We trust the medical professionals who are giving care during labor and delivery to use care and expertise. When physicians, nurses, or midwives fail to adhere to this standard, the outcome can be disastrous for the mother and the baby.
One of the most common complications that arises from physician negligence during birth is Erb’s palsy. This condition results from damage to the nerves in the shoulder and arm area. In severe cases it can lead to permanent disabilities in the baby. At Breakstone, White & Gluck, our seasoned team of Boston birth injury lawyers is here to help you hold medical professionals accountable if they have harmed your child.Understanding Erb’s Palsy and Related Legal Claims
Erb’s palsy is a condition that results when the bundle of nerves called the brachial plexus in the shoulder, arm, and hand are damaged. The most common cause of this condition is negligence on the part of a physician during the birthing process. The baby’s shoulder may become impinged, or stuck, in the birth canal. If the physician, midwife, or nurse attending the birth fails to handle this portion of the baby’s body properly when pulling out the baby during the birth, the outcome can be dire.
Erb’s palsy can also result from situations in which the baby is too large to be delivered through the birth canal. If the supervising medical professional fails to recognize this complication and to perform a Caesarean section, the baby can develop Erb’s palsy. The attending physician may pull the baby’s head too forcefully, using too much traction, and stretch the brachial plexus nerves. If the damage to the nerves is substantial, the baby can suffer paralysis of the affected arm. Chronic pain may also occure. The reason that this condition is commonly a subject of medical malpractice cases is that the injury almost always occurs as a result of medical negligence.
If your baby suffers from Erb’s palsy during the birthing process, you can bring a claim against the medical professionals who oversaw the birth to recover damages. In general, medical professionals have a duty to treat their patients with the same care and skill that a comparable physician with similar expertise and training in the same geographic region would use. This standard also assumes that the reasonable physician is treating a patient with similar symptoms and conditions.
After showing that the physician failed to use due care, you must prove that this failure was the cause of the Erb’s palsy that your baby sustained. Causation can be complex in medical malpractice cases because the law assumes that there is some acceptable margin for error. It also takes into consideration the fact that there are no guarantees with medical outcomes and that sometimes unforeseeable health issues or complications arise. For example, if it is a particularly difficult birth, or the baby is extremely large, Erb’s palsy may be an outcome of the birth even if the medical professional is using due care.
The final phase of a birth injury case involves providing evidence supporting the amount of damages that your baby and you have sustained as a result of the injury. These may include additional medical bills, pain and suffering, and the costs of your child’s estimated future medical needs.
Every aspect of a medical negligence case involving Erb’s palsy requires expert testimony. When we handle an Erb’s palsy case, or any other medical malpractice case, we will be committed to finding qualified experts to support your claim.Retain a Diligent Boston Lawyer for Your Malpractice Claim
Learning that your baby has suffered a potentially permanent injury due to a medical professional’s carelessness is a traumatic event. There is no amount of compensation that could truly make your family and you whole again after something like this, but it can help you cope with the unanticipated financial burden and disruption in your lives.
At Breakstone, White & Gluck, our Boston attorneys have handled a wide variety of birth injury matters, including Erb’s palsy and cerebral palsy cases. We pride ourselves on treating each client with the compassionate, personalized legal counsel that they deserve during this difficult time. Our team has counseled families in Boston, Cambridge, Waltham, Lowell, Newton, Somerville, Quincy, Dedham, Norwood, Brookline, Attleboro, Barnstable, Brockton, Plymouth, Worcester, Lawrence, and Springfield. To arrange a free consultation with an attorney, call us now at 1-800-379-1244 or contact us online.