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Shoulder dystocia is a form of birth injury that, while unfortunately common, is also entirely preventable. It usually occurs when the infant’s shoulder becomes caught on the mother’s pubic bone after the head has emerged during delivery—often because of the doctor or nurse’s failure to notice the baby’s position during delivery. The condition usually causes damage to the shoulder that can result in paralysis or nerve damage, a condition also known as Erb’s Palsy.
Because most shoulder dystocia and Erb’s Palsy injuries are preventable with appropriate care, it’s important to speak with a knowledgeable malpractice lawyer to learn about your legal rights.
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At Team Law, our skilled medical malpractice lawyers know what you, as parents, are going through. We are here to put our 60-plus years of legal experience to work in fighting to recover the maximum available compensation in your case.
Many infants who suffer from shoulder dystocia during birth face a long road to recovery and rehabilitation during their first months and years of life. As parents, you understandably want to do whatever you can to protect your child. In many cases, that includes speaking with the best possible lawyers to get the financial compensation you need to provide for current treatments and ongoing care for your child.
We offer a free case evaluation where we can discuss potential options for recovering compensation. To learn more about our law firm, New Jersey medical malpractice laws and how we can help, call our office or fill out this online contact form today.
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The most common and lasting medical complication that arises from shoulder dystocia results in damage to a bundle of nerves in the shoulder known as the brachial plexus. The brachial plexus is the region that controls the baby’s arm and hand. When the upper part of the brachial plexus is damaged, the condition is called Erb’s Palsy, which can result in:
Proper monitoring of the mother and infant during labor and delivery give physicians and nurses the tools necessary to prevent shoulder dystocia most of the time. Once the risk factors associated with shoulder dystocia are identified, the obstetrician and treating staff should follow delivery procedures developed by the medical community to prevent injury. Because shoulder dystocia occurs in about 2 in ever 1,000 births, your medical team should be watching for risk factors such as:
Some of the most common causes of shoulder dystocia and Erb’s Palsy include:
At Team Law, our skilled medical malpractice lawyers are available to investigate your case to determine whether the shoulder dystocia resulted from medical negligence. Your child may be facing a difficult road to rehabilitation, and we want to make sure you have the funds needed to secure the best possible treatment. To learn more about how we can help protect your child’s future, call our office today for a free consultation.
Verdict – Team Law’s client fell and dislocated her knee, causing an injury to the popliteal artery that ultimately resulted in the amputation of her leg. Suit was filed against the hospital to which she had been taken by ambulance, the emergency room doctor, a radiologist and an orthopedic surgeon. The orthopedic surgeon claimed he was inordinately delayed getting to the hospital because of traffic problems on the Garden State Parkway. Team Law was able to counter the surgeon’s testimony by obtaining records from the Garden State Parkway that showed no traffic problems and by obtaining the surgeon’s EZ Pass records. The claim against the emergency room doctor was that he should have asked for vascular consultation when he detected a weak pulse in the foot, not just an orthopedic consult. The claim against the radiologist was that his actions also delayed treatment. After a seven week trial, a verdict was entered in favor of Team Law’s client and against all four of those defendants.
Unfortunately, shoulder dystocia and Erb’s Palsy can result in the need for ongoing care. To properly treat the condition, your child may have to undergo:
Treatment for Erb’s Palsy caused by shoulder dystocia is expensive and your child’s need for treatment can often last a lifetime. At Team Law, our medical malpractice lawyers work with experts in the field to advocate for the maximum available compensation award. Your child may be permanently unable to participate in certain activities during life and can even be unable to work in certain fields because of the injury.
Because of the ongoing nature of the injury, our lawyers will advocate for a compensation package that covers all future anticipated costs—both objective and subjective. That compensation should include:
At Team Law, our New Jersey medical malpractice lawyers are here to support you through all aspects of your case. From your free case review through to a lawsuit if you decide to sue, we will take on the negotiations and handle all of the important procedural aspects of a New Jersey medical malpractice claim.
If your child suffered shoulder dystocia or an Erb’s palsy injury during birth, call us today to schedule a free case review with a talented New Jersey medical malpractice lawyer. You can also fill out this online contact form and we will respond promptly.
Not in every case. However, because the conditions are so common, it is often the case that a doctor’s mistake is to blame. In order to establish that medical malpractice was the cause, we have to prove that the doctor or nurse’s actions were unreasonable given the circumstances. In other words, we have to show what a reasonable, trained doctor would have done in a similar situation. This is known as the medical standard of care.
In some cases, simply maneuvering the baby carefully within the mother—or changing the mother’s position during labor—can prevent the injury. Applying appropriate pressure to the mother and rotating the child’s shoulder carefully away from the bone can sometimes prevent shoulder dystocia. In other cases, a C-section may be the safest course of action. Our lawyers will evaluate your medical records and consult with experts to gain a full understanding of how a reasonable medical professional would have handled your case.
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