Erb’s palsy, also known as brachial plexus palsy, can result from medical negligence when excessive force is applied to a baby’s neck during childbirth, usually due to pulling and stretching on the neck and shoulders. Damage to the network of nerves called the brachial plexus may cause a limp arm or leg.
This is often preceded by a delivery complication. When a baby’s shoulder becomes stuck behind the mother’s pubic bone, the baby’s head delivers but the shoulders do not immediately follow. This condition is known as shoulder dystocia and although babies usually survive it, they may not survive without injuries depending on the doctor’s actions.
As shoulder dystocia occurs, the physician must perform a particular delivery maneuver to avoid placing pressure on the baby’s shoulders. If this procedure is done improperly, Erb’s palsy can occur where the nerve tissue between the arm and shoulder is stretched, partially torn, or completely ruptured. Children with these injuries can face temporary or permanent mobility struggles as well as other health concerns.
If you feel your child has suffered from a serious injury such as Erb’s palsy and wish to bring legal action to request compensation for their physical and emotional damages, contact the Michigan Erb’s palsy lawyers at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm to discuss your legal options. Call 1-800-LEE-FREE today for a free and confidential consultation.
Michigan Erb’s Palsy Lawyers
Erb’s palsy injuries typically involve the brachial plexus nerves, which emerge from the spinal cord and travel across the shoulder, along the arms, into the hands, and ultimately into the fingertips. Someone who has shoulder dystocia suffers a potentially permanent, partial, or complete paralysis of the arm.
There are certain common types of brachial plexus injuries in Erb’s palsy. These include:
- The child has no muscle control or feeling in the arms or hands.
- The child can move their arms, but can’t control their wrists and hands.
- One arm functions almost normally, but the other has poor arm and/or hand control.
- The child can use their hands well, but their shoulder or elbow muscles are weakened.
Depending on the type of nerve damage in Erb’s palsy, the symptoms of Erb can range from mild to severe. Erb’s palsy and its related conditions are often temporary and can improve with physical therapy and other forms of therapy. In some cases, the damage is permanent, with little to no hope of restoration to normal functionality over the person’s lifetime.
Which Types of Erb’s Palsy/Brachial Plexus Cases Do You Handle?
Erb’s palsy claims can take many forms, depending on the exact diagnosis or diagnoses involved and the extent of the injuries. At the Lee Steinberg Law Firm, we have seen cases involving medical situations such as:
- Erb’s palsy
- Brachial plexus injury
- Nerve damage
- Brain damage
- Oxygen deprivation
- Vacuum extraction injury
When a doctor makes choices and takes certain actions during childbirth – or fails to take the proper action – a child’s physical health is in danger. The public doesn’t always know about these cases until they become aware of lawsuits or read stories in the media about local hospitals that are experiencing safety issues.
Michigan hospitals vary widely in their safety rankings with organizations like the nonprofit Hospital Safety Score. Here in Michigan, 26 of our hospitals got an A grade, 13 got a B, 37 got a C, three got a D and one received an F. These scores are updated periodically, but it’s always unsettling to see how many Michigan hospitals have below-average safety scores.
Some of these safety issues can involve poorly-trained doctors and persistent problems involving poor procedures within the hospital ranks. Hospitals are held accountable for birth injuries through lawsuits that put high dollar values on patients’ injuries, current and future medical bills, and pain and suffering.
A child with Erb’s palsy not only needs basic medical care, but the entire family may need extra emotional support, counseling, in-home equipment and devices, and much more. Physical therapy for Erb’s palsy may go on for years or even decades.
Children with Erb’s palsy often need daily physical therapy to accomplish the best possible outcomes for their mobility. The lifetime cost of caring for a child with permanent Erb’s palsy is almost $1 million. Yet if you’re like most Americans, you couldn’t take on an unexpected $500 in extra costs per month!
In order to secure the financial resources you need to cope with your child’s Erb’s palsy, you may have to file a lawsuit and hold the medical doctor and facility responsible for their mistake. This is why the lawyers at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm are passionate about holding medical providers responsible for birth injuries in Michigan Simply contact us for a consultation and describe the details of your situation.
How Do I Find Out What Happened to Cause My Child’s Erb’s Palsy?
Erb’s palsy can create a rift between the patient and the provider because the medical professional may not want to broadcast that they made a mistake. Your doctor may try to minimize the problem, shift the blame to someone else, or even lie about what happened.
An Erb’s palsy attorney can help you get to the bottom of it. Your lawyer can help you seek a second opinion from a different medical professional who wasn’t involved with your childbirth or your child’s care. This additional medical review can be the key to determining what occurred and whether you have a legal case.
When we start an investigation, we look at the circumstances surrounding your child’s birth. At the Lee Steinberg Law Firm, we track down medical paperwork, insurance documentation, health provider interviews, new medical opinions, and other crucial information you’ll need to prove your claim.
An experienced injury lawyer has seen other cases of Erb’s palsy and knows how to uncover the truth in these situations. This isn’t your fault. Legal action may be required to find out what happened and secure the resources you and your child need to heal from it.
What Kind of Compensation Could I Recover for My Erb’s Palsy Case?
Don’t let anyone tell you that it’s not worth pursuing a legal claim. It certainly is! This could help your child’s lifetime of care and improve their circumstances considerably.
Under Michigan law, you can pursue compensation for your child’s current medical bills, your child’s future medical bills, physical and emotional therapy, the lost income you may be experiencing from being unable to work due to caring for your child, and more.
Damages in birth cases may include:
- Existing medical bills that arose from the birth injury that caused Erb’s palsy
- Compensation for future medical expenses you may incur due to your child’s lifetime of care
- Lost wages and lost earning capacity due to the situation
- Pain and suffering
Who Can Bring an Erb’s Palsy Claim in Michigan?
Any parent of a child with Erb’s palsy in the entire state of Michigan can work with the Lee Steinberg Law Firm to make a claim against a medical facility. We have offices throughout the state of Michigan because we understand it can be difficult to travel when you are caring for a child with Erb’s palsy.
Is There a Time Limit on Filing an Erb’s Palsy Lawsuit?
In Michigan, the statute of limitations to initiate a claim over a birth injury is two years from the date of the injury or six months from the date when you discovered it. Because Erb’s palsy is generally considered a birth injury that occurs in the birth canal during delivery, the delivery date is often the point where the clock starts ticking.
We encourage you not to wait until months or years after the injury takes place to pursue a case against the medical provider, or you may lose your chance to sue. Michigan courts will usually throw out any case that misses the deadline and our judges consider the statute of limitations to be very strict.
If you are worried about trying to launch a legal battle so soon after your child’s birth, we urge you to contact us and let us handle the legal details for you. Although time might not be on your side, we are! Please contact us at 1-800-LEE-FREE.
Will There Be an Investigation Into My Child’s Erb’s Palsy?
A birth injury that results in Erb’s palsy is not usually investigated as a criminal act, except in extremely rare cases that involve outrageous and intentional acts by cruel doctors. More often, these cases are handled civilly as legal claims against the facility and their insurance carrier.
Your civil case starts a different type of investigation – not a criminal case, but a civil case. This is where the Lee Steinberg Law Firm share our expertise. We launch an investigation that reveals the details of what happened before, during, and after your childbirth experience, which can shed some light on what took place and which types of mistakes may have been made.
You may be feeling anger and mistrust toward the doctor that delivered your child, and we don’t blame you for that. But we don’t have to rely on that doctor alone during your Erb’s palsy claim. We can seek outside opinions from a wide range of other doctors, surgeons, and medical experts who can be objective about the situation.
The point of the investigation is to reveal details and evidence about what happened. It also gives you the ammunition you need to stand up to the medical facility that hurt you. Now’s the time to focus on the facts. Let’s end the blame game and put the responsibility where it belongs.
Will My Erb’s Palsy Case Go to Court?
These cases don’t always go to court. In fact, it’s much more common to end in a settlement where the hospital or birthing center agrees to compensate you without openly admitting wrongdoing.
Whether or not you actually go to court depends on the situation and the reactions of the medical facility and their lawyers. If the medical facility refuses to cooperate and disputes the most basic facts of the case, a court battle may be unavoidable. Of course, it doesn’t look great for the other side that they are dragging the parents of an injured child to court, making their suffering even worse. Ultimately, this may work to your benefit.
Medical facilities often settle instead of fighting to the bitter end because they want to avoid bad publicity. They know you could go to the media or to your social media accounts and share the tragic details of your story, garnering public outrage. That’s what they want to avoid.
Plus, their own insurance advisors and lawyers may be urging them to settle. These experts will have reviewed the details of the case and have already seen the impact on your and your child’s life. They may wisely conclude that the facility would be better off compensating you for what happened.
Even if your doctor and hospital are being fairly agreeable about the situation, you’ll still need an experienced lawyer to negotiate assertively with them and secure the dollar-value settlement you need to pay your bills. They may agree you deserve compensation but want to give you a lowball offer that doesn’t cover all your bills.
Don’t accept an offer that’s too low! It could ruin you financially and leave you wishing you’d made a better deal when you had the chance. The Lee Steinberg Law Firm will look out for your best interests and work to get you the best deal possible.
Helpful Erb’s Palsy Resources:
Michigan Erb’s Palsy Attorneys
ASK LEE: Request Free Consultation Free case evaluation by phone: 1-800-LEE-FREE
Erb’s Palsy – American Association of Neuromuscular Disorders
Frequently Asked Questions About Erb’s Palsy Cases
Consult with your lawyer at the Lee Steinberg Law Firm for advice that is specific to your case. Here is some general information about Erb’s palsy cases.
Q: How common is Erb’s palsy?
According to the American Association of Neuromuscular Disorders, Erb’s palsy occurs in about 0.5 to 2.6 births per 1000 full-term live births. Many cases of Erb’s palsy resolve within 3 to 9 months. Other cases, especially those where there was extended or severe shoulder damage during birth, can take much longer to resolve or could be lifelong.
Q: Does it matter whether the doctor meant to cause harm?
A medical professional rarely intends to harm someone and may think they did everything possible to assist you and your child. But it doesn’t matter. A medical professional’s good intentions can’t erase what happened.
Q: How long does an Erb’s palsy case typically take?
A: Every legal case is different, but generally a settlement for Erb’s palsy takes less time than a case that goes to court. It may take some time to gather the medical records and additional medical reviews you may need for your case. To get a better idea of the timeframe, call 1-800-LEE-FREE to talk about your situation in a confidential and free discussion.
Q: My doctor wants me to hold off on starting a lawsuit. Should I wait?
A: Erb’s palsy sometimes resolves on its own as the child’s body heals, so doctors sometimes want to take a “wait and see” approach. However, this has a definite downside in a legal sense. In Michigan, you must sue within two years of the injury or six months of becoming aware of it. This timeframe begins counting down the day your child is born, in most cases.
Important Questions to Ask a Michigan Erb’s Palsy Lawyer
Before you hire a Michigan Erb’s palsy lawyer, ask about their success rate with these cases. Birth injury cases can be extremely difficult to prove without excellent legal representation.
Ask questions like:
- Do you have experience going up against big Michigan hospitals?
- Have you gotten good results in other Erb’s palsy cases?
- How will you help me investigate what happened?
- Do you have a good reputation with Michigan judges and courts?
At the Lee Steinberg Law Firm, we have stellar credentials when it comes to representing clients in Erb’s palsy cases. We understand how challenging your situation is and we will be by your side, helping you plan for a better future.
Please contact the Lee Steinberg Law Firm today at 1-800-LEE-FREE to get in touch with a qualified, experienced Erb’s palsy nearest to you in Michigan. You will receive an evaluation of your case entirely free of charge.
Need Answers About Erb’s Palsy? We’re Here to Help.
Get a free case consultation today.