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Erb’s palsy: What is it and can I sue if my baby has it?

Erb’s palsy is paralysis of the arm caused by damage to the upper group of the arm’s nerves. This nerve damage is usually the result of complications during birth. The baby’s shoulder can get caught on the mother’s pubic bone during a difficult birth, leading to a strain or break of the nerves.

Other common causes of Erb’s palsy:

  • If the baby is born face first, Erb’s palsy could occur if the doctor pulls the baby out by their face or neck
  • If the baby is born feet first, Erb’s palsy might happen if the doctor pulls the baby’s legs and feet, causing the arms to go over the head. This puts undue stress on the shoulder
  • If the baby is too big for the birth canal, it can be pushed through the birth canal causing unnecessary stress on the arms, shoulders, and neck
  • If a nurse or physician picks up the baby by its arms instead of supporting its head and neck, they could cause damage to the shoulder’s nerves
  • Forceps or vacuum extraction tools used to aid childbirth might result in nerve damage and Erb’s palsy if used improperly

How do I know if I have a case?

If you suspect that your baby’s Erb’s palsy was caused by the improper use of tools or negligent actions of medical staff, you should contact a personal injury attorney specializing in medical malpractice. Your attorney can get copies of your baby’s medical records and enlist the help of an expert to determine whether medical malpractice occurred during childbirth. Once your attorney determines you have a case, they can calculate how much it might be worth and your next steps to take legal action.

Contact a New York birth injury lawyer

Sometimes, Erb’s palsy will resolve itself over a period of months, but other times, the baby may need to undergo physical therapy or surgery to regain movement of their arm. If the injury the baby sustained at birth was caused by the negligent or careless actions of a doctor, the parents may be able to sue for compensation to pay the medical bills associated with Erb’s palsy. The attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP are here to help you get the compensation you need so you can focus on your child’s health. Call us at (347) 318-9604 today.


The three types of birth-related injuries in medical malpractice

Birth injuries usually refer to injuries sustained by the baby during or right after birth, such as being injured by the use of forceps. However, there are a few other types of injuries related to birth and pregnancy that could affect the mother as well.

Injury to the mother or infant during pregnancy or birth

It is common for women to bleed, sometimes excessively, after the delivery of their baby. Doctors know how to control the bleeding and maintain the woman’s health, but if a doctor is negligent or careless and fails to do so, it could cause significant harm or even death.

The baby may be injured due to a doctor’s erroneous actions pre- or post-delivery, such as failing to monitor oxygen intake or delivering a baby too soon. For example, if a baby is delivered prematurely and suffers developmental problems because of this, the parents could file a medical malpractice claim to help pay for ongoing physical therapy.

Wrongful birth

When a baby is born with mental or physical impairments that should have been detected in genetic testing or the early stages of the pregnancy, the parents can sue for wrongful birth. In this case, the parents sue the doctor who should have informed them of their future child’s disabilities because they would not have had the child but for the doctor’s negligence. The parents can sue for the amount of money they anticipate will be required to pay for the child’s excess medical bills, special education costs, and even the parents’ emotional pain and suffering. In the state of New York, the child cannot sue for wrongful life.

Wrongful pregnancy

If a man or woman chooses sterilization to avoid having children, but due to the negligence or failure of medical professionals, they conceived anyway, they can sue for wrongful pregnancy. The plaintiff could win compensation to make up for the cost of the botched sterilization procedure, medical bills related to the delivery, and lost wages because of the pregnancy, but will not receive compensation to help raise the child.

How to get help

If you have been the victim of a birth-related instance of medical malpractice, please reach out to the experienced New York birth injury attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP. Our injury lawyers have years of experience fighting for families whose children were hurt before, during, or after childbirth, and we want to see that you get the justice you deserve. Call us at (212) 779-0057 or reach out online to schedule a free consultation today.


When and how to file a birth injury medical malpractice claim

If a child suffered a severe injury during birth due to the negligence or carelessness of a medical professional, the child’s parents could seek justice through a medical malpractice claim.

A birth injury malpractice claim could be brought against a hospital or individual if the medical professionals handling the birth act in a way that is below the standards of the medical profession. These injuries could be due to a medical professional’s misuse of a surgical tool during the birth, an obstetrician or gynecologist failing to diagnose an ailment in the baby before it was born, or an OBGYN not giving proper treatment to the mother and fetus when they discovered a problem. 

Filing a birth injury medical malpractice suit can be a difficult decision for any family. It can be expensive, time-consuming, and emotionally draining. It is necessary that you contact an attorney who specializes in these claims to help you navigate the complicated process of suing part of the healthcare industry. Below is some helpful information that you will want to know if you’re considering pursuing a claim.

What to prove

To prove medical malpractice, your attorney would need to show that a professional did not meet the standard of care that would apply to an obstetrician, gynecologist, or other specialist treating a similarly situated patient in similar circumstances. Often, your attorney will consult with expert witnesses to explain to the jury the nuances and technical terms associated with the medical field to help them better understand the situation and the failures of the at-fault party.

Other witnesses will need to explain how the child’s injury is not a natural birth defect that could not have been prevented. They need to prove that the injury was caused by negligence and would not have happened under similar circumstances had the patient been operated on by another doctor. 

When to file

If you believe you have a case, you must file a medical malpractice claim within two years and six months of the injury. If you are filing a wrongful death claim following the death of the infant, it must be within two years of their death. 

If you are considering filing a birth injury medical malpractice claim, please consider reaching out to our experienced injury lawyers at Hach & Rose, LLP. Our attorneys can help you navigate the stressful process and win compensation for you and your child. Call our office at (212) 779-0057 or reach out online to schedule a free consultation today.


Birth Injuries Caused by Improper Use of Forceps

The birth of a child should be one of the happiest and exciting times in a new parent’s life. However, this excitement can be overshadowed by birth injuries caused by the negligence of medical professionals. Unfortunately, birth injuries are all too common. According to birth injury statistics, an average of 28 thousand infants are born with a birth injury each year. Among some of the most common injuries are head and brain traumas, which take place when the infant’s skull is subjected to too much — or improperly placed — pressure.

One of the leading causes of head and brain trauma in new-born infants is the improper use of forceps by medical professionals. Forceps are a birth-assisting tool, typically used by physicians when a mother cannot push a baby out on her own during delivery. However, the tools are seen by many obstetricians as so risky that many no longer use them. Many potential complications could arise with the use of forceps.

For the mother, these complications include:

  • Lacerations and tears in the lower genital tract
  • Fecal and urinary incontinence
  • Anemia
  • Injuries to the bladder
  • Injuries to the urethra
  • Perineum pain

For the Infant, these complications include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Permanent brain damage
  • Skull fractures
  • Hemorrhaging in the skull and brain
  • Bruising and swelling in the skull and brain
  • Seizures
  • Facial injuries or facial palsy

Sadly, there are many reported cases of infant fatalities due to the improper use of forceps. According to a conclusive study published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, researchers found that forceps are “associated with increased rates of severe perinatal morbidity and mortality.”

Contact a New York Forcep Birth Injury Lawyer

If a doctor or attending nurse was negligent or careless in the use of forceps during delivery, both the mother and infant are at risk of serious injury. If someone close to you was harmed by the use of forceps during delivery, contact the New York birth injury lawyers of Hach & Rose, LLP right away. We will be ready to discuss your case during a free, no-obligation consultation when you call (212) 779-0057.


Birth injuries: Which are the most common, and why do they occur?

Perhaps one of the most exciting things about being a new parent is becoming a new parent. Many women have described that giving birth is an experience unlike any other, filled with joy, happiness, and of course, a reasonable amount of pain. However, giving birth can be hazardous to the health of both mother and baby if the medical professionals attending the birth do not provide an adequate standard of care.

Infants are extremely vulnerable during delivery, and in some tragic cases, the negligence of healthcare professionals can result in birth injuries that can have a lasting impact on the baby’s life and the lives of their family members.

Ten Most Commonly Reported Birth Injuries

According to a report from the Birth Injury Guide (BIG), 28 thousand babies are born with a birth injury per year — that equates to roughly three babies per hour. The ten most common types of birth injuries include:

  • Brachial Plexus Palsy (Erb’s Palsy) – paralysis of the arm caused by injury to the arm’s main upper group of nerves
  • Bone fractures – the clavicle is the most commonly fractured bone, followed by the humerus, femur, and skull
  • Cephalohematoma – damaged vessels between the skull and the inner layers of skin, resulting in the pooling of blood
  • Caput succedaneum – similar to a cephalohematoma, this injury is a collection of subdermal fluid, caused by too much pressure on the baby’s head during delivery
  • Perinatal asphyxia – when a child doesn’t breath normally just before, during, or after birth, often resulting in limpness, silence, and a blue skin-tone
  • Intracranial hemorrhage – a type of bleeding that happens inside the skull, caused by a blood vessel in the brain that has leaked or ruptured
  • Subconjunctival hemorrhage – when one or more blood vessels in the baby’s eye breaks, resulting in the appearance of blood spots over the whites of the eye
  • Facial paralysis – loss of facial movement due to nerve damage during delivery
  • Spinal cord injuries – these kinds of injuries can happen if a doctor strains the child’s neck by twisting, pulling, or using tools to remove the baby from the birth canal
  • Cerebral palsy – the result of brain injuries that affect the child’s ability to control motor functions

Unfortunately, too many mothers have had to deal with cases of birth injury. According to BIG, “Close to 50% of all birth injuries are potentially avoidable by identification and planning for obstetrical risk factors.”

Contact a New York Birth Injury Attorney

Hach & Rose, LLP represents families of infants who suffered severe birth injuries in New York. Our understanding and knowledgeable team will be here to provide you with the support and qualified legal representation you need and deserve. We’ll be here to help answer your questions and aggressively seek justice on behalf of your child.


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