Can You Sue for Erb’s Palsy?

Fact-Checked and Medically Reviewed by:
Katie Lavender, RN Registered Nurse
Quick Answer

If your child's condition was caused by medical negligence during the birthing process, you may be able to take legal action against the responsible health care professionals. Delivery teams are specially trained to ensure the safety of the mother and child during childbirth. If they failed to do so and your child developed Erb’s palsy, you may be able to file a birth injury lawsuit. Learn why suing for Erb's palsy may be the best option for your family.

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Who Is Eligible to Sue for Erb’s Palsy?

A doctor holding a tablet explains a medical situation to a patient.If your child was diagnosed with Erb’s palsy and the condition was caused by a medical mistake, you may be able to sue for Erb’s palsy. Health care professionals are expected to meet the accepted standard of care and protect your child from injuries during delivery, even when complications arise.

If doctors fail to do this, they may have committed medical malpractice and can be held legally accountable.

Can you sue for Erb’s palsy? Yes, you can sue for Erb’s palsy if it was caused by medical negligence during childbirth.

Generally speaking, you may be able to file an Erb’s palsy lawsuit if a health care provider failed to:
  • Correctly respond to signs of fetal distress, like an abnormal heart rate
  • Detect and address risk factors during pregnancy, like feet-first delivery
  • Gently deliver an infant in tune with the mother’s contractions
  • Perform a necessary cesarean section (C-section)
  • Use delivery tools safely and effectively

Many new parents have the same question after the frightening experience of a brachial plexus birth injury: Can you sue for Erb’s palsy? If you have unanswered questions about why your child developed Erb’s palsy, we can help.

Our labor and delivery nurses are here to talk with you in confidence about what might have happened. There is no fee or obligation — connect with a registered nurse now.

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Evidence Needed in Erb’s Palsy Lawsuits

Erb’s palsy is caused by damage to the brachial plexus, the network of nerves that sends signals from the spine to the hand, arm, and shoulder.

This type of nerve damage can happen when doctors apply excessive force on a baby during delivery.

Sometimes, there is no way to prevent the condition. For that reason, your Erb’s palsy lawsuit will need to prove that the condition could have been avoided and was caused by negligence.

To file an Erb’s palsy lawsuit, you must demonstrate all of the following:
  • Doctor-Patient Relationship: There was an established relationship, meaning the medical professional had a duty of care to you and your child.
  • Breach of Duty: The medical professional failed to uphold this duty by not following what a reasonable peer would do under similar circumstances. And this breach led to your child’s injuries. An example is an obstetrician applying excessive force with forceps to guide your baby out of the birth canal, causing brachial plexus injuries.
  • Damages or Harm: As a result of the health care professional’s breach of duty, your child and family experienced significant harm or damages.

Why Can You Sue for Erb’s Palsy?

You can sue for Erb’s palsy to pursue much-needed compensation for your family. When Erb’s palsy is caused by a medical mistake, families should not be expected to bear the financial burden alone.

Financial compensation for Erb’s palsy malpractice can help pay for:
  • Assistive devices for school and play
  • Erb’s palsy therapies, such as physical, occupational, and massage
  • Surgeries to repair damaged nerves
  • Other medical bills

Suing for Erb’s palsy can also get your family justice. Erb’s palsy can cause severe and lasting harm to your child. Negligent medical providers should be held accountable.

“Erb’s palsy may affect the child’s quality of life and self esteem. Sporting activities are affected, as well as activities of daily living.”

—Paediatrics & Child Health

Additionally, Erb’s palsy lawsuits can help raise awareness about negligent health care providers. This can force careless doctors, nurses, and hospitals to provide better care.

Get a free consultation now to see if we can connect you with a top Erb’s palsy attorney near you.

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A free case review is the first step in pursuing compensation for you and your family.

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How to Sue for Medical Malpractice That Caused Erb’s Palsy

If your child has Erb’s palsy and their condition was caused by medical negligence, follow these steps to sue for Erb’s palsy medical malpractice.

1. Get a Free Consultation With an Erb’s Palsy Attorney

The first step is to get a free consultation with an Erb’s palsy attorney. A skilled birth injury lawyer can determine whether you have a valid medical malpractice case. If you do, they can start working on your case immediately.

2. Gather Medical Records & Evidence

Once your attorney has determined that you are eligible to file an Erb’s palsy lawsuit, they will gather medical records and documentation to support your claim.

Lawyers may collect the following documentation:
  • Diagnostic results include MRI, CT scans, electromyography (stimulates the nerve to evaluate for a muscle response), and other tests and imaging studies.
  • Hospital records include the internal records kept by the hospital, such as who entered information into files for you and your child, which doctors and nurses were assigned, and hospital practices and policies for labor and delivery.
  • Medical records document what happened during labor and delivery and who was responsible for providing care. They can include doctor’s notes, medications administered, and vital signs.
  • Video evidence may be available for certain surgeries, including C-sections. These videos can show who was involved during delivery and provide evidence of negligent practices.
  • Witness statements give eyewitness accounts of what happened during your labor and delivery. Witnesses in Erb’s palsy medical malpractice cases can include health care workers, doctors, family members, and other patients.

3. File Your Erb’s Palsy Claim

After gathering medical records and documentation, your lawyer will file your Erb’s palsy lawsuit. A top-notch Erb’s palsy law firm will have a team of legal experts to help handle your case and ensure it is filed on time.

4. Negotiate an Erb’s Palsy Settlement

Almost all birth injury cases are resolved through a settlement. Your lawyer will negotiate the best possible Erb’s palsy settlement amount with the parties you’re suing. Your legal team will fight to ensure you and your family get the compensation you deserve.

5. Take Your Erb’s Palsy Lawsuit to Court

If your lawyer can’t reach an Erb’s palsy settlement with the opposing side(s), they can take your lawsuit to court. Reputable Erb’s palsy lawyers have the experience, expertise, and courtroom skills to maximize your verdict award.

How Long Do You Have to Sue for Erb’s Palsy?

A lawyer holding a notebook discusses a legal case at a desk.Each state has a specific statute of limitations or deadline for medical malpractice lawsuits. Most medical malpractice statutes of limitations range from 1-3 years. If you don’t meet this deadline, you will be forever barred from suing for your child’s Erb’s palsy.

Your Erb’s palsy attorney will file your claim before the statute of limitations runs out on your case.

Damages in Erb’s Palsy Cases

Erb’s palsy lawsuits can include a range of damages, including the following:

  • Cost of future care: This provides your family with sufficient funds to pay for medical care throughout your child’s lifetime. It can cover medical expenses for therapy, medical equipment, medication, surgery, and more.
  • Loss of earning capacity: Erb’s palsy can severely impact movement in one arm. This, in turn, can limit your child’s future ability to work and earn money. Compensation for loss of earning capacity is meant to pay your child for any money they won’t be able to make due to their condition.
  • Pain and suffering: This money is meant to make up for the physical and emotional toll your child’s condition takes on your family.

Average Erb’s Palsy Settlement Amounts

Erb’s palsy lawsuit settlement amounts vary depending on the state, severity of the injury, degree of malpractice, and other factors.

It is very important to understand that past results do not guarantee what you can expect to receive if you sue for Erb’s palsy.

That said, learning about the amounts that other families have been able to recover may help you make your own decision on whether to sue for Erb’s palsy.

Here are some notable Erb's palsy lawsuit settlements and verdicts:
  • $1.3 million for a family in South Carolina
  • $1.2 million for a Florida family
  • $1 million for a family in New Jersey
  • $825,000 for a family in New York
  • $750,000 for a family in Washington, D.C.

What to Look for in an Erb’s Palsy Lawyer

If you decide to move forward with suing for Erb’s palsy, be sure to work with a lawyer who is a good fit for you and your family.

Here are qualities to look for in an Erb’s palsy lawyer:
  • Experience with Erb’s palsy cases: Your lawyer should have successfully handled cases similar to yours in the past.
  • Free case evaluations: Reputable lawyers provide free initial consultations.
  • Good communication skills: The best lawyers have impeccable written and verbal skills to fight for you during negotiations or in court.
  • No upfront costs: The best birth injury lawyers don’t charge any fees until they win your Erb’s palsy case.

Learn How to Start Your Brachial Plexus Injury Lawsuit

Learning that your child has brachial plexus injuries due to medical malpractice can be frightening, confusing, and upsetting.

If you believe your child’s condition was caused by a medical mistake, you may be able to sue for Erb’s palsy.

Our experienced and compassionate team members at the Birth Injury Justice Center are trained to listen to your story and connect you with a skilled Erb’s palsy law firm if you qualify.

Call (800) 914-1562 or complete this case review form to get started.

FAQs: Can You Sue for Erb's Palsy?

Is Erb's palsy caused by medical malpractice?

Sometimes. Medical malpractice occurs when health care professionals cause harm by failing to provide the skill and care reasonably expected in the same circumstances and profession. Erb’s palsy can be caused by medical malpractice when it could have been avoided with proper care.

Can you sue for Erbs palsy?

Yes, if your child’s Erb’s palsy was caused by medical negligence, you may be able to sue the doctor, hospital, or other health care professional for causing your child’s birth injury. Talking with an experienced birth injury attorney is the best way to find out about your legal options.

Can you sue for Erb's palsy when you are unsure if the condition could have been prevented?

Many families are not sure what caused their child’s Erb’s palsy. This is because it can be difficult to know for certain. Additionally, medical professionals may try to cover up any mistakes they made.

If you are not sure if your child’s condition was preventable, a skilled Erb’s palsy law firm can help. Get a free consultation now to see if you are eligible to be connected to a top Erb’s palsy law firm.

How much does it cost to raise a child with Erb's Palsy?

The exact cost of raising a child with Erb’s palsy depends on the severity of the condition and whether the condition goes away.

Fortunately, most children with Erb’s palsy fully recover. However, recovery often depends on dedicated treatment, which can cost families a lot of unexpected money, time, and missed work.

What is the average settlement for brachial plexus injury?

The average settlement for severe brachial plexus injuries is estimated at $750,000 to $2 million.

Compensation awarded for brachial plexus injuries depends on the severity of the nerve damage, the state in which the malpractice occurred, the degree of medical negligence, and the costs of treating the injury.

Is Erbs palsy considered a disability?

Yes, Erb’s palsy and other severe brachial plexus injuries may be considered disabilities. A skilled Erb’s palsy lawyer can help you access compensation and other benefits for your child’s Erb’s palsy.

Birth Injury Support Team
Reviewed by:Katie Lavender, RN

Registered Nurse

  • Fact-Checked
  • Editor

Katie Lavender has over 8 years of experience as a Registered Nurse in postpartum mother/baby care. With hands-on experience in Labor and Delivery and a role as a Community Educator for newborn care, Katie is a staunch advocate for patient rights and education. As a Medical Reviewer, she is committed to ensuring accurate and trustworthy patient information.

The Birth Injury Justice Center was founded in 2003 by a team of legal professionals to educate and empower victims and families affected by birth injuries. Our team is devoted to providing you with the best resources and legal information for all types of birth injuries.

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