Erb’s palsy is a form of paralysis of the arm that usually occurs due to an injury at birth. The condition typically heals within a year or so of a baby’s life, given the proper medical care and treatment. However, families affected by Erb’s palsy may be able to pursue compensation for the harms their children have suffered.
Many cases of Erb’s palsy can be traced back to mistakes made by medical staff during the birth process. Nebraska Erb’s palsy lawyers can help families get justice on behalf of their children, as well as compensation to assist with medical care costs and additional damages.
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Who is Responsible for Your Baby’s Erb’s Palsy?
When excessive or misplaced force is used to deliver the baby, healthcare workers can injure the baby’s brachial plexus. This is a grouping of important nerves near the shoulder, and Erb’s palsy stems from injuries to this group of nerves.
There are several possible causes of a child’s Erb’s palsy, and the specifics of your case will determine who your Nebraska Erb’s palsy attorney will recommend you sue for compensation. Typically, families of children who develop the condition will file a medical malpractice claim against the:
- Nursing staff
- Other medical care provider who is alleged to have injured the baby
Causes of Erb’s palsy can include actions or negligence like the following.
- Excessive pulling. In a head-first birth, an injury to the brachial plexus can occur if care providers tug too hard on the baby’s head or shoulder area. In a breech birth, the same is true when care providers pull on the baby’s feet.
- Improper use of tools. In difficult situations, medical staff may need to use tools to assist the baby’s passage through the birth canal. However, these tools (such as forceps) can cause damage to nerve centers when used incorrectly.
- Malfunctioning or outdated equipment. If the staff assisting with your baby’s birth uses tools or equipment that are improperly manufactured, defunct, or need repair, there is always a risk of injury. Hospitals can be held accountable for this in certain situations.
- Failure to diagnose. Part of your midwife’s, doctor’s, or primary care physician’s responsibility when monitoring your pregnancy is to diagnose possible factors that increase the risk of injury to you or your baby. If they miss risk factors that other doctors say they should have noticed, they could be held responsible for a failure to diagnose.
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When Should You File Your Claim for Compensation in Your Erb’s Palsy Case?
Nebraska’s statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims is set at two years under Nebraska Revised Statute § 44-2828. This means that any claim for compensation must be filed within two years of your child’s initial injury at birth. Otherwise, you and your family could risk losing the right to pursue compensation.
However, it’s always best to speak with a birth injury lawyer who handles Erb’s palsy claims as soon as possible. By getting on the case sooner, lawyers can work to preserve crucial evidence that could potentially be lost, such as:
- Eyewitness testimony
- Medical records
- Photos of the injury
- Any video footage of the birth (if available)
Also, there could be additional factors that affect how long you have to file your claim. As soon as you discover that your child has Erb’s palsy and may have been injured at birth, discuss your situation with an experienced personal injury law firm in Nebraska.
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Compensable Damages in Nebraska Erb’s Palsy Claims
In legal terms, “compensable damages” are the harms for which you can pursue a monetary reimbursement from the at-fault party. They come in two categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages refer to all the ways that your child’s injury costs them (and your family) money. This can include:
- Medical bills related to necessary surgeries or treatment
- Accessibility modification costs
- Loss of income
- Loss of future earning capacity (for example, if your child becomes disabled due to the severity of their Erb’s palsy)
Non-economic damages are often called “pain and suffering” damages. They include all the emotional, mental, and physical ways that the injury harms your baby. These can be difficult to quantify, so it’s usually best to consult with knowledgeable Erb’s palsy attorneys who serve Nebraska families.
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Understanding the “Standard of Care” Requirement
Another important aspect of Erb’s palsy claims (and all medical malpractice lawsuits) is the concept of a standard of care. In order to get compensation for your child, you and your lawyer will need to show the following.
- The medical staff present at your child’s birth failed to act according to the nationally accepted care standards.
- This breach of the standard of care (whether through action or negligence) directly resulted in your child’s injury and subsequent Erb’s palsy.
- This injury resulted in compensable damages for you and your child.
To establish this, Nebraska Erb’s palsy lawyers typically turn to expert witnesses to provide testimony. These experts are usually well-respected physicians who have experience handling births and who can attest to the ways that a typical medical care provider would and should act given the circumstances of your child’s birth.
Speak With Nebraska Erb’s Palsy Attorneys Today
The Birth Injury Lawyers Group is dedicated to helping families across the nation get justice for their children. In fact, some of our attorneys (including our founder) have children who suffered birth injuries, so this issue is close to our hearts.
If you suspect that your child’s Erb’s palsy was caused by medical malpractice, schedule a 100% FREE consultation with us today. There is no obligation to bring us into your case, but we will discuss the ways that we can help you fight for what’s right.
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