If your child was injured during birth, you know how painful it can be – not only for the baby, but for you as well. Dealing with Erb’s palsy can be difficult for all parties involved. If you believe your child’s birth injury was caused by a negligent doctor, they should be held liable.
With the help of an Erb’s palsy attorney in New Jersey, you could get compensation for the damage that a caregiver’s malpractice caused. Our team of experienced lawyers knows how to handle your case with the care and compassion necessary for a situation so fragile.
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What Is Erb’s Palsy?
Erb’s palsy is a condition caused by nerve damage at birth. It usually affects the arm and shoulders and can cause stiffness, weakness, or even paralysis. Children usually are able to recover from Erb’s palsy, but it can take months or even years. Some children may never fully recover the total use of their affected arm.
Erb’s palsy’s chief cause is an injury to the brachial plexus, which is a web of nerves that connects the arm to the spinal cord. When these nerves are pulled or torn, it can cause the connection to detach. Treatment for Erb’s palsy can include physical therapy and surgery.
Some telltale signs of Erb’s palsy can include a lack of movement in one of a child’s arms, muscle weakness, or a stiff arm. If you suspect that your child has Erb’s palsy, you should seek medical attention before consulting with a lawyer. Your child should get treatment as soon as possible, and a doctor can tell you for sure if your child has the condition.
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How does Shoulder Dystocia Relate to Erb’s Palsy?
One of the leading causes of the brachial plexus injury that results in Erb’s palsy is shoulder dystocia. This occurs when a child’s shoulder or arm becomes lodged in the mother’s birth canal or pelvis. Shoulder dystocia is still a major concern despite significant medical advancements in birthing techniques.
There are ways to avoid shoulder dystocia and prevent injury when removing the child from the birth canal. Most doctors and nurses know the signs to look out for, and they know when to perform a cesarean section or reposition the mother. However, that does not always happen.
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Can You Sue for Erb’s Palsy in New Jersey?
Yes, in some cases, you can sue for Erb’s palsy if your caregiver was reckless and at fault for medical negligence. A birth injury is eligible for a lawsuit when the following are true:
- A doctor, nurse, hospital, or other party owed you a standard of care. This is almost always true–the standard of care is a level to which people of a certain education and job position can be expected to treat people in their care.
- That party breached their duty of care. This is what lawyers mean when they talk about negligence.
- That party’s negligence caused specific damages.
The truth is, though, that most birth injury claims don’t actually become lawsuits. Instead, they are usually settled outside of court, and the negligent party’s insurance company pays out a settlement so that they don’t have to go to trial.
To have a strong claim, your Erb’s palsy attorney in New Jersey will have to gather evidence that makes it clear that your caregiver treated you negligently and that they are liable for your medical expenses.
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Damages You Could Recover in an Erb’s Palsy Claim
When your child has Erb’s palsy, they may need costly treatment that could go on for months, if not years. If someone else was responsible for your child’s condition, you shouldn’t have to pay for their treatment by yourself. Medical bills can be extremely high in New Jersey.
In your Erb’s palsy case, damages can include:
- Medical expenses
- Payments for ongoing and future treatment like physical therapy
- Lost wages due to missed work while caring for your child
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
An experienced birth injury lawyer in New Jersey will be able to tally up all your damages, both those that you’ve already suffered and those that you’ll have to pay in the future, and make sure the insurance company doesn’t pay you less than what you’re owed.
To find out how much you may be able to get in your settlement, get a free consultation with one of our Erb’s palsy attorneys. Someone can chat with you to assess your situation and tell you what compensation you could get from your claim.
New Jersey Statute of Limitations for Erb’s Palsy
When dealing with a medical malpractice claim like the one you may file for Erb’s palsy, there is always a deadline before which you need to take action. That deadline is known as the “statute of limitations.” Most of the time, New Jersey sets a two-year deadline for personal injury and medical malpractice claims.
However, if you plan on filing a malpractice claim on behalf of your child, you may have longer than that. New Jersey Revised Statutes § 2A:14-2(a) states that claims for minor plaintiffs (i.e., children) can be filed up until their 13th birthday.
Even though 13 years seems like a long time, it’s best to take action as soon as you can. If you wait too long, it can be very hard for your New Jersey Erb’s palsy attorney to collect evidence and file your claim. Don’t wait too long and miss out on your chance for compensation.
Talk to an Erb’s Palsy Attorney in New Jersey Today
After a birth injury, the injured child’s parents can be burdened with worry and confusion as to how their accident even happened. Our New Jersey Erb’s palsy lawyers know how to hold responsible parties accountable.
Call us or contact us online to get your FREE consultation today. We’re available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.