Erb’s palsy is an illness that affects the nerves and muscles. It occurs when the brachial plexus, which is an important network of nerves near the neck, sustains an injury in some way. Because this nerve network is responsible for sending voluntary movement signals to the shoulder, arm, and hand, damage to it can lead to issues of sensation and movement in these parts of the body.
Erb’s palsy is usually categorized as either mild or serious depending on where and how the brachial plexus sustained damage. If your child suffered a birth-related injury in Amarillo, TX, that caused him or her to develop Erb’s palsy, you should seek the assistance of an Amarillo Erb’s palsy lawyer. The Birth Injury Lawyers Group can help. Call us at (800) 222-9529 for a free case evaluation. Our legal team helps families with injured children understand and manage their cases.
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General Overview of Erb’s Palsy
When injured, the nerves in the brachial plexus can become stretched, compressed, or even torn along the nerve. They can also be ripped out of their roots in the spinal cord if violent force is applied to the neck or if the head or shoulders sustain severe trauma. Minor brachial plexus injuries are relatively common and occur in a variety of settings, including contact sports and outdoor activities. These minor injuries are descriptively labeled stingers or burners.
Babies and newborn infants can also sustain a brachial plexus injury as a result of delivery mistakes or birth complications. Inflammation, tumors, bacterial or viral infections, blood pressure issues in the mother, large baby size, and many other issues can also cause damage to the brachial plexus and lead to Erb’s palsy.
Severe brachial plexus injuries can lead to paralysis of one arm. However, there are a number of surgical interventions available that can help the affected individual overcome his or her disabilities by restoring some of the motor and sensory functions of the affected limb.
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Diagnosing Erb’s Palsy
A variety of symptoms may indicate Erb’s palsy, and each symptom on its own is usually not definitive proof of brachial plexus damage. It all depends on where and how the brachial plexus was damaged. Erb’s palsy usually involves damage to the upper portion of the brachial plexus, and damage to the lower part of it can lead to a completely different set of pathologies.
Minor damage to the brachial plexus usually leads to stretching or compression of the nerves in the neck. This damage often leads to:
- A burning sensation that feels like an electric shock shooting down the arm
- Numbness and weakness in the affected arm
- An inability to freely move the affected arm in certain ways
These symptoms usually last no more than a few days. In many cases, they can last just a few minutes or even a few seconds as the affected nerves recover and slowly regain their complete function.
As for serious cases of brachial plexus injury in which a nerve is torn or becomes separated from the spinal cord, they can result in:
- Weakness in the affected arm
- An inability to use or move the hand, arm, or shoulder in certain ways
- A complete lack of sensation in the affected arm from the hand all the way up to the shoulder
- Excruciating pain
An Amarillo Erb’s palsy lawyer with the Birth Injury Lawyers Group can help you ascertain when and how your child’s birth injuries occurred and how to handle specific cases so that you and your family can quickly overcome the injuries in question and start on the road to recovery.
Call (800) 222-9529 for a free consultation today.
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Erb’s Palsy and Birth Injuries
Cases involving bodily harm are governed by the circumstances under which they occur and who they affect. An injury sustained by a teenager during a sporting event will be handled differently—both medically as well as legally—from how a birth injury would be handled. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your child’s Erb’s palsy, you need to think about the following:
- How, where, and why did the brachial plexus become injured?
- What is the extent or degree of damage? Is it mild or severe?
- Did negligence play a part in causing the injuries in question?
- What treatments are available?
- Who will bear the costs of treatment?
Doctors owe their patients a duty of care. They should take every reasonable measure to protect the health and wellbeing of their patients. Failing to do so is tantamount to negligence.
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Why You Need a Lawyer
According to the Legal Information Institute, negligence can take different forms, but irrespective of how it happens, it is the patient and his or her family that is left to bear the burden of the results. For example, your child’s delivery team may not correctly diagnose a birth complication, or they may handle it incorrectly. They may harm the baby while extracting it from the mother and cause nerve damage that way, or they may neglect to test or screen for known risk factors that would have identified potential issues before the baby was born.
It is circumstances such as these that you must seek damages from the at-fault parties responsible for your child’s injuries. The costs of treatment can add up and may involve physiotherapy, specialist treatment, doctor visits, medication, the use of assistive devices, and lost time from work while you care for your child. However, connecting a birth injury to a specific instance of negligence can be complicated, and it may require the assistance of a legal representative who has handled medical malpractice cases.
This is where we can help. We will help you put together a claim for damages so that you can seek any compensation owed to you under the rule of law. Statutes of limitation under Texas Statutes Chapter 74 apply to cases such as these, so act quickly so that we can meet all relevant filing deadlines on your behalf. An Amarillo Erb’s palsy lawyer can help and guide you every step of the way, so call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today at (800) 222-9529 to take the important first steps toward securing your legal rights.