Can You Sue For Erb’s Palsy?
You may be able to file an Erb’s palsy lawsuit through a birth injury law firm if you believe medical malpractice or negligence caused your child’s condition.
Medical malpractice, unfortunately, can play a major role in brachial plexus palsy injuries. What this means: Erb’s palsy, also known as brachial plexus birth palsy, is often preventable.
Examples of medical malpractice that may result in brachial plexus injury include:
- Excessive force or improper use of forceps or vacuum extractor
- Pulling on a baby’s head and neck as the shoulders pass through the birth canal
- Pulling on a baby’s shoulders or a baby’s arms during a head-first delivery
- Pulling on a baby’s feet during a feet-first (breech) delivery
Why Should I File an Erb’s Palsy Lawsuit?
People may file a brachial plexus lawsuit due to the needless suffering the condition can bring to a child. Erb’s palsy lawsuits can give families a sense of closure and justice by holding negligent medical professionals accountable for their malpractice.
Compensation from Erb’s palsy lawsuits also helps families cover the costs of nerve damage treatment. Children with disabilities have much higher health care costs and out-of-pocket expenses that parents may not be financially prepared for.
Unfortunately, studies from the National Institutes of Health suggest that low-income families are often hit the hardest by the cost of caring for a disabled child. Filing a brachial plexus lawsuit can provide financial relief to families who need it most.
of families of children with special health care needs experience a financial burden due to their child’s condition.
National Institutes of Health
Average Erb’s Palsy Settlements & Verdicts
Erb’s palsy lawsuit settlements can vary for each case due to location, the severity of the injury, degree of malpractice, and other factors pertaining to your claim.
Notable brachial plexus injury lawsuit settlements and outcomes:
family from Washington D.C.
family from New Jersey
family from South Carolina
- $500,000 Settlement for a Michigan family
- $500,000 Settlement for a South Carolina family
- $825,000 Settlement for a New York family
- $950,000 Settlement for a New Jersey family
- $1.2 Million Settlement for a Florida family
- $1.2 Million Settlement for a South Carolina family
Do you suspect your child’s birth injury was caused by medical malpractice?
What to Expect in an Erb’s Palsy Lawsuit
Although each case is different, the following steps are common in Erb’s palsy malpractice cases.
The first step in filing an Erb’s palsy lawsuit is consulting with a qualified birth injury lawyer to get a free consultation. An Erb’s palsy lawyer will ask you questions and discuss the facts of your potential case at no cost to you.
During this case evaluation, the lawyer will determine the strength of your Erb’s palsy claim.
Once you establish an attorney-client relationship, your attorney can officially begin the lawsuit process.
Before formally filing your Erb’s palsy claim, your lawyer will determine any future treatment for your child’s affected arm to establish your case value.
Your Erb’s palsy attorney will work to create a life care plan that documents how much your child’s care will cost throughout their lifetime. This can predict how much Erb’s palsy compensation your family may be eligible to receive for your child’s injuries.
Your lawyer will need to gather evidence that shows your child’s injury was preventable to build the strongest medical malpractice case possible.
This evidence may include:
- Documentation of the exact series of events before, during, and shortly after childbirth
- Fetal medical records
- Maternal medical records including any known risk factors
- Medical bills
The next step is for your legal team to file your lawsuit against the defendants, who are usually the medical professionals that delivered your child.
The defendants are generally given 30 days to respond to your claim. Once they have responded, the court will issue a schedule for your Erb’s palsy case.
During the discovery phase, your lawyer will gather more evidence to support your case. The defendant’s legal team will gather their own evidence to prove their side.
Information gathered during discovery usually includes:
- Interrogatories: Written questions each side has for the other side to answer
- Requests for disclosure and production: Access to information, records, and written documentation related to the case
- Admissions: Requests for the other party to weigh in on aspects of the case
- Expert reports: Written reports by medical experts.
- Depositions: Question and answer sessions with witnesses
Brachial plexus lawsuits require a physician to serve as an expert witness.
The next step in your lawsuit will likely be either settling out of court or taking the case to trial.
In general, brachial plexus lawsuit outcomes are as follows:
- Erb’s palsy lawsuit settlements: Most birth injury cases settle out of court without a trial. Settlements may occur in order to lessen poor publicity for the defendants and to avoid jury trials, which are expensive and time-consuming.
- Erb’s palsy case verdicts: If your case goes to trial, a verdict will occur after closing arguments are made. If a judge or jury decides the defendants are guilty of medical negligence, they will determine the amount of Erb’s palsy compensation owed to you.
The average medical malpractice claim payout for children sustaining injuries under one month old
The Doctors Company
If you decide to accept a settlement offer, you will likely receive compensation quicker than if your brachial plexus case were to go to trial. Neither side will “win” the lawsuit during an Erb’s palsy settlement since the plaintiff will receive a payout and the lawsuit will come to a close.
If both parties do not agree on a settlement, the case will go to trial. A judge and jury will listen to both arguments to determine a winner. Trials may award a higher amount of compensation, but there is no guarantee that your case will be successful.
Do you suspect your child’s birth injury was caused by medical malpractice?
When Should I File an Erb’s Palsy Lawsuit?
It is important to take legal action as soon as possible once your child has been diagnosed with Erb’s palsy.
States have laws called statutes of limitations that put a limit on how long you have to file your lawsuit. Since the statute of limitations varies for each state, your lawyer can file your brachial plexus claim in the correct jurisdiction.
Getting a head start on the legal process may help your case succeed and help you get brachial plexus compensation in a timely manner. The length of time it takes to resolve a lawsuit can vary, so it is important to file promptly to get financial compensation as soon as possible.
Find an Experienced Attorney Near You
Children living with Erb’s palsy that was caused by medical negligence deserve justice and compensation to pay for treatment. Compensation may help you secure a safe and healthy future for your child.
Working with an experienced attorney is the best way to file an Erb’s palsy lawsuit. Get a free legal case review today to learn more about connecting with an attorney near you.
Erb’s Palsy Cases FAQ
How long does an Erb’s palsy lawsuit take?
It can be difficult to predict how long your lawsuit may take since each case can vary. Settling out of court can significantly shorten the legal process, whereas a case that requires a trial can take longer.
How much does it cost to file an Erb’s palsy lawsuit?
Erb’s palsy malpractice cases are usually handled under a contingency fee agreement. You do not pay your legal team any money unless you are awarded financial compensation.
It is critical to talk with your lawyer about any legal fees that will be involved since not every lawyer works on a contingency fee basis.
Do people usually win Erb’s palsy cases?
All medical professionals are held to a standard of care to act in the best interest of each of their patients.
Medical professionals are responsible for the welfare of both the mother and child during pregnancy and delivery. That said, they may be forced to make difficult decisions during emergency situations.
In order to help you win your lawsuit, your legal team must prove that the medical professionals who cared for you and your child did not provide proper medical care. It must be established that this breach of care resulted in your child’s brachial plexus injury.
A breach of care resulting in Erb’s palsy can be caused by:
- Failing to properly monitor the pregnancy
- Failing to properly monitor the newborn’s condition following delivery
- Not responding quickly enough to infant distress
- Taking too long to perform a Cesarean section
What factors may determine your Erb’s palsy case value?
There are several factors that may affect your brachial plexus case value. A case value can give insight into how much financial compensation you may receive.
Factors that may affect an Erb’s palsy case value include:
- Accurate medical documentation of the injury or related incidents
- Cost of past and future treatment
- The severity of the injury
- Whether the lawsuit was filed within the statute of limitations
Some case values may change over time depending on the available information. As the case moves forward, your lawyer will note these factors and how they may impact the overall value of the case.
To learn more about the lawsuit process, visit our legal FAQ page to learn more.