Erb’s palsy is a rare birth injury that causes arm weakness and loss of motion. It is a form of brachial plexus palsy that affects one or two of every 1,000 babies. It is often caused by stretching an infant’s neck to the side during delivery, damaging the network of nerves. Most infants diagnosed with Erb’s palsy recover both movement and feeling in the affected arm. Still, recovery may take years and leave your child with some lingering weakness.[1] If your child’s birth injury was due to medical malpractice, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Contact Counsel Hound today for a no-cost consultation and case evaluation.

Symptoms

Erb’s palsy symptoms may include:

  • Decreased reflexes
  • Weakness in the affected arm
  • Loss of feeling in the affected arm.
  • Stunted growth
  • Partial or total arm paralysis

Causes of Erb’s Palsy

Erb’s palsy usually occurs during a difficult delivery or complicated birth. This could be due to a large baby, a breech presentation, prolonged labor, or excessive force to remove the baby from the birth canal. If one side of the baby’s neck is stretched during the delivery, the nerves may also be stretched and subsequently damaged.[2]

Diagnosis

A diagnosis of Erb’s palsy is typically made by a pediatrician based on a physical examination of the arm weakness. Diagnosing Erb’s palsy may require additional testing such as x-rays, ultrasounds, or MRIs. Once diagnosed, the pediatrician may do tests to determine whether any nerve signals are present in the muscle and damage to the bones and joints of the neck and shoulder.[3]

Treatment

Many newborns diagnosed with Erb’s palsy recover on their own. Your child’s doctor will re-examine your child often to monitor the nerve recovery. It may take up to two years for full recovery since nerves grow and recover very slowly. Even with a full recovery, many children continue to have weakness in the affected arm, and the arm may be noticeably smaller than the unaffected arm. Your doctor may perform additional surgical procedures once your child is older to help improve function.[4]

Erb’s Palsy Lawsuits

Medical negligence can cause an infant to develop Erb’s palsy. Examples of medical negligence and malpractice that may cause cerebral palsy include:

  • Failing to identify Erb’s Palsy risks factors,
  • Noticing risk factors but failing to take precautions,
  • Failing to avoid traction during the delivery,
  • Exerting too much force during the delivery.

Why File a Lawsuit?

Filing an Erb’s palsy lawsuit may help:

  • Victims of medical negligence focus on health and treatment.
  • Families afford the cost of their loved one’s medical expenses.
  • Hold medical providers accountable for their negligence.
  • Encourage other victims to seek fair compensation for their injuries.

Compensation

An Erb’s palsy diagnosis can leave you with physical, emotional, and financial hardships. Our Counsel Hound lawyers will work to maximize your settlement or award. Types of compensation you may be eligible for include economic and non-economic damages.

Economic Damages:

  • If you incurred medical expenses related to the diagnosis and treatment of Erb’s palsy, we would work to have you reimbursed.
  • If the diagnosis and subsequent childcare forced you to miss work or suffer a wage decrease at a new position, we would prove your losses with timesheets.

Non-Economic Damages:

Some damages cannot be proven with lost wages, property damages, etc., and you and your loved ones may face emotional suffering because of the diagnosis. Our lawyers will work to include all available compensation in your case.