in 0.2% to 3% of pregnancies.
- Cephalic Presentation, which is when a child is delivered face-first, leading to the doctor possibly pulling the baby’s shoulders at an awkward angle.
- Breech birth, which occurs when a doctor pulls the baby by the legs, resulting in the child’s arms being pulled over their head.
These can happen when a doctor fails to call for a necessary cesarean section or misuses medical tools like vacuum extractors or forceps. When you have an experienced birth injury attorney on your side, they will investigate your case to find any signs of negligence or malpractice.
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What a Massachusetts Erb’s Palsy Attorney Can Do for You
The first thing that any Erb’s palsy attorney in Massachusetts should do is listen to you. At your initial consultation, one of our lawyers will hear you out and tell you what can be done to help you financially recover. Once you agree to hire their help, your attorney will:
- Investigate your case and gather evidence of malpractice
- Calculate your damages, both those you’ve already suffered and those you’re likely to in the future
- Negotiate with the other party and the insurance company so they give you a fair settlement
- Fight for you in court in the rare event that your case goes to trial
When trying to get compensation for your child’s birth injuries, one of the most helpful tools at your disposal is a birth injury attorney that doesn’t charge anything upfront. Our lawyers work on a contingency-fee basis, which means their fees only come once you get compensation. You should be able to have someone help without any risk of paying them for no results.
How Long Do I Have to File a Claim for Erb’s Palsy?
According to the Massachusetts General Legislature (MGL) General Laws §260-4, parents have three years from the date of their child’s injury to sue for malpractice. If you fail to meet that deadline, you could miss your chance to receive any compensation for the malpractice that injured your child.
Three years may seem like a while, but you may soon discover that it isn’t. Parents often find out about malpractice after the fact, and the longer you wait, the harder it is to prove. That’s why you should get in contact with an Erb’s palsy lawyer in Massachusetts as soon as you can.
Talk to an Erb’s Palsy Attorney in Massachusetts Today
Parents of newborns have enough on their plates without having to worry about helping them recover from a birth injury, let alone dealing with the legal details of a lawsuit. Let Massachusetts Erb’s palsy lawyers Birth Injury Law Group help you.
Call us or contact us online for your FREE initial consultation. Our team is standing by to help you hold negligent doctors accountable.