Erb’s palsy, a condition that affects the mobility and sensitivity of the shoulder and arm, may present challenges for an individual and their caretakers. When an infant or child is afflicted, parents may feel grief and concern over their child, who may be unable to express what they are feeling.
Although this condition may heal on its own over time, in some cases physical therapy or surgery may be required. A parent should not have to bear these costs, or non-economic costs like pain and suffering, if their child’s Erb’s palsy could have been avoided. If a medical professional in Spring Hill, Florida caused the condition through their negligence, they or their medical facility should pay.
A Spring Hill Erb’s palsy lawyer from the Birth Injury Lawyers Group may be able to represent you in the pursuit of compensation you may be entitled to. Call our team at (800) 222-9529 for a free consultation.
For a free legal consultation with Spring Hill Erb's Palsy lawyer, call 1-800-222-9529
Understanding What Causes Erb’s Palsy
Erb’s palsy may occur at any age, but the condition is most typically associated with newborns. However, it may not be detected until the child is a toddler.
In newborns, neonatal brachial plexus palsy (NBPP) stems from damage to a bundle of nerves called the brachial plexus that transmit signals from the spinal cord to the shoulder, arm, and hand. When the damage occurs in the upper brachial plexus, the NBPP may be diagnosed as Erb’s palsy, which may affect the infant’s shoulder and upper arm.
These nerves may be injured during a difficult pregnancy, and the following factors may increase the risk of damage:
- When the fetus is larger than normal
- If the mother is smaller than normal
- A breech (feet-first) delivery
- Instances of shoulder dystocia, in which one or both of the child’s shoulders gets stuck inside the mother’s pelvis
The physician may try different maneuvers to safely deliver the baby, though these may apply force that stretches the upper brachial plexus nerves up and away from the shoulder. In some cases, the nerves may actually be ripped from the spinal cord.
Other Possible Causes
The nerves in the upper brachial plexus may be damaged in other ways, including:
- Contact sports: colliding with other players
- Trauma: such as motorcycle accidents, gunshot wounds, falls, and motor vehicle accidents
- Cancer treatment: such as radiation therapy
- Tumors: by putting pressure on the nerve bundle or by spreading to the actual nerves
If you believe another party caused you or a loved one to suffer Erb’s palsy, you may be entitled to recover damages from the at-fault party.
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Symptoms of Erb’s Palsy
Erb’s palsy may be characterized by muscle weakness. The range of symptoms may depend on how severely the brachial plexus nerves have been damaged. In the most serious of conditions, the patient may experience paralysis. Other less severe symptoms may include:
- Diminished or abnormal reflexes in the affected arm
- Decreased or no sensation, which may be hard to detect in newborns
- Weak grip
- Abnormal arm positioning
- Lack of movement or weakness in the affected arm
As with most injuries, the earlier that Erb’s palsy symptoms are detected the sooner a diagnosis may occur, which may lead to earlier treatment.
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Complications From Erb’s Palsy
The damaged nerves in a case of Erb’s palsy may lead to several complications. Sometimes, even after treatment, the complications may be permanent. Some complications an individual may experience include:
- Muscle atrophy
- Stiff joints
- Numb arm or hand
- Permanent weakness of paralysis
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Erb’s palsy may recover on its own, but in other instances, the infant may need to receive physical therapy or even surgery.
Surgery options include:
- Neurolysis (removing certain fibrotic tissue from a nerve)
- Muscle transfer
- Nerve transfer
- Nerve graft
Though treatment for Erb’s palsy is available, these procedures and physical therapy may be costly. A Spring Hill Erb’s palsy lawyer from the Birth Injury Lawyers Group may be able to fight to help you recover your losses from the at-fault party. Call (800) 222-9529 to discuss your case in a free, no-obligation consultation.
Your Medical Providers Owe You a Duty of Care
Your obstetrician and the delivery team owed you a duty of care to act in a way that another similarly trained professional would under the same circumstances. If they failed to uphold this duty, causing your child to suffer an injury like Erb’s palsy, you may have the right to hold these medical professionals liable for the damages that resulted from their negligence.
Possible Types of Recoverable Damages
Medical negligence cases vary widely in the types of damages that may be sought and recovered. A lawyer may discuss your case with you, review evidence and documentation obtained from an investigation, and consult with various experts to establish the types and values of damages you may recover in your case.
Some types of damages that may be included in your claim include:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages (from time missed at work)
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
There are more types of damages that your attorney may consider. Once they have constructed a final list of damages, they may be given to the insurance company in the form of a demand letter. If the insurance company refuses to agree to a fair settlement, the lawyer may have to file a lawsuit against the liable party and have a civil court decide the matter.
Tolling the Statute of Limitations
Each state has its own statute of limitations that limits the amount of time in which you may be able to take legal action. Although this time begins when the injury occurs, in the case of birth injuries the clock may be temporarily paused. This is called tolling the statute of limitations, and a lawyer may be able to take this action, if necessary, to buy more time for resolving your case.
Call a Spring Hill Erb’s Palsy Lawyer Today
No parent should have to pay for their child’s medical expenses and other damages when the child’s injury resulted from a medical professional’s negligence.
Let a Spring Hill Erb’s palsy lawyer start to work on helping recover your damages.
Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group at (800) 222-9529 for a free case review.