Every expectant parent wants their newborn to be healthy. But unfortunately, there’s nothing that can prepare the parents fully to receive the terrible news that their newborn has suffered a birth injury. And the most anticipated and joyful moments of welcoming a newborn in the world can get crushed in just a few seconds and overwhelmed by a negative whirlwind of emotions.
Around 6 out of every 1000 newborns suffer from birth injuries in the United States every year. The causes of these injuries may vary, from spinal cord injuries and fractured bones to brachial plexus injuries.
If your child has been a victim of Erb’s palsy, possibly by the ineptitude and negligence of medical personnel you entrusted, you deserve answers. And after you have had time to understand the situation, you may find yourself asking questions. For instance, how was the baby injured? Was this injury preventable in the first place? Why in the whole world did it happen to your baby?
It may be an overwhelming and devastating period for you since you might be worried about your child’s future and unsure how to pay the increasing medical expenses. Nonetheless, you must hire an experienced Erb’s palsy attorney to build a solid case and pursue justice.
Is Erb’s palsy a medical negligence?
When you entrust your child’s birth to medical personnel, you expect them to take every precaution to ensure your child is born without any complexities. Unfortunately, most, but not all, cases of Erb’s palsy spring from mistakes that might be preventable during childbirth.
For instance, if the midwife or doctor uses excessive force to pull or stretch the baby’s neck or shoulder. It can lead to an infant developing brachial plexus injury called Erb’s palsy.
Suppose the medical malpractice led your infant to be diagnosed with Erb’s palsy. In that case, you have the grounds to file an Erb’s palsy lawsuit and sue for compensation. Your lawyer can help you navigate the complex lawsuit and receive compensation for medical treatments, physical and occupational therapies, adaptive equipment, hospital procedures, and loss of future income.
Why file an Erb’s palsy lawsuit
Adjusting to a new routine is challenging, specifically if your newborn has suffered from a severe birth injury and now has special needs. Undoubtedly, your child’s long-term repercussions and medical costs can be overwhelming.
While it’s true that a lawsuit can never reverse the pain or completely compensate your child’s sufferings. However, there are numerous ways an Erb’s palsy lawsuit can protect you, your child, family members, and other families, too.
- Cover medical costs
Erb’s palsy and other conditions that derive from birth injuries can impact the child’s health for a lifetime. Contingent on the diagnosis, your child might not be able to walk, move, speak, or talk properly. And the costs of care might be way more than the costs of just raising a child.
However, a lawsuit might help you achieve financial compensation. If you win the case, you might be eligible to receive monetary and punitive damages. That way, you can afford the medical treatment and help prevent your child’s deteriorating condition.
- Help other children
Suppose your child has endured a birth injury that was avoidable in the first place. In that case, it implies that the healthcare provider shouldn’t practice anymore. Therefore, if successful, an Erb’s palsy lawsuit can help spread awareness about a particular medical professional or hospital and protect other children.
You can force healthcare organizations to enforce more safety policies and institute greater self-accountability by holding negligent medical caregivers liable for their actions. Further, settlements and lawsuits compel other healthcare practitioners to be more careful ahead.
How to file a lawsuit
While the nature of every Erb’s palsy case is different; however, most lawsuits follow the same progression. By being aware of what to expect, you can put your mind at ease and navigate the legal proceedings more confidently.
So, let’s take an in-depth insight into the lawsuit process:
- File the claim
Once your hired Erb’s lawyer has collected relevant information and evidence, they will file a lawsuit on your behalf in the appropriate court of law. You and your other family members – the party initiating legal actions will become plaintiffs. And the medical professionals or healthcare organizations – the ones responsible for the birth injury, will become defendants.
The court will then issue a legal notice to the accused party, who has to respond to it within a given time limit. If the defendants fail to reply within the specified timeframe, the claimant will win the lawsuit automatically.
- Discovery stage
If the defendants answered the legal notice sent by the court, the discovery phase begins. Your lawyers will find more evidence to strengthen your medical negligence claim. They might investigate further and try their best to leave no stone unturned during their research.
During this period, you, your family members, and medical experts might have to answer more questions under oath. The lawyer may also request additional medical records, bills, and other documents to meet their requirements.
- Negotiation for settlement offers
There are times when some lawsuits don’t reach the stage of court trials. Instead, both parties may agree to meet in person to conclude the case and negotiate a settlement offer. And the plaintiffs receive a lump sum of money and all the legal proceedings.
While it’s a pretty straightforward method to close the case, consider various factors to receive the rightful financial compensation through the settlement offer. These may include the severity of the injury, medical expenses, home-based care, income loss, and other sufferings.
However, the defendants sometimes offer an unfair amount to resolve the dispute. And this, in turn, leads to court trials.
- Court trials
When the case moves on to the trial phase, the jury and judge hear the standpoints of plaintiffs and defendants and then decide the final verdict.
While the court trials may help you receive a more significant amount than that offered in a settlement, you might lose all money if you don’t win the lawsuit. Also, the losing party has the right to appeal the decision. Meaning the case might get reviewed again later in the future.
Isn’t it about time you had justice working in your favor?
Sure, filing a lawsuit may be the last thing you want. You may think that Erb’s palsy lawsuit may stretch for far too long. However, the truth is, with an experienced lawyer in your corner, there isn’t much you need to do. And all you need is to focus on your newborn’s care.
Don’t let the medical professional and healthcare organization malpractice insurers intimidate you into keeping silent. If your child has suffered, in a way you believe was preventable, seek legal help. A highly skilled lawyer can help you hold the responsible party accountable for their actions and go to all lengths to attain the best outcome for your case.