When you welcome a new child into the world, your number one priority is always their health and safety. But sometimes, something happens that is out of your control and your child is injured during birth, leaving them with a condition like Erb’s palsy. Sometimes, that injury is in someone else’s control: your caregiver.
If your child has been injured because of the negligence of someone treating you during delivery, you could be able to recover compensation to pay for medical bills, physical therapy, and more. An Erb’s palsy lawyer in New Mexico can walk you through the process of filing your claim and protect you from predatory insurance companies.
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What Erb’s Palsy Means
Your doctor or some other medical professional may have diagnosed your child with Erb’s palsy, or perhaps you simply suspect that your child has been afflicted with the condition. Either way, it’s important to understand exactly what comes along with the condition and how it can affect your child.
Erb’s palsy is a nerve condition that affects the arm and shoulder of an infant. It’s usually caused by something called a brachial plexus injury. This occurs when the brachial plexus (which is the web of nerves that connects your hand, arm, and shoulder) is stretched, compressed, or torn.
Brachial plexus injuries that result in Erb’s palsy can happen during a difficult birth. Infants affected by Erb’s palsy often experience stiffness or weakness in one arm, and can even experience partial paralysis. Most children recover with treatment, but some may struggle with symptoms for years.
If you suspect that your child has Erb’s palsy but has not received an official diagnosis, you should contact your health provider as soon as you can. Something else might be affecting your child, and even if they do have Erb’s palsy, you will need an official diagnosis before you file your claim.
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How Malpractice Can Cause Erb’s Palsy
Birth injuries that cause Erb’s Palsy can happen because of an unavoidable circumstance or simple accident. Often, however, that’s not the case. There are circumstances when negligent doctors, nurses, or even hospitals are responsible for your child’s condition.
To count as malpractice, your situation must meet the following criteria:
- Your caregiver owed you a duty of care. The duty of care is the standard to which someone in a certain profession can reasonably be held to during your treatment. Your caregiver almost always owes you a duty of care.
- Your caregiver breached that duty of care. This is known as medical negligence or malpractice.
- Your caregiver’s negligence caused specific damages to your finances and/or to your quality of life.
To be eligible for compensation for your child’s Erb’s palsy, you must be able to prove all three of these criteria. Without a convincing argument and clear evidence, your claim could be dismissed. A skilled Erb’s palsy lawyer in New Mexico can help with that.
If you’re not sure whether your child’s Erb’s palsy was actually caused by malpractice, a member of our team may be able to tell you. You can get a free consultation with an attorney who can assess your case and tell you what your options are.
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Can You Sue for Erb’s Palsy?
Yes, if your child’s Erb’s palsy was caused by negligence, you can sue the responsible party. Often, however, it doesn’t come to that. Most malpractice cases never actually make it to trial. Instead, they’re settled outside of court so that both parties can walk away without having to deal with the stress of a lawsuit.
To make sure you get a fair settlement, though, you may want to have an experienced New Mexico Erb’s palsy attorney by your side. Usually, the party that ends up paying for your compensation is the hospital’s insurance company. That insurance company will want to reduce your settlement by any means necessary so that they can save money.
That’s why it’s important to hire a malpractice lawyer who knows how to accurately calculate your damages and negotiate with the insurance company to get you the best settlement possible.
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How Long do You Have to Sue for Erb’s Palsy?
Even though you may want to take time to make sure your child gets the treatment they need before you file your malpractice claim, you should act as soon as you can. That’s because there is a deadline for filing, known as the statute of limitations.
New Mexico’s statute of limitations for Erb’s palsy claims on behalf of a child is one year after their eighteenth birthday. That’s according to New Mexico Annotated Statutes § 41-5-13, which went into effect on January 1, 2022. Previously, the deadline had been the child’s ninth birthday.
So, you have nineteen years from the date of your child’s birth injury to file your claim. That might seem like more than enough time, but you should contact an attorney as soon as you suspect malpractice was to blame for your baby’s condition. The longer you wait, the harder it is to prove your claim, and the lesser your chance of compensation.
Talk to an Erb’s Palsy Attorney in New Mexico for Free
We realize that, after your child suffers a birth injury, you want to ensure their safety and health and care for them as they recover. That’s why the Erb’s palsy attorneys in New Mexico at the Birth Injury Law Group want to take care of the legal details of your claim while you focus on your baby.
We have lawyers all over the country who want to help families affected by malpractice. For your FREE consultation with a member of our team, call or contact us online today. We’re on call for you 24/7.