If an infant’s upper nerves become injured during a difficult childbirth in Tampa, Florida, resulting in Erb’s palsy, an obstetrician or member of the delivery team may be to blame. Some cases of Erb’s palsy may have been avoided if the medical providers had acted differently at various points of the pregnancy and delivery process.
If your child’s Erb’s palsy resulted from a healthcare provider’s negligence, you may be entitled to receive compensation to cover your medical expenses and other losses. You may be able to file a claim or lawsuit to recover these costs, as well as pain and suffering and other non-economic damages.
A Tampa Erb’s palsy lawyer from the Birth Injury Lawyers Group can review your case and advise you of your legal options for recovering the damages you may be entitled to. Call our team today at (800) 222-9529 for a free consultation.
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How Erb’s Palsy May Occur
The human body contains a nerve network responsible for transmitting signals from a person’s spinal cord down to their shoulders, arms, and hands called the brachial plexus. The nerve fibers of the upper brachial plexus may be stretched and damaged if a person’s shoulders are forced downward, simultaneous to their neck and head stretching in the opposite direction of the shoulder.
Risk Factors of an Upper Brachial Plexus Injury
The above scenario may play out in the presence of a variety of risk factors during childbirth, including:
- Large infants
- Small mothers
- Use of low- or mid-forceps
- Second-stage labor lasting longer than one hour
- Vacuum extraction
- Previous delivery of an infant with a brachial plexus injury
A baby’s shoulder may get stuck behind a bone in the mother’s pelvis in an injury known as shoulder dystocia. The delivering physician may attempt to dislodge the shoulder by exerting a downward traction on the baby’s head, so that the shoulder can clear the birth canal. This action may cause stretching of the nerves in the upper brachial plexus, and possibly result in Erb’s palsy.
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Establishing Liability in a Case of Erb’s Palsy
Expecting mothers should be able to count on their obstetricians to review their patient’s anatomy and any previous medical conditions in an effort to predict the possibility of shoulder dystocia and other conditions that may put an infant at risk for Erb’s palsy. Furthermore, soon-to-be mothers should be able to trust their doctor’s ability to manage shoulder dystocia or other situations that endanger their infant.
Duty of Care: The Basis for Liability
In legal terms, the obstetrician, delivery team, and medical facility involved in a pregnancy and delivery of a baby owe the infant’s mother a duty of care. This duty involves taking any reasonable steps to keep the mother and her baby safe and free from harm or injury. If a lawyer can prove that any of these parties violated their duty of care—and that this negligence led to the infant’s Erb’s palsy—the infant’s mother may be able to hold the negligent party liable for any damages.
If your baby suffered from Erb’s palsy, and your physician or medical staff’s negligence potentially led to this condition, you may be eligible to recover damages from the negligent party. Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today at (800) 222-9529 for a free consultation with a Tampa Erb’s palsy lawyer who can inform you of your rights to potentially receive compensation.
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How a Statute of Limitations May Affect Your Case
In each state, the statute of limitations stipulates the maximum amount of time that residents have following an accident or injury to file legal actions against the negligent parties. In the case of a birth injury, like Erb’s palsy, it is possible that the statute of limitations may be tolled. This means that the statute’s “timer” is paused until a specific situation that impedes legal action is resolved.
In a case of Erb’s palsy, you may be able to toll the statute of limitations based on your child being an infant when they suffered their injury, or because the condition was not discovered or identified until some reasonable time after the injury occurred.
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Damages You May Recover in an Erb’s Palsy Case
No two personal injury cases are exactly alike. The circumstances that led to your child’s Erb’s palsy may differ from another parent’s case. As such, a lawyer may not be able to predict the value of your case without knowing all the details.
That being said, personal injury plaintiffs can seek to recover a wide range of types of damages, depending on the circumstances surrounding the negligence that may have caused their injuries, the extent of their injuries, and how their injuries have cost them economically and non-economically.
Types of Recoverable Damages in a Personal Injury Case
Some of the types of damages you may be able to recover in a personal injury case include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income and benefits
- Diminished future potential earnings
- Diminished quality of life
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
This list represents only a small portion of the types of damages that plaintiffs may seek to recover in their personal injury claims and lawsuits.
Call an Erb’s Palsy Lawyer for Help Recovering Damages
If your child was injured during the childbirth process, you may already have a lot on your plate. Let a lawyer with knowledge of the legal process and resources to potentially prove negligence and liability start investigating your case, negotiating with insurers, and determining what damages you may be entitled to.
A Tampa Erb’s palsy lawyer may be able to take on this important matter and help you get the compensation you may be entitled to—enabling you to focus on your child and family. Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today at (800) 222-9529 for a free consultation.