What do I have to prove in my Erb’s palsy case?
A parent must prove several key things in an Erb’s palsy case: damages and negligence. There must be evidence that a child suffered physical and/or emotional injury as a result of a birth injury – in this case, Erb’s palsy. There also must be proof that a hospital or doctor’s mistake was the cause of the injury and damages.
An Erb’s palsy claim or lawsuit that successfully establishes liability may secure compensation for the injured child and his or her family. This compensation can include financial coverage for medical expenses, a parent’s lost income, and the child’s pain and suffering.
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How to Prove Damages/Injury in an Erb’s Palsy Case
A medical malpractice claim, such as a birth injury lawsuit stemming from Erb’s palsy, must prove the existence of an injury. It also must demonstrate how the injury financially and physically impacts the victim. This will require the presentation of medical records, doctor or witness testimony, and other evidence that supports a claim for damages.
The evidence should demonstrate how the injury has impacted the child and the child’s family in the short- and long-term. This includes matters like:
- Will the child require corrective surgery?
- Will the child experience lifelong physical limitations as a result of the injury?
- Has the child suffered physical or emotional pain as a result of the Erb’s palsy?
A birth injury attorney can conduct the investigations necessary to collect evidence of injuries and damages.
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How to Prove Negligence in an Erb’s Palsy Case
An Erb’s palsy claim or lawsuit must prove the doctor(s) responsible for the mother’s or baby’s care failed to meet the standard duty of care. The claim must show the negligent party acted in a way that was contrary to how another medical professional would have behaved in similar circumstances.
Additionally, the claim must prove that a doctor’s actions or lack thereof caused the underlying nerve injury that led to Erb’s palsy. Examples of a doctor’s negligence might include:
- failure to induce labor during a difficult or prolonged delivery;
- exerting undue force on the child’s head and neck during a difficult delivery;
- delayed emergency c-section;
- failure to administer proper birthing techniques (used to ease out a baby whose shoulders have become wedged in the birthing canal); and
- failure to address a breech birth appropriately.
In some cases, the negligence may be traced back to an obstetrician who failed to diagnose or treat maternal risk factors, such as gestational diabetes.
A birth injury attorney typically must conduct extensive research and investigation to uncover compelling evidence of medical negligence. This includes looking at medical and hospital records, collecting witness testimony, and victim interviews. The attorney may need to consult medical experts to better understand how and when the injury occurred and how a doctor’s actions led to the injury.