Erb’s Palsy Medical Malpractice

Quick Answer

Erb’s palsy is a type of birth injury often caused by negligent errors during the delivery process. It may be considered medical malpractice if serious injuries at birth led to your child’s condition. You may be able to take legal action if your child’s injury was caused by malpractice. Talk to a Patient Advocate today to learn more about your legal options.

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What is Erb’s Palsy Medical Malpractice?

worried mother holding child

According to the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys (ABPLA), medical malpractice occurs when a hospital, doctor, or other health care professional causes injury to a patient through a negligent act or omission.

Many cases of Erb’s palsy stem from preventable mistakes during childbirth. Erb’s palsy is caused by damage to the brachial plexus network of nerves affecting the function of the neck, arm, and/or shoulder. This condition is often caused by excessive stretching or pulling that stretches or tears nerves.

There are several instances of medical negligence that can lead to a child developing Erb’s palsy.

Acts of medical negligence that may cause brachial plexus injuries include:

  • Pulling the baby’s head and neck sideways as they are exiting the birth canal
  • Pulling too hard on the baby’s feet during a feet-first (breech) delivery
  • Pulling too hard on the baby’s shoulders during a head-first delivery

If your baby developed Erb’s palsy, you may be able to file a brachial plexus injury malpractice lawsuit against the doctors that delivered them. Lawsuits can help your family get financial compensation and justice.

Get a free case review today to see if you are eligible to file a medical malpractice claim.

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Symptoms and Effects of Erb’s Palsy

Although some cases of Erb’s palsy are not caused by medical negligence, many cases could have been prevented with high-quality care.

Medical negligence during birth can leave long-lasting impacts on the child. Erb’s palsy symptoms can vary in severity ranging from temporary muscle weakness to permanent paralysis depending on how badly the nerves were damaged.

Common symptoms of Erb’s palsy include:

  • Arm paralysis
  • Facial paralysis
  • Inability to hold items in hand
  • Muscle weakness
  • Numbness in the arm, wrist, shoulder, hand, or finger
  • Underdeveloped nerves or muscles

This nerve damage can greatly affect a child’s ability to complete everyday activities such as brushing their teeth, eating with utensils, drinking from a cup, and more.

Many symptoms of Erb’s palsy are noticeable soon after birth and can be quickly linked to medical negligence during the birthing process.

Treatments for Erb’s Palsy Caused by Malpractice

There are several Erb’s palsy treatment options for children born with a brachial plexus injury caused by medical malpractice. Early detection and treatment are very important in the healing process. Doctors and specialists can create a treatment plan tailored to your child’s needs to manage Erb’s palsy symptoms.

Treatments for Erb’s palsy caused by medical malpractice include:

  • Physical therapy: Helps regain muscle control, range of motion, and numbness in the baby’s arms.
  • Occupational therapy: Helps children work on their fine motor skills and muscle control to complete daily tasks such as writing, eating, dressing, and more.
  • Surgery: Can replace severely damaged brachial plexus nerves by transferring healthy nerves or removing damaged nerve fibers to help children regain control of the affected arm.

Thankfully, many children with Erb’s palsy can recover from the condition completely.

Over 80%

of children with Erb’s palsy will make a full recovery with proper treatment.

Some of these Erb’s palsy treatments can be costly. Thankfully, you can pursue financial compensation if your child’s brachial plexus injury was caused by medical malpractice.

Get a free case review today if your child was affected by Erb’s palsy medical malpractice.

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How to Prove Brachial Plexus Medical Malpractice

If your baby’s brachial plexus injury was preventable, you may be able to file an Erb’s palsy lawsuit.

Your brachial plexus injury malpractice claim must prove that your child’s injury was caused by the doctors, nurses, and/or hospital that delivered your child.

  • The mother was under the care of the medical professional in question
  • How the medical professionals being sued (defendants) committed medical negligence
  • How the medical negligence injured the child
  • Financial damages caused by the harm done (i.e., medical expenses, loss of income, pain, and suffering)

Working with an experienced Erb’s palsy lawyer at a birth injury law firm can give you the best chance of winning your lawsuit and receiving financial compensation.

How to File an Erb’s Palsy Claim

The best way to take legal action against Erb’s palsy medical malpractice is to work with a specialized personal injury attorney.

An Erb’s palsy lawyer handles brachial plexus medical malpractice cases and has the resources and experience to file your claim. Your lawyer will work on your behalf throughout the entire legal process to win financial compensation and get justice.

Money won from your birth injury case can help your family afford medical care and hold the negligent health care providers accountable for their malpractice.

Compensation from a brachial plexus palsy lawsuit can pay for:

  • Adaptive equipment
  • Assistive devices
  • Medication
  • Mobility aids
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Special education costs
  • Surgery
  • Transportation equipment
  • Other medical bills

$1 Million

the average medical malpractice claim payout for children under one month old

Source: TDC Group study

If you believe your child’s injury was caused by a lack of care, contact an attorney as soon as possible. Each state has a statute of limitations that places a time limit on how long you have to file your Erb’s palsy case. If you do not file within your state’s deadline, you may lose your right to sue forever.

An Erb’s palsy attorney can ensure your claim is filed correctly and in a timely manner. See if you can connect with a lawyer right now.

File an Erb’s Palsy Medical Malpractice Claim

a legal gavel and stethoscope

Many cases of Erb’s palsy could have been avoided with quality care during the delivery process. Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals have a duty to uphold a high standard of care in the delivery room.

These health care providers should be held accountable for their medical errors. You should not be responsible for paying for your child’s Erb’s palsy treatment if it was caused by medical negligence.

A lawyer can get legal justice from the professionals responsible for your child’s Erb’s palsy injury. Your legal team will pursue life-changing compensation so your child can live a happy and healthy life.

Get a free case review today if you believe your child’s brachial plexus injury was preventable.

Erb’s Palsy Medical Malpractice FAQs

Can medical malpractice cause Erb’s palsy?

Yes. Doctors, nurses, or other medical professionals can cause Erb’s palsy by pulling too hard on a child’s head, neck, arm, or shoulder as they exit the birth canal. This injury can lead to long-term complications for the affected arm, including numbness and paralysis.

Can you sue for Erb’s palsy?

Yes. If your child’s Erb’s palsy was caused by preventable errors during the birthing process, you may be eligible to file a brachial plexus injury malpractice lawsuit. Contact our team to get started.

Is Erb's palsy permanent?

Sometimes. Over 80% of Erb’s palsy patients are able to make a full recovery thanks to treatments such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, and surgery.

However, Erb’s palsy can be permanent depending on the severity of the brachial plexus nerve damage.

How can I file an Erb’s palsy medical malpractice lawsuit?

The best way to file an Erb’s palsy medical malpractice claim is to work with a lawyer. These specialized birth injury attorneys can help you file your claim, collect evidence, build your claim, negotiate settlement agreements, and represent you in court.

Get a free case review today if your child suffered from a preventable case of Erb’s palsy.

Birth Injury Support Team

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.

View 6 Sources
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  2. Chater, M., Camfield, P., & Camfield, C. (2004). Erb's palsy – who is to blame and what will happen? Paediatrics & Child Health, 9(8), 556–560. https://doi.org/10.1093/pch/9.8.556
  3. Erb's palsy (brachial plexus birth palsy). OrthoInfo. (n.d.). Retrieved October 15, 2021, from https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/diseases--conditions/erbs-palsy-brachial-plexus-birth-palsy.
  4. Goguen, D. (2021, January 18). Time Limits for a personal injury lawsuit: What is the statute of Limitations. www.nolo.com. Retrieved October 15, 2021, from https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/time-limits-personal-injury-lawsuit-watch-the-statute-limitations.html.
  5. Ranum, D. (2019, March 20). Study of malpractice claims involving children. The Doctors Company. Retrieved October 15, 2021, from https://www.thedoctors.com/articles/study-of-malpractice-claims-involving-children/.
  6. What is malpractice? American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys. (n.d.). Retrieved October 15, 2021, from https://www.abpla.org/what-is-malpractice.
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