Erbs’s Palsy is a nerve injury that occurs during childbirth, causing weakness or paralysis in the arm. It is a severe condition that can have a lifelong impact on the affected child and their family. Unfortunately, Erb’s Palsy is not uncommon. According to Birth Injury Justice Center, an estimated 1 to 2 infants out of every 1,000 suffer from the condition.
In many cases, Erb’s Palsy results from medical negligence during delivery, for which you may be entitled to compensation. Below we will discuss the process of filing an Erb’s Palsy lawsuit, the factors that may affect the outcome, and what families can expect during the legal process.
- Gather Evidence
You should gather as much evidence as possible to support your case. Here are some steps you can take to gather evidence for an Erb’s Palsy lawsuit:
- Your child’s medical records will be a crucial piece of evidence. Request copies of all medical records related to your child’s birth and any subsequent treatment for Erb’s Palsy.
- It may be helpful to consult medical experts to evaluate your child’s injuries and determine if they were caused by medical negligence.
- If there were witnesses to your child’s birth, such as nurses, or family members, obtain their statements about what they saw during the delivery.
- Keep track of all expenses related to your child’s condition, including medical bills, therapy costs, and any other expenses.
- Take pictures of your child’s injuries and keep a journal documenting their condition and progress to demonstrate the extent and impact of your child’s injuries.
- Consult an Attorney
Filing an Erb’s Palsy lawsuit can be a complex and overwhelming process, which is why it’s essential to consult with an experienced attorney. A qualified attorney specializing in Erb’s Palsy injuries lawsuits can help you evaluate your case and determine the best course of action.
Below are a few more reasons for consulting with an attorney:
- Legal expertise: An experienced attorney can review medical records and documentation and determine whether there is a case to be pursued. They can also advise on the legal process, including timelines, procedures, and possible outcomes.
- Investigative skills: An attorney can conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding your child’s injury, including reviewing medical records, interviewing witnesses, and consulting with medical experts.
- Negotiation skills: A skilled attorney can negotiate with the insurance company or opposing counsel to reach a fair settlement, ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve.
- Courtroom experience: Your attorney can represent you in court and fight for your rights in front of a judge and jury.
Each state has its statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases, meaning there is limited time during which you can file a lawsuit. Consulting with an attorney as soon as possible can help ensure that you meet all legal deadlines and avoid any potential issues with your case.
- File a Complaint
The complaint is a crucial document because it sets the tone for the entire legal process. It serves as a roadmap for the case, guiding the parties and the court.
To file a complaint, you need to go to the appropriate court and fill out the necessary paperwork. The complaint should outline the details of your case, including the parties’ identity, the facts of the case, and the legal basis for the claim. It should also state the relief or compensation being sought.
It’s important to note that filing a complaint is a formal legal process and must be done correctly. If the complaint is incomplete or contains errors, it could delay the legal process or even result in the case being dismissed.
Once the complaint is filed, the defendant will be notified and allowed to respond. This typically involves filing an answer to the complaint, in which the defendant admits or denies the allegations and presents their legal arguments.
- Pretrial Discovery
The objective of pretrial discovery is to provide both parties with the relevant facts and evidence that will be presented in court, allowing them to build a strong case. During this phase, both sides may request documents, testimony, or other types of evidence from one another. They may also conduct depositions, where witnesses are interviewed under oath, to gather more information. Through pretrial discovery, the plaintiff can get a better understanding of the defendant’s case and vice versa, which can help to expedite the trial process and potentially lead to a settlement.
- Settlement Negotiations
During these negotiations, your attorney and the defendant’s insurance company will attempt to reach an agreement regarding compensation for your injuries. If a settlement is reached, the case will be resolved without going to trial, which can be time-consuming and expensive. However, settlement negotiations can be complex, as both parties may have different opinions on the value of your case. Your attorney will work to ensure that you receive a fair settlement that compensates you for your injuries and damages.
If your case goes to trial, it means that a settlement could not be reached with the opposing party. During the trial, your attorney will present evidence and arguments to the jury, who will then determine if malpractice occurred and what damages should be awarded. Your attorney will try to persuade the jury that the healthcare provider did not provide a reasonable standard of care during delivery, which resulted in your child’s Erb’s Palsy. The healthcare provider’s legal team will also present their arguments to the jury to prove that they provided an acceptable standard of care.
An appeal is a request for a higher court to review the decision made by the lower court. The appellate court does not conduct a new trial or hear new evidence. Instead, it reviews the record of the previous trial to determine if any errors of law or procedure were made that may have affected the outcome. The appellate court may either affirm the lower court’s decision, reverse it, or send it back for a new trial.
Filing an Erb’s Palsy lawsuit can be a complex and emotional process, but it may provide the necessary resources to cover the significant expenses associated with this condition. The lawsuit may also hold accountable those responsible for causing the injury and help prevent similar situations from occurring in the future.
Working with experienced attorneys who understand the complexities of medical malpractice and personal injury cases can increase the chances of success in obtaining compensation for the child’s and family’s damages. While there is no guarantee of a favorable outcome, pursuing legal action can provide a sense of justice and closure for families affected by Erb’s Palsy.