When a physician fails to diagnose or to properly treat a birth canal obstruction that prevents a baby’s shoulder from passing easily through a birth canal, that baby might experience a birth injury commonly known as “Erb’s Palsy”. The attorneys at The Salamati Law Firm in Los Angeles understand how these injuries happen and how they affect a child’s life. They also have the knowledge and experience to help the injured child and his or her parents to receive compensation and to get thorough treatment for an Erb’s Palsy injury when it is caused by a medical caregiver’s mistake.
A child’s birth can bring moments of both extreme joy and anxiety. The parents will be thrilled with the birth of their new son or daughter but may be equally concerned over the baby’s health and well-being following a difficult or lengthy delivery. In the vast majority of births, doctors and hospital staff provide excellent services and care. Yet even the most skilled physicians can have a lapse or a moment of inattentiveness, which results into a birth injury that temporarily or permanently impairs the baby’s health or mobility.
An attorney who represents a child that has suffered an Erb’s Palsy birth injury will seek to show that:
These four elements appear to be simple and straightforward, but each is subject to certain limitations that can prevent an injured baby from receiving the full award that might otherwise be merited. Financial losses associated with pain and suffering, for example, are capped at $250,000 in California.
Prevailing standards of care might be different in different communities. The cause of an injury might not be immediately apparent. In all cases, a seasoned lawyer who understands the landscape of Erb’s Palsy injuries will be best able to establish the four elements of an Erb’s Palsy birth injury case and to procure the largest possible monetary award for the injured party.
“Shoulder dystocia” is the medical term for a condition where a baby’s head (or in the case of a breech birth, its body) is delivered through a birth canal but where its shoulder then becomes stuck. This might happen with larger babies, or where a delivery begins before a mother’s cervix is fully dilated. If diagnosed quickly and properly, a physician can maneuver the birth mother and baby to overcome any blockage without causing any brachial plexus disorders.
A physician who uses forceps or other forceful methods to extract the baby, however, might injure the baby’s brachial plexus nerves, which places the baby at risk of developing Erb’s Palsy. The forces applied to the baby’s shoulder during a delivery can stretch or tear the nerves in the baby’s upper arm that control movement of the arm. In most cases, this situation will be readily apparent in the limp or weak movements of one of the baby’s arms.
The majority of babies who suffer Erb’s Palsy injuries will recover fully after three or more months of therapy and possible corrective surgery. A small minority of affected babies, however, will have permanent impairment of their arm strength.
Amidst all of the emotions that accompany the birth of your child, the single most important thing to remember is that you should contact an Erb’s Palsy injury lawyer as soon as you suspect that your baby has suffered a birth injury. Your lawyer will take care of other important matters:
The lawyers at the Salamati Law Firm will be your strongest advocates as you navigate the confusing medical terminology and treatment options for your baby who has suffered an Erb’s Palsy birth injury. We will give your case the full amount of respect and attention it deserves and we will work tirelessly to recover the largest award that is available to compensate you and your baby for his or her injuries. Call today for a no-cost, no-obligation case review.