Erb’s Palsy is a type of medical condition characterized by damage to the brachial plexus. This is a bundle of nerves extending from the neck to the upper shoulder area and extremities. This can affect control of the muscles, especially in the hands and arms. Erb’s palsy is considered a form of birth defect, can often result from a physician using excessive force during childbirth or delivery.
Symptoms of Erb’s palsy include:
- Limp arms or hands
- Inability to use shoulder or elbow movements
- Facial paralysis
- Inability to roll over, sit up, or crawl
An infant who is diagnosed with Erb’s palsy may require surgery, physical therapy, and other procedures. The condition can create long-term effects in the affected person.
Who can be Held Liable for an Erb’s Palsy Injury or Condition?
As mentioned, Erb’s palsy can sometimes result from improper amounts of force being used during delivery by a physician or doctor. In such cases, the doctor or medical professional might be held liable for medical malpractice if it can be shown that they were negligent. Elements of proof for these types of claims include:
- The doctor had a duty of care to the infant and delivering parent (here, the duty of care will likely be the medical standards for childbirth for doctors with similar experience and training)
- The doctor violated their duty of care (for instance, using too much force)
- The doctor’s conduct resulted in injury to the infant
- The damage from the injury can be measured and verified
Are there any Legal Remedies for Erb’s Palsy Cases?
As mentioned, Erb’s palsy injuries can be serious and can create long-term effects in the infant as they grow up. Legal action is often necessary to resolve any issues surrounding the case. In these types of lawsuits, a monetary damages award may be issued to the injured party. The damages award can cover costs such as medical expenses, surgery and therapy costs, medication and rehabilitation expenses, and other losses such as a loss of future earning capacity (a loss of the ability to work and generate income in the future).
These types of damages will differ from case to case, and calculation of the amounts can be a fairly complex process. In some cases, a medical expert witness may be called upon during the trial to help verify the extent of the injuries and the corresponding damages amounts.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with an Erb’s Palsy Lawsuit?
Erb’s palsy lawsuits can involve various injury laws and malpractice concepts. It may be in your best interests to hire a personal injury lawyer in your area if you need help with an Erb’s palsy claim. Your attorney can provide you with advice and direction for your case during the legal process.