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Before, during, and immediately following delivery are some of the most crucial moments in a baby’s life. Anything and everything a medical professional does or fails to do during these moments can have lasting and permanent effects for a mother and child. This is why it is so vital that doctors and nurses be especially careful during the most crucial moments. Sadly, negligence can still occur, and when it does, it can cause serious debilitating conditions, like Erb’s palsy.
If your child was diagnosed with Erb’s palsy, you should contact an experienced birth injury lawyer immediately to determine whether medical negligence is to blame. If negligence caused your child’s condition, you may be entitled to collect compensation for your child.
Get in touch with a erb's palsy lawyer serving Baltimore, 410-547-0202 for a free case evaluation.
What Is Erb’s Palsy?
Erb’s palsy, also known as Erb-Duchenne palsy, is a condition typically caused by a brachial plexus injury, such as when a baby’s shoulder gets stuck on the mother’s pelvic bone during labor and delivery. The condition involves permanent damage to the nerves in a baby’s shoulder, arm, wrist, hand, and fingers.
If the condition isn’t timely recognized by a doctor or nurse and treated properly, a baby’s nerves can be stretched and permanently damaged during delivery.
What Causes Erb’s Palsy?
When a child is born, their delicate neck and shoulder area must pass through the cervix and any pressure on the brachial plexus or neck nerves can cause those nerves to rupture or bruise. In some cases, a brachial plexus injury may be inevitable, and doctors may not be able to limit the impact on a child.
Most cases are caused by physical injury during the delivery process.
Some of the most common causes of Erb’s palsy include:
- Poor angling of the baby through the birth canal: Prior to labor, the unborn baby moves down through the uterus. A baby may become tangled in the process, and their arms can pass over their head as the baby exits the womb. In such a case, a skilled physician should be actively working to mitigate the risk of nerve damage by performing certain medical maneuvers and checking scans.
- Stretching of the arms during a breech birth: When a baby is delivered in a breech presentation, the doctor may need to pull them out by the legs. If this is done incorrectly, the baby’s arms may extend over their head during labor, causing the brachial plexus nerves to tear or stretch.
- Incorrect use of forceps during delivery: Forceps and vacuum extraction tools can be dangerous, so although they’ve saved many lives in difficult labor situations, they must be handled with care. Using forceps may result in a brachial plexus injury or in shoulder dystocia.
Can Erb’s Palsy Be Prevented?
Not every instance of Erb’s palsy is caused by a doctor or nurse’s negligence. However, many cases of Erb’s palsy could have been prevented if the attending physician properly identified and avoided the known risks of Erb’s palsy, including:
- The mother’s narrow hips or small pubic bone
- A large-sized or overweight baby
- The use of forceps, a vacuum, or other delivery tools
- The mother has gestational diabetes
- Prolonged labor
How does a Lawyer Establish Negligence?
When a medical professional fails to identify and avoid risks to a patient’s health, it could be considered negligent. If the professional’s negligence can be proven, the patient may be able to claim compensation. You may be able to claim compensation for your child if they were harmed during birth.
However, proving negligence can be complicated and difficult, so you may want to leave it to a lawyer from our firm. To establish a person’s negligence, you or your lawyer must:
- Show that the medical professional/their employer owed your child a duty of care, or a responsibility to perform in a manner that protects your baby from harm
- Show that the professional/employer breached their duty, or failed in their responsibility to perform safely
- Show that your baby suffered injuries
- Show that the professional/employer’s breach of duty was the proximate cause of your child’s injuries
What Kind of Compensation Could I Claim for My Child?
The aim of filing an insurance claim or lawsuit is to obtain financial compensation for your child’s injuries and related issues. You’ll be able to cover out-of-pocket expenses for your child’s healthcare, and your child will be compensated for their suffering and disability.
Our attorneys have recovered many different damages for their clients, including:
- Medical expenses and related expenses, including the costs of any necessary surgeries
- The costs of physical and occupational therapies
- The costs of accessibility devices
- Lost work wages for family members who must care for their child
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional anguish
Can You Sue for Erb’s palsy?
You can sue for your child’s Erb’s palsy. However, if you’re considering filing a lawsuit, you should act soon. In Maryland, parents have 5 years from the date of an incident or 3 years from the date of an Erb’s palsy discove–whichever is sooner–to file a medical malpractice lawsuit, per Md. Cts. & Jud. Proc. § 5-109. There are complexities to this rule though. One of our firm’s attorneys can help you meet this deadline.
About Our Firm
Our legal team represents some of the most vulnerable people in our community, including medical patients and children. We know it can be difficult or impossible for some of these people to stand up to large entities, like hospitals, and their insurers, so we want to support these people in their efforts.
To support our clients, we provide comprehensive legal services. We investigate incidents for them, build their cases, and negotiate on their behalf with insurers. When necessary, we go to court for our clients and defend them there.
We’re leaders in our profession with a strong track record. Many of our attorneys have achieved multi-million-dollar settlements and verdicts for our clients. Many of our clients have chosen us because of our track record but also because we care about them and our community.
You Deserve Our Support
Your attending physician and medical staff had a duty to properly assess all the risks and respond appropriately and promptly. If you believe your doctor failed in their duty to you and your baby, contact our Baltimore Erb’s palsy lawyers.
Contact Our Team Today
If your child has been diagnosed with Erb’s palsy, one of our attorneys at Brown & Barron wants to fight on your behalf for the compensation your child deserves. We will thoroughly investigate your Baltimore County case to determine whether your child’s injury was caused by negligence or malpractice.
Our trusted legal team is determined to help the devastated parents of children suffering from birth injuries obtain the compensation they deserve. Don’t face this difficult and stressful time without our help and support. Call our firm today for a free consultation with a member of our team.
Contact Brown & Barron online today to schedule a free case review with a with a erb's palsy lawyer serving Baltimore.