Palsy means paralysis of some sort. Erb’s palsy is a neurological disorder that manifests as weakness or paralysis in all or part of the arm caused by damage to the nerves in the brachial plexus. These nerves control sensation and movement between the shoulders and the fingers and can sustain damage via physical trauma.
In most cases, Erb’s palsy is the result of an upper brachial plexus injury involving the nerves in the neck. It can lead to paralysis, weakness, muscle atrophy, and a loss of fine motor skills. If your child received a diagnosis of Erb’s palsy, we can help. The Birth Injury Lawyers Group assists families in Lehigh Acres dealing with the physical, medical, financial, and legal ramifications of Erb’s palsy. Call us today at (800) 222-9529 for a free case evaluation.
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Causes of Erb’s Palsy
Two common causes of the injuries that lead to Erb’s palsy are birth injuries and medical malpractice in the delivery room. When a baby in the delivery room sustains a brachial plexus injury, consider speaking to a Lehigh Acres Erb’s palsy lawyer to determine whether or not malpractice played a role in causing or aggravating your child’s injuries.
For example, if your child was unusually large or moved within the womb in such a way that he or she was going to be delivered feet-first, your child’s obstetrician should have tested for and identified these facts. The same goes for handling an emergency delivery case or performing a C-section to quickly deliver a child using devices such as forceps or vacuum extractors and forcibly removing a baby from the mother. These procedures are dangerous. Failing to perform them properly can lead to more serious issues, including death.
Medical negligence can usually be proven if you can show the following:
- Your child’s doctor or his or her care team was responsible for the health and safety of your child.
- They were incompetent in some way while treating, delivering, testing, or monitoring your child or the mother.
- Their incompetence resulted in an injury of some sort.
- The injury caused you some sort of damage, which can include financial losses, lost opportunities, or pain and suffering.
Most Erb’s palsy cases recover themselves within the first few months of life. However, if your child’s injuries are serious, or if you are unable to quickly provide him or her with the needed treatment, then the chances of recovery fall precipitously. Your child may have a life-long injury and disabilities as a result. In some cases, the affected arm may have developmental issues, or the patient may not have his or her full strength or a full range of motion without surgery.
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Treatments for Erb’s Palsy
Erb’s palsy must be treated within the first four weeks of life. Failing to do so may result in permanent nerve damage. However, before treatments can be initiated, the underlying cause of the illness must be determined.
Here are two broad measures of the severity of brachial plexus injuries:
- Mild cases of brachial plexus injuries can lead to a burning sensation that shoots down the arm, numbness or weakness in the arm, and an inability to move the arm, shoulders, wrists, or fingers in certain ways. Mild cases of Erb’s palsy usually heal on their own.
- Severe cases of Erb’s palsy can result in severe pain, especially in cases where the nerve roots become detached from the spine, as well as varying degrees of paralysis. Serious cases often require physical therapy and surgery.
Surgical procedures, especially those that involve reattaching severed nerves to the spinal cord or transferring healthy nerves to the affected part of the body, can be expensive, as are tests such as MRIs, CT scans, and EMGs (electromyography) that are needed to accurately assess where and how much damage has occurred and how to treat it.
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Compensation Categories for a Birth Injury Case
If it can be proven that your child’s doctor or someone on the medical team was responsible for your child’s brachial plexus injury, you may have grounds for a birth injury claim to seek financial compensation for the damages your child and your family suffered. Compensation for Erb’s palsy often includes one or more of the following:
- Coverage for rehabilitation, therapy, counseling, and training
- Coverage for additional medical expenses, such as doctor’s visits, medication, tests, surgical procedures, and assistive devices
- Coverage for modifications to the home to make it accessible for the patient
- Lost income
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Why a Lehigh Acres Erb’s Palsy Lawyer May Help
If your child sustained a birth injury or received a formal diagnosis of Erb’s palsy, or if you are simply unsure about what to do, give us a call. You can reach the Birth Injury Lawyers Group at (800) 222-9529, and we are here to help in the following ways:
- We will determine the role of malpractice in causing or aggravating your child’s injuries.
- We will collect the evidence needed to support your claim.
- We will interview the medical team responsible for your child’s delivery and obtain expert medical testimony in support of your case.
- We will identify and quantify the various costs and/or damages you may be legally entitled to file a claim for, such as treatment costs, medicines, checkups, and diagnostic tests.
- We will calculate your lost income to include that figure in your damages claim.
If negligence or medical malpractice caused your child’s injuries and Erb’s palsy, or if you received a birth injury diagnosis but are unsure about what happened, call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today at (800) 222-9529. We take all of our cases on a contingency-fee basis, so you pay nothing upfront, and we only collect attorney’s fees if you win compensation or a settlement from the at-fault parties identified in your claim. Statutes of limitation apply, and time is of the essence, so be sure to call today.
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