Fort Lauderdale Erb’s Palsy Attorneys
Any time an infant faces a serious diagnosis, it can cause immense challenges for the entire family—and Erb’s palsy can leave you struggling to determine what to do next. Instead of bringing home a healthy baby, you may need to take your infant in for serious medical procedures and find yourself needing to learn how to perform physical therapy tasks at home. You may worry about your baby’s future and whether they will ultimately go on to live a normal life.
If your child has faced an Erb’s palsy diagnosis at birth, you may need an attorney to help go over your rights, including your right to compensation if the Erb’s palsy occurred as a result of physician error at the birth.
Contact a Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney to learn more about your rights after your child faces a serious diagnosis.
How Can a Personal Injury Attorney Help After an Erb’s Palsy Diagnosis in Fort Lauderdale?
The postpartum period leaves many parents exhausted and overwhelmed. For the parents of a child with a serious diagnosis like Erb’s palsy, that period can become even more overwhelming.
Not only must your family adjust to the normal demands of caring for an infant, you may need to learn about the potential challenges of Erb’s palsy and seek assistance for your new little one. In the meantime, you may wonder what rights you have and how to pursue them as you try to determine what to do next.
A personal injury attorney can help make sure you, as the parent, understand your rights and your child’s.
Erb’s palsy can create immense challenges for your child and you. An attorney can help you understand your rights, including your right to compensation. Sometimes, insurance companies, including medical malpractice insurance companies, will try to convince you that you do not deserve the substantial compensation you should expect for the damage sustained by your child.
A personal injury attorney can help make sure their clients fully understand the compensation they should expect after their children suffer an injury at birth.
A personal injury attorney can help collect the evidence you need to prove your claim.
Did the doctor’s negligence at your child’s birth lead to Erb’s palsy? Sometimes, doctors may try to claim that they did everything by the book during your delivery, even if you know better. However, you may have a hard time proving exactly how that injury occurred and that it resulted from the doctor’s negligence—and that you deserve compensation for those losses. Personal injury attorneys help their clients collect the evidence they need to prove so that they, and their children, have the right to compensation.
Personal injury attorneys fight for their clients’ right to compensation.
With a small child to care for, you have enough on your plate. Adding an ongoing struggle with a care provider’s medical insurance company can feel like just one more thing you have to add to the list—and it may feel impossible to deal with. A personal injury attorney fights for their clients and works to protect their best interests.
An attorney can take over discussions and negotiations with the insurance company, alleviating at least that source of stress in clients’ lives, freeing them up to focus on their babies and their recovery.
How Does Erb’s Palsy Occur in Fort Lauderdale?
Erb’s palsy often occurs when an infant’s neck gets stretched too far during delivery. The symptoms often become apparent immediately at birth, since nerve damage can cause immediately obvious weakness and even pain in the infant.
The care provider exerts too much force when delivering the baby.
Sometimes, during the birthing process, the baby may get stuck in the birthing canal. The doctor may need to exert more force to help move the baby through the birth canal and facilitate delivery. Sometimes, that may involve forceps or vacuum-assisted delivery. Other times, the care provider may simply try to manually move the baby through the birth canal at a faster rate. However, that additional pressure may put unnecessary pressure on the baby’s neck and shoulders during delivery, which may increase the risk that the baby will suffer a shoulder injury.
Erb’s palsy can also occur as a result of shoulder or neck injury during a C-section. The care provider might not make a large enough incision and may need to exert more pressure than expected to remove the baby from the womb. That pressure and stretching can cause damage to the brachial nerves, resulting in Erb’s palsy.
The care provider allows the second stage of labor to continue for too long.
During the second stage of labor, the mother fully dilates, and the baby moves into the birth canal. The attending physician may ask the mother to start pushing during that stage, or the mother may start pushing on her own. Sometimes, however, the baby may not move into position in the birth canal properly. The baby may end up in a position that causes the shoulders to get stuck, or the baby might be too large to fit normally through the birth canal. If the second stage of labor continues for too long, it can cause unnecessary stretching of the baby’s neck and shoulders as the baby tries to move through the birth canal, which may result in Erb’s palsy.
Some babies naturally face a higher risk of neck and shoulder injuries during delivery, including large babies or the babies of mothers who suffered increased weight gain during pregnancy. Sometimes, the care provider might have nothing they can do to reduce the odds of that type of injury, especially if they do not prepare ahead of time for the possibility of a large baby.
However, other times, the actions of the care provider may result in serious injury during delivery. In those cases, the care provider may bear liability for those injuries and the aftermath.
What Is Erb’s Palsy?
Erb’s palsy results from nerve damage to the brachial plexus, which runs from the spinal cord to the baby’s hands and arms, during delivery. It usually results in paralysis of the affected arm. Often, the affected arm will hang by the infant’s side, immobile, even when the baby otherwise moves around normally. The baby may suffer from full paralysis of the affected arm, or they may simply suffer from limited mobility or a lack of strength on the affected side. Most often, parents will notice the symptoms of Erb’s palsy soon after the child’s delivery.
Medical intervention for Erb’s palsy can vary. Some infants will recover within a few weeks with relatively little intervention. Others may need physical therapy to strengthen the affected area. Sometimes, a child may also go through occupational therapy, especially if they do not recover movement by six months of age.
However, in some cases, Erb’s palsy may require more invasive treatment for the patient to make as full a recovery as possible. Some children may require surgical repair of the affected area, including the transfer of nerves or tendons from other areas of the body to the affected arm. In some cases, that transfer can help restore the child’s normal movement.
Failure to perform appropriate interventions early in the child’s life can cause the child to suffer permanent, ongoing paralysis or limited mobility. Some children may also suffer from ongoing pain around that area.
Seeking Compensation for Erb’s Palsy in Fort Lauderdale: What to Expect
An Erb’s palsy claim usually means filing a medical malpractice claim, often against the doctor that attended your birth. In some cases, liability may also extend to the facility where you delivered your infant: for example, if your doctor works directly for the hospital, rather than as an independent provider who works at the hospital, you may need to pursue compensation through the hospital’s medical malpractice insurance.
Likewise, if a nurse’s error causes your child to develop Erb’s palsy, often as a result of mishandling immediately after birth or failure to promptly notify the doctor about any challenges you may have faced during delivery, you may need to file for compensation through the hospital’s medical malpractice insurance.
Your lawyer will negotiate with the medical malpractice insurance provider to determine how much compensation you will ultimately receive for your child’s injuries. Since your child suffered those injuries, Florida courts may set your child’s settlement aside for your child’s future use. While you can use those funds to pay for the medical care your child needs following an Erb’s palsy diagnosis, Florida law states that you must use the funds from a settlement for a child’s injuries for the child, not for your benefit. Furthermore, you cannot use those funds to pay for the normal expenses associated with caring for a child.
In general, claims for Erb’s palsy in children break down into several key categories.
The Child’s Medical Expenses
The medical expenses associated with Erb’s palsy may make up the bulk of your child injury claim. You may need to pursue compensation for the additional expenses your child accumulated while undergoing treatment for Erb’s palsy. Infants with Erb’s palsy may need ongoing physical therapy, and the costs can add up fast. In extreme circumstances, including if your child needs surgery to help treat Erb’s palsy, you may need to pursue compensation for those expenses.
In some cases, Erb’s palsy can cause permanent disability in your child. A child who never regains the full use of their arm may find themself with limited future career opportunities. Furthermore, they may find themself in ongoing pain as a result of those injuries. As part of your birth injury claim, you can include compensation for your child’s permanent disability and the ongoing losses they may face, including the loss of earning potential.
Pain and Suffering
Erb’s palsy can mean considerable pain for your child. You, as the parent, may need to exercise care in how you hold or interact with your child in those early months. Your child may face more frustration when developing basic gross motor skills in the affected area. As part of your birth injury claim, you can claim compensation for your child’s pain and suffering. That compensation can help provide for your child in those early years, especially in the months when you must contend with that diagnosis, or provide you with a nest egg that your child can use for future needs.
Can My Family Use the Compensation for My Child’s Erb’s Palsy Diagnosis in Fort Lauderdale?
Your child has faced an Erb’s palsy diagnosis. You pursue compensation through a personal injury claim. According to Florida law, however, you must set aside those funds for your child. The court will allow you to use funds in ways that can benefit your child, including providing necessary care.
You cannot, however, use those funds to provide for the normal expenses associated with caring for a child, including the cost of clothing, food, or housing. You must use the funds from that claim to provide your child with needed medical care, assistive devices, or other items to improve the quality of life despite the diagnosis.
A lawyer can help you go over potential uses for those funds and how to protect your child’s settlement so that they can have access to those funds later in life, when they may need them.
Do You Need a Fort Lauderdale Erb’s Palsy Attorney?
An Erb’s palsy diagnosis can create difficulties for your entire family, particularly as you endeavor to provide the highest standard of care possible for your little one.
An Erb’s palsy attorney can help you learn more about your family’s right to compensation, including who may bear liability for your child’s injuries and how much compensation your family may deserve.
Contact a personal injury law firm today to learn more about your rights after a care provider’s negligence causes serious injury to your child.