If your child has difficulty moving his hand or shoulder, experiences weakness and lack of sensation in his upper extremities, or has a deformity of the arm, where one is shorter than the other, you may wonder why? The reply to your inquiry may be found by going back to the time of labor and delivery of your child, especially if the birthing process was a difficult one. Consulting with an expert lawyer can shed light on what could cause your child to have a shoulder injury and the answer may be Erb’s Palsy.
1. How is Erb’s Palsy caused?
Your child’s primary doctor or specialist, by reviewing all the pertinent records, examining the child and taking diagnostic (MRI, x-ray) tests can properly diagnose your child. Majority of Erb’s Palsy cases are caused by trauma during birth. Once the head of the baby appears the rest of the body cannot pass through the birth canal, usually due to baby’s size and the resultant efforts by physician to free him through use of sheer force of the pull leads to a should injury known as Erb’s Palsy.
2. Does the doctor’s mistake amount to medical malpractice?
Doctors are held to strict standards in the medical community and when they deviate from those standards, causing injury due to their negligence, they may be held liable for medical malpractice. In cases relating to Erb’s Palsy litigation the goal of an expert lawyer is to show that the doctor should have taken into account the large size of the baby, based on the weight of the fetus, mother’s diabetes and significant weight gain in deciding on how to deliver the baby, vaginally or via C-section. If the record clearly indicates that a Caesarian was warranted and the doctor not only failed to timely perform it, but engaged in excessive tugging of the infant’s head in the effort to get him out, he may be liable. Lawyers hire medical expert witnesses to go over the voluminous hospital records and charts to decide if the lawsuit against the obstetrician may be meritorious.
3. What damages can Erb’s Palsy lawyer sue for?
Medical malpractice actions allow attorneys to sue for monetary loss, such as economic damages to parents who have to miss time off work to care for their injured child, medical and hospital bills, both past and future, as well as loss of future earning capacity of the infant plaintiff. In addition, the jury may also afford non-monetary damages, such as pain and suffering of a child, loss of services by the parent(s) and loss of enjoyment of life.
4. What are our chances of success?
No one can predict the outcome of a medical malpractice lawsuit. Even with an iron clad liability these cases are notoriously difficult to litigate due to physicians’ refusal to settle and juries being biased in favor of the doctors. In cases of Erb’s Palsy, however, where the trauma can be clearly traced to labor and delivery, caused through no fault of anyone other than the healthcare professional, an experienced lawyer can be successful in getting damages for the injured child’s family.