The nerve damage that may lead to Erb’s palsy can happen at any point in a person’s life, but the condition is typically seen as a birth injury. If a medical professional’s actions during pregnancy or delivery led to Erb’s palsy in the infant, parents may be entitled to recover compensation to pay medical costs, missed days at work, and other damages.
If your infant suffered an injury during childbirth that resulted in Erb’s palsy in Orlando, Florida, you may have the right to try to file a claim against the negligent party or parties. An Orlando Erb’s palsy lawyer may be able to inform you of your options, protect your rights, and represent you in your effort to recover damages. Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today at (800) 222-9529 for a free consultation.
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Understanding Erb’s Palsy
Erb’s palsy is commonly associated with a difficult childbirth in which the upper brachial plexus sustains damage. The brachial plexus consists of a bundle of nerves that control movement and provide sensation to the body’s shoulders, arms, and hands by connecting them to the spinal cord. Damage to the nerves that link to the shoulder and upper arm, in particular, may result in the condition known as Erb’s palsy.
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Risk Factors for Erb’s Palsy
During a difficult delivery—for example, one that involves a large baby, a small mother, a prolonged labor, or a child being born feet first—the delivery team may be prompted to attempt different maneuvers to deliver the infant. Some of these maneuvers may involve exerting force that stretches the nerves in the upper brachial plexus, causing them to become damaged.
For example, if the infant experiences shoulder dystocia—when a shoulder becomes lodged behind the mother’s pelvic bone—the physician might force the baby’s head downward, simultaneous to their neck and head stretching upward and in the opposite direction, leading to the nerve fibers of the upper brachial plexus being stretched and damaged.
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Symptoms of Erb’s Palsy
The muscle weakness—and sometimes paralysis—that may mark a case of Erb’s palsy can also be accompanied by a wide range of symptoms, depending on the severity of the nerve injury. Some of these symptoms may include:
- Weakness or lack of movement in the affected arm
- Abnormal or diminished reflexes in the affected arm
- Abnormal positioning of the arm
- Weak grip
- Lack of sensation, which may be hard to detect in newborns
The sooner these symptoms are detected, the sooner an Erb’s palsy diagnosis may happen—and the sooner a baby’s treatment may commence.
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Treatment of Erb’s Palsy
Erb’s palsy sometimes heals without treatment, but some cases may require physical therapy, and others may even need to be addressed with surgery.
Although the injury that causes Erb’s palsy may heal over time, the nerve damage can result in temporary or permanent complications, including:
- Pain from the nerve damage
- Muscle atrophy from lack of use
- Stiff joints
- Permanent muscle weakness
- Permanent paralysis
Your child’s Erb’s palsy may also generate medical expenses, as well as pain and suffering, and other damages for which you may be entitled to receive compensation. Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today at (800) 222-9529 for a free, no-obligation consultation with an Orlando Erb’s palsy lawyer.
Your Medical Providers Owe You a Duty of Care
To file a personal injury claim or lawsuit against someone for your child’s Erb’s palsy, your case may need to meet a list of requirements that make it a viable personal injury case. These criteria are collectively called the “Duty of Care” doctrine.
To establish a case for which another party is liable, you may need to prove:
- Duty: the defendant owed you a duty to take reasonable steps to keep you from injury or harm.
- Breach: the defendant failed to fulfill their duty of care.
- Causation: this breach of duty led to the injury.
- Damages: you sustained damages, whether they be financial, physical, or emotional, from your injury.
An Orlando Erb’s palsy lawyer may be able to investigate your case to look for evidence that can help prove the at-fault party’s actions led to your child’s condition.
How Your Case Might Meet the Duty of Care
The obstetrician, delivery team members, and medical facility involved in your pregnancy and delivery owed you a duty of care. Your physician likely should have been aware of your risk for a difficult childbirth. Furthermore, both your doctor and the delivery team should have had the abilities and knowledge to potentially handle the difficult delivery skillfully, without causing injury to you or your baby.
Your child’s Erb’s palsy may indicate this “duty of care” was breached, resulting in the nerve damage that led to your baby’s condition. For this negligence, you may be entitled to receive compensation.
Every personal injury case is different, including the circumstances leading up to the injury, the type of injury caused, and the financial, emotional, and physical losses associated with the injury. This is why it may be impossible to estimate the value of your claim against the negligent party in your case without knowing all the details.
Generally speaking, a personal injury plaintiff may seek to recover a handful of damages, including:
- Medical treatment and other medical expenses
- Loss of wages and benefits
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
This list represents only a small portion of the types of damages you may be able to recover in your case. A consultation with an Erb’s palsy lawyer may be able to tell you more.
The Statute of Limitations May Be Tolled
Every state imposes a time restriction on the amount of time you may have to take legal action from an injury. The clock on this statute of limitations starts to run at the moment the injury occurs. However, in the case of birth injuries, it is possible you may be able to toll the statute of limitations, either because the injured party was a baby or because the injury was not immediately discovered.
Call an Orlando Erb’s Palsy Lawyer
You may not have to pay for the medical expenses, lost wages from missing work, and pain and suffering that arise from your child’s Erb’s palsy. Let an Orlando Erb’s palsy lawyer work to help you get the compensation you may be entitled to. Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today at (800) 222-9529 for a free case review.