In some cases of Erb’s palsy, the condition results from medical negligence caused by a healthcare professional caring for the mother and fetus during pregnancy, labor, or delivery.
Erb’s palsy is often a treatable condition, but the treatment can be costly. Other expenses related to caring for a child with Erb’s palsy may also surface. Caring for an infant or child with this condition can also keep a parent from working, which affects the income they require to provide for their family.
If a negligent medical professional or facility caused your child’s Erb’s palsy, you have the right to demand that they compensate you for your damages.
A Killeen Erb’s palsy lawyer can talk to you about possible courses of action in seeking justice for this medical negligence. Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today for a free consultation: (800) 222-9529.
For a free legal consultation with Killeen Erb's Palsy lawyer, call 1-800-222-9529
Erb’s Palsy Basics
The human body is mapped with a complex highway of nerves upon which signals travel to initiate and control movement, sensation, emotion—even thought. One such bundle of nerves, the brachial plexus, coordinates the transmitting of signals that enable sensation and mobility of the shoulders, arms, and hands.
When these nerves are damaged, they can disable sensation and mobility in these parts of the body. In the case of damage to the upper brachial plexus, the shoulder or arm is affected. This injury is called Erb’s Palsy.
Erb’s Palsy can result from the following types of injuries:
- Stretched nerves
- Torn nerves that heal with scar tissue
- Ruptured or torn nerves
- Nerves torn from the spinal cord
The type of nerve damage dictates the severity of the Erb’s Palsy condition.
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How Brachial Plexus Nerves Can Be Damaged During Childbirth
Erb’s Palsy can manifest as a result of difficult childbirths. Common examples of these conditions include those in which the baby is bigger than normal (or the mother is smaller than normal), the delivery is preceded by a prolonged labor, or the baby is positioned feet first (breech) in the womb.
In some scenarios, as the infant’s head begins to travel through the birth canal, one or both shoulders become lodged in the mother’s pelvic bone. The delivering physician may try to dislodge the shoulder by gently forcing the baby’s head up and away from the shoulder. Too much force, however, can stretch or tear the brachial plexus—sometimes completely ripping it from the spinal cord.
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The Standard of Care Rule
The obstetrician who cares for a mother throughout her pregnancy has a duty to uphold a standard of care. The same holds true for the nurses, delivery team, and hospital involved with labor and delivery. This legal principle simply means that these medical professionals are legally bound to treat the patients (mother and child) with the same skill and knowledge that a similar medical professional would in the same situation.
When a member of this team violates this duty, their actions may constitute medical negligence. Furthermore, if the medical negligence directly causes a birth injury, like Erb’s Palsy, the negligent party or parties may be held liable for the patients’ damages.
When you hire a Killeen Erb’s palsy lawyer, they can review the details of your medical treatment and discuss with you your options for seeking compensation via a medical malpractice claim. Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today for a free case review: (800) 222-9529.
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Examples of Medical Negligence That Can Cause Erb’s Palsy
Medical professionals can fail to meet the standard of medical care in a variety of ways. The following examples of such negligence can directly cause the nerve injury that causes Erb’s Palsy.
During prenatal care, an obstetrician might:
- Fail to warn you of risks
- Fail to identify that the baby’s size might present a problem going through the birth canal
- Fail to diagnose problematic prenatal conditions
- Fail to treat potentially risky prenatal conditions
During labor and delivery, the medical team might:
- Fail to plan or act appropriately when prolonged labor manifested
- Fail to respond properly upon discovering a breech presentation of the fetus
- Fail to induce labor
- Fail to perform an emergency Cesarean section, wait too long to take this action
When you hire a law firm to represent you in your medical malpractice case, the legal team will investigate the circumstances of your pregnancy, labor, and delivery. They will consult with medical experts who can determine whether doctors, nurses, and the delivery team met the medical standard of care. They can also contribute to the assessment of your past and future medical care costs for the purpose of demanding damages.
Erb’s Palsy Symptoms
When the brachial plexus sustains damage, the patient may experience the following symptoms:
- Limp or paralyzed arm
- Lack of control of arm, hand, or wrist muscles
- Lack of sensation in the arm or hand
Because an infant cannot speak to convey the symptoms they experience, the need for medical professionals to exercise diligence, knowledge, and skill in detecting signs of Erb’s Palsy in a newborn is especially critical.
Types of Recoverable Damages
The types and amount of damages you could demand for your child’s Erb’s Palsy depends on many factors. Your lawyer will calculate economic losses, such as costs of past and future medical treatment, including surgery and physical therapy, lost wages, mobility devices, and others. They will also determine non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, emotional stress, mental anguish, and diminished enjoyment of life.
Your attorney will present these damages to the insurance company for the at-fault party. They will represent you in negotiations for a settlement. If the insurer fails to agree to a fair settlement, your lawyer could file a lawsuit on your behalf and appeal to a civil court to decide the matter.
Call a Killeen Erb’s Palsy Lawyer Today for a Free Consultation
The sooner you hire a law firm to represent you in your pursuit of damages, the more time you give the lawyer to investigate your case, collect evidence, and speak with experts. Furthermore, you will put yourself in a better position to meet the time restrictions imposed by the medical malpractice statute of limitations under Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §74.251—although the statute can sometimes be tolled (paused) in the case of birth injuries.
Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today at (800) 222-9529 for a free case review.