The brachial plexus is a system of nerves near the neck. It contains nerves that control parts of the chest as well as the shoulders, arms, hands, and fingers. Erb’s palsy is a disorder that may develop when the upper section of the brachial plexus sustains damage. This damage is most commonly mild, involving stretched nerves, although sometimes it is severe, generally involving torn or ruptured nerves.
You may have insurance coverage for some of the expenses associated with testing for it and treating Erb’s palsy. However, you may still want to seek legal counsel to determine whether or not you have grounds to seek additional compensation from any at-fault parties. If a doctor or another party caused or contributed to your child’s injury, they should be held accountable.
The Birth Injury Lawyers Group can help, and a Wichita Erb’s palsy lawyer is just a call away. Our team may be able to help you understand your child’s condition and will determine whether or not your unique circumstances warrant the filing of a medical malpractice suit. Call us today at (800) 222-9529.
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Causes and Effects of Erb’s Palsy
Anything that causes damage to or injures the brachial plexus can cause Erb’s palsy. This includes vehicle accidents, child abuse, slips and falls, and sports injuries. In older children and adults, these injuries are usually minor, and they may heal within a few days or even in a few hours.
In newborns, however, the causes and effects of Erb’s palsy are somewhat more complex. If a baby becomes stuck inside the mother, whether because the baby is too large to pass through the birth canal unassisted or the mother’s pelvis is too small, the delivery team may have to forcefully deliver the baby. This is usually done by using assistive devices such as forceps that pull on the baby or by pushing the baby’s head, neck, or shoulder down and to the side to dislodge the baby from behind the mother’s pelvic bone.
Other factors that may cause a baby to become stuck inside the mother include breech presentation, unexpected birth complications that require an emergency delivery, doctor inexperience, and other issues that may arise during an otherwise normal birth.
If the baby sustains a nerve injury to the upper brachial plexus during birth, the affected arm may hang awkwardly following birth. The child may not be able to move it or struggle to control it, show few signs of sensation, and lack certain reflexes.
While these injuries may heal on their own with physical therapy, there is only a short window for successful surgery if the injury turns out to be more serious.
If your child was diagnosed with Erb’s palsy, and your child’s condition was caused by preventable injuries, you may have grounds to sue for damages. A Wichita Erb’s palsy lawyer can help you determine when an injury was caused by preventable medical negligence. Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today at (800) 222-9529 to learn more.
For example, if the size of a baby was the main issue behind a birth complication, but the delivery team did not recognize this, you may be able to hold them liable. The same is true if they did not have the requisite training to use specific delivery devices, but used them anyway.
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Available Treatments for Erb’s Palsy
When it comes to Erb’s palsy injuries, most children recover within a few months. Some patients may require regular physical therapy involving exercises and strength training or occupational therapy to improve fine motor skills and control of the affected limb.
Erb’s palsy cases involving avulsions or ruptures—tears or ripping away of the nerves—may require surgery before the patient can begin to recover from his or her injuries. These surgeries may improve the child’s sensation, movement, control, and/or muscle tone in the affected arm. However, children with this type of brachial plexus injury may always have some level of impairment in the affected arm.
As children born with Erb’s palsy grow up, they are generally able to adapt to any remaining impairments they suffer. However, they may need occupational therapy, specialty tools, or adaptive devices to help them with daily tasks or independent living skills. We may be able to help you pay for this. Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today at (800) 222-9529.
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Legal Assistance With Your Wichita Falls Erb’s Palsy Case
There are many reasons you may want to seek professional help from a lawyer with your child’s birth injury. A lawyer can help you understand the common challenges that families with an injured child face, including paying for future or ongoing care and support. You will also benefit from having someone on your side who knows and understands the tactics that a hospital, doctor, or insurance company may use against you, such as low-ball settlement offers.
A lawyer may also help you:
- Gather evidence to prove the causes, expenses, and outcomes of your child’s injuries.
- Handle all administrative and legal procedures on your behalf.
- Calculate the value of your claim by aggregating lost income, care costs, testing costs, and other related expenses.
- Negotiate with insurers, hospital administrators, and the representatives of negligent doctors or hospital staff on your behalf.
- Represent you in court if needed.
We treat all of our clients with the care and empathy they deserve, and we understand how difficult a birth injury diagnosis, especially one that can lead to permanent impairment, can be for a family. This is why we serve our clients on a contingency fee basis and only collect if we recover a settlement or other compensation for you.
To discuss your case with a member of our birth injury and medical malpractice team, call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today at (800) 222-9529. A Wichita Falls Erb’s palsy lawyer may be able to walk you through everything you need to know about your case and outline a plan to hold those responsible for your child’s injuries accountable.