Your child’s Erb’s palsy diagnosis may throw you into a tailspin of emotions, not the least of which being concern for your child’s welfare and the financial challenges you might face.
If the Erb’s palsy resulted from damage suffered during a difficult childbirth, your obstetrician, delivery team, and/or the medical facility may be liable. In this case, you may have the right to pursue compensation via a claim or lawsuit.
A St. Petersburg Erb’s palsy lawyer may be able to review your case free of charge and help you understand your rights, as well as explain your possible options for moving forward. Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today at (800) 222-9529.
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Understanding What Causes Erb’s Palsy
Erb’s palsy results from damage to a section of nerves called the brachial plexus. These nerves connect the spinal cord to the shoulders, arms, and hands to enable sensation and control movement. In the case of Erb’s palsy, the upper area of the brachial plexus becomes injured, and it diminishes sensation and mobility of the shoulders and arms.
Any number of incidents may cause this type of damage, and it may happen to a person of any age. However, one of the most common settings for this brachial plexus injury is childbirth, making infants frequent victims.
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How Childbirth May Cause Damage to the Upper Brachial Plexus
The type of nerve damage connected with a newborn’s Erb’s palsy may occur during a difficult childbirth. Common risk factors for such an injury include:
- Small mothers
- Large infants
- Prolonged labor
- Use of low- or mid-forceps
- Vacuum extraction
Consider a scenario in which a large baby’s head emerges, but one of the infant’s shoulders becomes lodged behind the mother’s pelvic bone. In this situation, a member of the delivery team may try to facilitate the shoulder’s movement by pressing down on the infant’s head in the opposite direction of the stuck shoulder. This traction may stretch and damage the nerves in the upper brachial plexus, potentially leading to Erb’s palsy.
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Knowing the Symptoms of Erb’s Palsy
Symptoms of Erb’s palsy may be immediately apparent. Because the nerves that let the spinal cord communicate with the shoulder and arm have been damaged, one of the most prominent symptoms may be muscle weakness, and in cases of more severe nerve damage, the infant might even show signs of paralysis.
Another marked symptom of Erb’s palsy is a lack of sensation or no sensation at all. A baby cannot communicate that they do not feel anything in their shoulder or arm, making it especially important to watch for other signs that might indicate the condition.
The signs to watch to watch for include:
- Weak grip
- Abnormal arm positions
- Lack of movement in the affected arm
- Diminished or abnormal reflexes in the affected arm
By detecting these signs early, your doctor may be able to diagnose the Erb’s palsy and begin treatment.
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How Erb’s Palsy Is Treated
Erb’s palsy may heal on its own without any additional medical treatment. However, your child may require physical therapy, and in the case of a severe injury they might have to undergo surgery.
Complications may persist beyond the elimination of the major symptoms of Erb’s palsy. Even if the nerves heal, your child may experience some or all of the following complications, either temporarily or permanently, depending on the extent of nerve damage:
- Muscle atrophy
- Muscle weakness
Any amount of physical therapy and surgery may result in medical expenses. You may also miss time from work as you care for your child. On top of it all, you may take on emotional distress, pain, and suffering. You may be entitled to recover these damages and any others you experienced if the complications came as a result of a medical provider’s negligence. The Birth Injury Lawyers Group may be able to craft your claim and represent you in a fight for compensation. Call a St. Petersburg Erb’s palsy lawyer for a free consultation at (800) 222-9529.
We May Investigate Your Case to Establish Liability
A person’s ability to recover damages from any injury depends on a legal doctrine known as “Duty of Care.” Under this premise, the law says that if someone had a duty to keep you from harm and failed to uphold this duty, thereby causing you to suffer an injury, you may have the right to recover any damages you sustained.
In the case of your child’s Erb’s palsy, your obstetrician, delivery team, and medical facility owed you a duty of care to act as a reasonable, trained party to protect you and your baby from harm or injury. Our team may investigate your case to find evidence that shows one or more of these parties may have violated this duty of care, thereby causing your baby’s brachial plexus injuries.
We may then gather all the evidence to support the damages you have suffered, both economic and noneconomic, and present them to the insurer for a settlement. If the insurer refuses to cooperate, we may be willing to take the negligent party to court.
Although every case is different, some of the types of damages you might be able to recover from a personal injury claim or lawsuit include:
- Costs of medical treatment
- Physical therapy
- Lost income
- Loss of consortium
- Diminished quality of life
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
There are many types of damages that may be recovered in a personal injury case, depending on the circumstances of the negligence which may have caused the accident, the injuries that resulted from the negligence, and the ways that the injuries may have cost the plaintiff economically, professionally, psychologically, and/or emotionally.
The Statute of Limitations Affects the Time You Have to Act
Each state has its own statute of limitations restricting the amount of time you have to take legal action after injury caused by another party. In the case of birth injury, you may be able to toll—or pause—the statute of limitations. Your lawyer may be able to tell you whether this option might pertain to your case.
Call a St. Petersburg Erb’s Palsy Lawyer for Help With Your Case
If the negligence of a medical provider or facility led to your child’s Erb’s palsy, you may be entitled to compensation.
Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group at (800) 222-9529 for a free, no-obligation case review.