Erb’s palsy is a nervous system disorder that affects a person’s ability to move the arm in certain ways. It can lead to weakness and a lack of sensation in the affected arm, hand, or fingers. More serious complications include muscle atrophy, long-term pain and sensory issues, and even paralysis.
Erb’s palsy usually develops when a bundle of nerves called the brachial plexus sustains damage. Although the brachial plexus can become injured in many ways, delivery room issues commonly cause of this injury.
We expect doctors, nurses, and other medical staff to treat their patients with a high level of expertise and competence, but when medical errors occur, it is the patient who suffers—often with long-term injuries, many of which were avoidable.
Families in Fort Lauderdale who have received an Erb’s palsy diagnosis for their injured child can call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group at (800) 222-9529 for a free case evaluation with a team member.
For a free legal consultation with Fort Lauderdale Erb's Palsy lawyer, call 1-800-222-9529
Classifying Erb’s Palsy
The brachial plexus controls sensation and movement in the shoulder, arms, wrists, hands, and fingers. An injury to this bundle of connected nerves can occur in several ways, such as when childbirth becomes complicated by high birth weight, breech presentation, or an extremely long labor that results in the baby being forcibly removed from the birth canal, stretching or tearing the nerves.
Medical errors, especially the incorrect use of delivery devices to extract a baby from the mother, can also lead to serious complications and disabilities that may require long-term therapy and treatment.
When it comes to Erb’s palsy, you must consider the potential role of medical malpractice or negligence on the part of a doctor or delivery team in contributing to or aggravating your child’s injuries. A Fort Lauderdale Erb’s palsy lawyer can help you with your investigation into your child’s diagnosis.
The Cleveland Clinic outlines the four categories of brachial plexus damage:
- Avulsion: This is when the nerve root is torn or detached from the spinal cord. This is the most serious type of brachial plexus injury, is usually accompanied by extreme pain, and usually requires surgery.
- Rupture: This is when a nerve tears but not where it connects to the spine. The severity of a rupture depends on the extent of damage and where it occurred along the nerve, and treatments may include surgery or physiotherapy
- Neuroma: These develop when a torn nerve heals but leaves scar tissue in its place. If this scar tissue places pressure on the injured nerve, it can inhibit the nerve’s ability to transmit signals from the brain to certain parts of the patient’s body. Neuromas may also require surgery and therapy.
- Neuropraxia: The most common brachial plexus injury, it is caused by an overstretching of the nerves. They can sometimes be treated with various forms of physiotherapy and may or may not require invasive treatment.
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Settlements for Erb’s Palsy Cases
Before filing a claim against the at-fault parties you feel are responsible for your child’s injuries, Sec. 766.203 of the Florida Statutes requires that your case be reviewed by a medical expert to determine whether it meets the necessary criteria for filing a malpractice claim. If your situation warrants a claim, you will be able to obtain approval for what is known as an intent to sue, which is a letter you must send to the party or parties you intend to recoup damages and compensation from.
A Fort Lauderdale Erb’s palsy lawyer can help you do this. They can also investigate the circumstances surrounding your child’s birth to determine how, when, and why injuries leading to an Erb’s palsy diagnosis occurred. Your attorney will most likely consult with independent medical experts to review your case and testify on your behalf. Moreover, witness interviews, hospital’s files research, and meetings with other families who share your experience can all strengthen their case.
In terms of compensation, depending on the costs and damages you face in the aftermath of your child’s Erb’s palsy diagnosis, you may be entitled to compensation for:
- The costs of medicine, tests, hospital visits, and surgery.
- The costs of assistive devices such as crutches, wheelchairs, or body braces.
- Payments made to therapists or specialists.
- Income lost because of being away from work while caring for your child.
- Damages for pain and suffering that your child should not have had to face.
At the Birth Injury Lawyers Group, we focus on medical malpractice cases involving birth injuries. Our Fort Lauderdale Erb’s palsy lawyers are here to help you get through this traumatic time, and we know about the various treatments and legal options that are available to you.
Call us today for a free case evaluation at (800) 222-9529 and to learn more about the costs outlined above. A member of our team will also walk you through what you need to know with regards to your rights and responsibilities and the kinds of evidence needed to establish medical negligence.
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Recovering from Erb’s Palsy
The long-term outlook of Erb’s palsy depends on several factors, including:
- The severity of the injuries in question.
- Where and how specific nerves within the brachial plexus sustained damage.
- The age of the patient.
- The different treatment options that are available.
- How soon treatments are initiated.
- The patient’s response to the treatment.
If your child’s injuries were not serious, their Erb’s palsy likely will heal on its own, allowing them to make a complete recovery. However, if the birth injury and subsequent nerve damage are severe, the patient’s nerves may not heal on their own, and surgery may be required.
Even with surgery, there is no guarantee that the patient will recover all, or even most, of the function in their affected arm, especially if developmental issues irreversibly affect the physical makeup of the affected body parts.
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Act Today to Protect Your Rights
It is unfair for you and your child to have to suffer and pay for the damages from Erb’s palsy, especially if they were caused by avoidable birth injuries that your child’s care team should have prevented.
Fort Lauderdale families should take all necessary steps to determine whether their child’s Erb’s palsy diagnosis resulted from natural factors or the actions of the medical care providers responsible for caring for the mother and her child during pregnancy, delivery, and soon after birth.
The Birth Injury Lawyers Group is here to help. Call us today for a free case evaluation with a team member at (800) 222-9529. The clock is ticking on the statute of limitations, so you might not want to wait before acting.
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