Erb’s palsy, otherwise known as a brachial plexus injury, develops when the nerves that control the arm, shoulder, and hands sustain some form of damage or injury. Because of where they are located, these nerves are particularly susceptible to injury during delivery. Although Erb’s palsy can occur at any age and for a variety of reasons, it is most commonly associated with nerve damage that occurs before or during birth or soon after a baby is born.
Was your child diagnosed with this condition? It is possible that your child has it even if the disorder has not been formally identified. This sometimes happens when mild forms of nerve damage have no immediate physical manifestation. Alternatively, this can happen if a patient is too young to exhibit or describe issues he or she has. However, if you are unsure about the exact cause or nature of your child’s issues but suspect that he or she may have an undiagnosed illness, call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group now at (800) 222-9529.
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Compensation for Erb’s Palsy
People do not file malpractice cases without reason. It is only when distraction, inattention, incompetence, or inexperience on the part of a doctor or care team results in injury or damages to a newborn or a young child that people are driven to seeking compensation for damages that could have–and possible should have–been avoided in the first place. This applies not just to Erb’s palsy, but also to injuries of all types, whether slip and fall accidents or vehicle accidents and cerebral palsy cases and other forms of birth or hospital-related accidents and errors.
If your child suffered an injury that should have been prevented, you may have grounds for seeking compensation for the costs and expenses that you face as a result of those preventable injuries. These costs include:
- Care costs
- Medicine, testing, and surgery costs
- Doctor’s visits
- Therapy and therapist costs
- Assistive device costs
- Travel to and from treatment centers
- Lost income
- Wrongful death damages
Treatments for Erb’s palsy, especially cases that involve or require surgery, can be very expensive. Other treatments such as injections of muscle relaxants to help relieve issues pertaining to stiff muscles can also be expensive. In addition to their cost, they may also be required on a regular basis. Some muscle relaxants are needed as frequently as every three months.
If you have to pay these costs on your own, that is highly unfair if your child’s injuries are directly attributable to the actions of a caregiver who should have known better or performed his or her duties to a higher standard. This is why you must seek a damages settlement. Keep a record of all of your expenses and contact the Birth Injury Lawyers Group for assistance with handling your case, determining the damages you may be entitled to, and filing a claim against the at-fault party or parties responsible for unnecessarily harming your child.
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Causes of Erb’s Palsy
Before you actually initiate a claim, however, you must determine how and why–and to what extent and under what circumstances–your child’s brachial plexus was injured. Let’s consider a few examples to understand why the source and cause of your child’s injuries are so important in determining whether or not you can file a claim for them.
Consider a baby that develops gestational diabetes. This is a condition that causes fetuses to grow to be very large. As a result, the mother may have trouble delivering the baby. If the baby becomes stuck behind the mother’s pelvic bone or simply cannot make its way from the womb to the birth canal, the delivery team may have to forcefully remove it. The same can happen if the mother is of a small build or does not sufficiently dilate to allow the baby to pass unobstructed and unassisted into the world.
These are cases in which the delivery team may have just cause for forcefully extracting the baby from the mother. The same applies to cases in which there are signs of fetal distress or the baby becomes entangled in the umbilical cord. In order to prevent worse damage to the baby from these complications than would occur from a forced emergency extraction, the delivery team will likely opt for the emergency procedure.
Now consider a case of a breech birth in which a baby presents feet-first or bottom-first instead of head-first. Breech births can also cause a baby to become stuck inside the mother, and these cases have a higher correlation with birth injuries and Erb’s palsy than births that occur normally and head-first. What happens if a baby is injured in a breech delivery? Is the delivery team justified in using force and therefore beyond reproach for their actions?
Such cases can be difficult to handle because we can argue that the medical team could have–and therefore should have–tested or screened the baby to identify the baby’s position as a potential source of a birth issue. If they failed to do so, that is how they can be held liable for the damages that result–not because they used force and injured the baby in the process but because they failed to screen and identify the breech position beforehand.
The same logic applies to cases involving blood screenings, infection screenings, MRI and CT scan reports, the use of assistive devices, and doctor inexperience. If it can be shown that the injuries that your child suffered should not have happened, then you can formally pursue a malpractice claim against the doctor or the medical team responsible.
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Give us a call at (800) 222-9529 to discuss your case. We provide free case evaluations and consultations at no upfront cost. We only collect if you win your case, so let us help you manage your child’s Erb’s palsy diagnosis. From collecting your child’s health records and treatment history to interviewing the medical team that delivered him or her, we will assist you every step of the way until a final judgment is made on your case. Our team of empathetic lawyers has years of experience handling Erb’s palsy injuries so call us today to get things underway.
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