What is an Erb’s Palsy Lawsuit?
Erb’s palsy occurs in infants when difficult labor or force on the head, arms, or neck during delivery stretches and damages nerves. The brachial plexus nerves run along the sides of the neck and through the arms. They are responsible for movement and sensation in the arms.
Damage to the brachial plexus nerves during delivery can cause Erb’s palsy, loss of sensation, pain, weakness, and even paralysis in the arm. You may choose to file a lawsuit if your baby suffered this injury and now has a disability. This is a type of personal injury and medical malpractice lawsuit alleging that a medical professional or hospital is negligent in your child’s condition.
The purpose of filing an Erb’s palsy lawsuit is to recover damages from an insurance company covering the negligent doctor, nurse, or midwife. Another good reason to file a lawsuit over a birth injury is to hold these professionals accountable for negligent actions or inactions.
Can I Get a Settlement Instead?
Many medical malpractice cases, including those that involve Erb’s palsy, resolve in settlements. You may not have to file a lawsuit if you hire a lawyer to negotiate on your behalf. If the insurance company will not pay, or if you are unhappy with what they offer, you can file a lawsuit to put more pressure on them. You may even end up in court to get a jury verdict if they still won’t settle for adequate compensation.
When Should I File an Erb’s Palsy Lawsuit?
Knowing when to take the step to file a lawsuit for your child’s Erb’s palsy is not easy. You need the guidance of an experienced lawyer to advise you. Choose a personal injury lawyer who has helped other victims of birth injuries and Erb’s palsy. They will first try to win a settlement for your child. If that fails, they may suggest starting a lawsuit.
Timing for filing a lawsuit also depends on your state’s statute of limitations. Each state has its own laws for personal injury cases, with a time limit between one and six years from the incident. Some states allow for exceptions in malpractice cases. Your lawyer can help you understand these rules, but because there is a time limit, don’t hesitate to find and consult with someone.
How Can I Prove Negligence in an Erb’s Palsy Lawsuit?
Proving negligence in a medical malpractice lawsuit can be complicated. The insurance company lawyers will do whatever they can to defend the doctors and nurses involved. An experienced malpractice lawyer can do the best job of making your case. They will need evidence to prove the following sequence of events:
- You established a medical relationship with the defendant, both for you and your baby.
- The defendant failed to act within an accepted standard of care. This means that another medical professional would have acted differently in the same situation.
- That breach in the standard of care caused your baby’s Erb’s palsy. If they had acted differently, your child would not have suffered the injury.
- The injury and Erb’s palsy led to damages, like ongoing medical bills you would not otherwise have had to pay.
Your lawyer will need to investigate the incident and rely on medical experts for an evaluation and testimony to prove negligence in your lawsuit.
What Can I Recover in Damages for My Child?
An Erb’s palsy lawsuit is an important way to get the compensation you need to ensure your child gets the best care. Damages from lawsuits vary depending on multiple factors:
- The severity of your child’s injury and condition
- Any long-term or permanent disabilities
- The costs of past and current medical bills
- Future estimated medical costs
- Any other associated costs, such as diagnostics, travel for treatment, or lost wages if you have to stay home from work
- Pain and suffering and permanent disability
Some states cap non-economic damages in medical malpractice lawsuits, so be aware that the amount you can recover may be limited in the total you can recover. Your lawyer will give you a reasonable estimate of what to expect if you proceed with an Erb’s palsy lawsuit.
How Do I File an Erb’s Palsy Lawsuit?
To file a lawsuit, you will need to work with an experienced Erb’s palsy lawyer. They will know what steps to take and will do all the important legwork of getting a lawsuit started and seeing it through to completion.
Expect a lawsuit to proceed through these stages:
- The complaint. To file, your lawyer will send a complaint to the defendant. This outlines the allegations and gives the basics of your argument for medical malpractice and negligence.
- Investigations. Once notified, the defendants will begin investigating the allegations, while your lawyers do the same and build a case for negligence.
- Discovery. During the discovery stage of a lawsuit, both sides share evidence with each other. There may also be depositions during this time.
- Settlement negotiations. With evidence on the table, the insurance company is likely to be open to talks. A settlement provides you with compensation sooner. For the other side, a settlement is usually less costly than a jury verdict. Going to trial is a risk for both sides.
- The trial. If negotiations fail, you can choose to take the defendants to court. Both sides present evidence and offer expert witness testimony while arguing their case to the jury. The jury listens, weighs the evidence, and comes up with a verdict. If the verdict is in your favor, the jury will award an amount in damages the defendant must pay.
- Appeals. Either side can appeal the jury verdict and seek to overturn it. If you win the trial but face appeals, you will have a delay in recovering damages.
Filing an Erb’s palsy lawsuit is a big step, but you may not have another choice. Your child needs medical care and if the insurance company doesn’t pay for a doctor’s negligence, take legal action.