What is the burden of proof in an Erb’s palsy case in Florida?
The burden of proof in an Erb’s palsy case dictates that a plaintiff – in this case, the injured child’s parents – must prove his or her case based on evidence presented. Essentially, this means the victim must prove the doctor or hospital was at fault versus the doctor or hospital proving they were not at fault.
There is a significant burden of proof in birth injury and other medical malpractice claims. That is why many families choose to work with an Erb’s Palsy attorney who understands birth injury laws in Florida.
Damages and Negligence: The Basic Elements of an Erb’s Palsy Case
Parents of an injured child must prove two things in an Erb’s palsy case: damages and negligence (or liability). First, there must be proof that a child sustained serious injury and damages. Second, there must be evidence that supports the assertion of negligence and doctor liability.
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The Standard of Care and the Burden of Proof in an Erb’s Palsy Case
A successful case must prove that a doctor or other medical professional violated the standard of care. This means the doctor acted in a way that differed from how another medical professional would have behaved in a similar situation.
The victim does not need to prove negligence beyond a reasonable doubt; rather, that the standard of care was most likely violated. This might include presenting evidence that shows the doctor was directly responsible for causing the injury. It also may mean proving that the Erb’s palsy and underlying nerve injury would not have occurred were it not for the doctor’s actions or inaction.
An attorney must establish a clear and compelling connection between the child’s injury and the doctor’s mistake. This requires substantial evidence and may necessitate lengthy investigations and witness testimony.
Examples of Negligence in an Erb’s Palsy Case
An experienced Florida birth injury attorney will investigate a victim’s case to determine if, how and when negligence occurred and who was responsible for the mistake.
Listed below are a few examples of how medical negligence can lead to Erb’s palsy:
- An obstetrician provides insufficient prenatal care that fails to diagnose or treat Erb’s palsy risk factors (including gestational diabetes, breech position and/or a larger-than-normal fetus).
- An obstetrician fails to discuss the need for caesarian or other birthing options with an at-risk mother.
- A delivery room doctor fails to perform an emergency c-section.
- A delivery room doctor fails to execute the necessary techniques or maneuvers to reposition safely and/or ease a baby out of the birth canal.
- A delivery room doctor exerts excessive force on the head, neck or shoulders of the baby during delivery.
Symptoms of Erb’s Palsy
- Arm paralysis
- Arm numbness
- Limpness in arms
- Trouble moving or controlling limbs
- Arm tingling or sensations
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Why Parents Should Hire a Florida Erb’s Palsy Lawyer
Erb’s palsy, a type of Florida birth injury, can strike any expecting family without notice. Erb’s palsy, which can result in long-term or permanent disability, can instantly turn the joyous occasion of the birth of a newborn into a scary medical emergency.
Many Fort Lauderdale parents know the basics about Erb’s palsy: it is caused when a newborn’s shoulder gets stuck on the mother’s pelvic bone, which causes nerve damage in the child’s back or neck, and can result in paralysis of the child’s arm for the rest of their life.
However, many parents do not know more than that. These parents are at a disadvantage in recognizing or treating Erb’s palsy, and seeking to find a legal solution to the problems presented to them. Here are some more interesting facts about Erb’s palsy:
- Erb’s palsy affects the child’s C5 and C6 vertebrae. These nerves extend from the spinal cord down the arm and affect the movement of the shoulder, arm and hand.
- Erb’s palsy can occur as a result of a large baby, or the wrong positioning of a child during delivery. If a previous child has been affected by Erb’s palsy, all following children are at a greater risk.
- Erb’s palsy can also happen as the result of improper use of force, delivery drugs, and delivery tools (such as vacuum extraction). These are errors on the part of the medical professionals present.
- The common symptoms of Erb’s palsy include numbness in the child’s arms or fingers, arm paralysis, and arm limpness.
- The most common treatment for Erb’s palsy is physical therapy. Even with quick diagnosis and rigorous therapy, however, the child may never regain full use of their arm.
If your family has been affected by Erb’s palsy, and you think it may have happened as the result of doctor error, you may be eligible to recover damages for additional medical bills, physical therapy, plus ongoing losses and missed opportunities for your child.
An attorney can examine medical records, conduct witness and victim interviews, and consult medical experts to determine how and when the error occurred. This will provide important details about the evidence necessary to fulfill the burden of proof in an Erb’s palsy case.