Q:  When is my doctor liable for Erb’s palsy?

No parents want to see their baby hurt. So, when birth injuries occur, parents are understandably worried, angry, and looking for someone to hold responsible, which may be possible, depending on the facts of the case. In some cases, you may be able to find your doctor liable for Erb’s palsy or another birth injury; however, in many cases, it is just a result of an unfortunate and unavoidable complication.

Birth injuries are difficult and complex to deal with. Should your baby suffer a birth-related injury, talk to a medical malpractice attorney from the Francis Law Group for individualized guidance on your situation.

What is Erb's palsy and how does it occur?

Erb’s palsy may occur if the baby suffers shoulder dystocia during delivery. Shoulder dystocia is a condition in which the baby’s shoulder catches behind the mother’s pelvic bone, stretching the baby’s arm and neck and injuring the brachial plexus.

The brachial plexus is a grouping of nerves running from the spinal cord up the arms to the hands that controls movement and feeling.

Erb's palsy includes symptoms of nerve damage and paralysis such as an inability to move hands and fingers, arm limpness, and loss of feeling in the arm and/or hand. Because newborns are unable to express their experience, doctors often make their diagnosis through visual cues or x-rays.

When might a doctor be liable for Erb’s palsy?

While not every instance of Erb's palsy is necessarily grounds for a medical malpractice claim, a doctor may be liable in certain cases, such as if:

The doctor knew the baby was too big for delivery and did not order a Caesarean section or the doctor knew the baby was too large earlier in the pregnancy, due to gestational diabetes, and did not order treatment for the mother.

The doctor incorrectly used forceps or a vacuum extractor during delivery.

The doctor, after noticing the baby was stuck, used too much force to deliver the baby.

How can I prove it?

To prove liability, you will need evidence that shows:

  • The doctor owed you a duty of care, i.e., you had a valid doctor-patient relationship.
  • The doctor breached his duty.
  • Your baby’s injuries are a result of the breach
  • You incurred damages.

To prove this liability, you can use evidence such as your baby’s medical records and the testimony of a medical expert who can show that the doctor did not act the way that another professional in the same field with the same experience would have.

Dealing with a birth injury and a medical malpractice claim at the same time is tough. Do not do it alone. Contact an attorney at the Francis Law Group for help: 407-363-9939.

Q: Can a pharmacist be liable for pharmacy malpractice?

Pharmacists are highly trained members of your personal healthcare team who you trust to dispense the proper medications to help you get well and stay well. When a pharmacist makes a mistake, it can do far more than simply fail to make you well. In fact, it can cause serious injuries or even be life-threatening. If you believe your injuries were a result of pharmacy malpractice, call a medical malpractice attorney from The Francis Law Group today.

When can I hold a pharmacist liable for mistakes?

Liability for your medication injuries may fall onto the pharmacist in a number of circumstances. These may include situations when the pharmacist:

  • Dispensed the wrong drug
  • Dispensed an incorrect dosage
  • Failed to consider harmful interactions with other prescription drugs
  • Failed to look at a patient’s known drug allergies
  • Failed to properly warn a patient of dangerous side effects
  • Marketed a defective drug

Pharmacists are not the only people you can hold liable for pharmacy malpractice. You may be able to hold the following parties liable as well:

  • Doctor: For writing the wrong prescription or not considering its effects when mixed with other drugs
  • Manufacturer: For manufacturing a defective drug or for not providing warning labels
  • Nurse: For administering the wrong drug or the wrong dosage

What do I have to prove to win a malpractice case against a pharmacist?

In every pharmacy malpractice case, you must prove the pharmacist acted in a negligent manner is important. In order to win your case, you will need to show that:

The pharmacist must follow his profession’s standard of care. In other words, the pharmacist was legally responsible for providing the correct medication and information and preventing interactions or allergic reactions.

  • The pharmacist deviated from the standard of care. He acted in a way that another reasonable pharmacist would not have acted.
  • This deviation caused your injuries.
  • You suffered real injuries or harm. 

Do I need to discuss my injuries with a malpractice attorney?

If you believe you suffered injuries due to a pharmacist's negligence, you should contact a local malpractice lawyer to determine if you may be eligible to collect compensation for your damages. Most malpractice cases require a number of specialists and experts to review medical records, determine causation, and testify on your behalf. The malpractice attorneys at The Francis Law Group have access to these contacts.

Tony Francis represents victims of all forms of medical malpractice in Orlando. Contact us today at 407-363-9939 to learn more about how we can help you get the compensation you deserve.  

Q:  What is the standard of care for cases of medical malpractice in Florida?

Standard of care is vital to medical malpractice cases in Florida. It is the cornerstone of every medical negligence case. According to Florida Statute § 766.102:

The prevailing professional standard of care for a given health care provider shall be that level of care, skill, and treatment which, in light of all relevant surrounding circumstances, is recognized as acceptable and appropriate by reasonably prudent similar health care providers.

Simply put, a healthcare provider can only be held liable for medical malpractice if she did something (or did not do something) that another doctor would deem inappropriate for the circumstance. Keep in mind that each doctor is held to the same standard as other doctors within her own specialty, i.e. a radiologist is not held to the same standard as an anesthesiologist.  

How do I prove that the standard of care was violated?

If you suffered injuries from an action made by a medical professional, you do not automatically have a case for medical malpractice. If a medical professional did everything she could do to ensure your safety and another professional in the same field agrees that he would do the same thing, she may not be held liable.

This is true, even if her actions resulted in injury. For example, a doctor who correctly uses forceps during a difficult delivery but still injures the baby will most likely not be held liable.

If you believe that your doctor violated the standard of care owed to you, and if you know that you suffered harm as a direct result, you will have to prove this in order to recover compensation. Because a violation of the standard of care is based on what another professional in the same position would or would not do, you will need to recruit expert medical witnesses to testify on your behalf.

Gathering all evidence related to your claim will also be essential, as will the presentation of that evidence in a convincing manner. Remember that you must file your claim within two years’ time, per Florida Statute § 95.11.

How a Florida Medical Malpractice Attorney Can Help You

If you think that you have a medical malpractice claim for damages, contact a medical malpractice attorney at The Francis Law Group today. We will review your claim for free, and provide you with information regarding whether moving forward with your civil action makes sense. If you decide to pursue a claim, we will represent you every step of the way. To learn more, call our offices now at 407-363-9939 or fill out our online contact form