Erb’s Palsy Birth Injuries

Erb’s Palsy Birth Injury Attorney in Baltimore, MD

The birth of a new child should be a joyous time for a family. Whether you are bringing your first or a subsequent child into the world, the addition of a new family member is exciting and inspires hope for the future. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. In some situations, procedures can be mishandled during labor or delivery, causing irreparable damage to either the mother or the child. Though unnecessary injury due to the negligence or inappropriate actions of a medical provider certainly sullies the delivery process, it can also create a significant emotional and financial burden on your family for years to come. To seek justice for any birth injury, including Erb’s palsy, you will need to hire a medical malpractice lawyer

What Is Erb’s Palsy? 

If you are preparing to have a baby, or currently have a child with a birth injury, it is essential that you understand the basics of Erb’s palsy before considering a medical malpractice claim. This condition is the result of a labor and delivery error in which the child’s neck and spine are stretched to one side or the other during delivery. This stretching causes nerve damage to the infant, which can be either temporary or permanent.

Erb’s palsy affects the brachial plexus, which is a complex set of nerves that reside in the neck and shoulders. Damage to this area can cause mobility, movement, or sensory issues in the neck, shoulders, arms, wrists, and hands. Depending on the severity of the case, Erb’s palsy can cause paralysis and permanent damage to a child’s body.

When Does Erb’s Palsy Occur?

The forceful stretching that causes Erb’s palsy can occur during several different situations during delivery. These include: 

  • Breech delivery
  • Forceps or vacuum delivery
  • Long, difficult labor
  • Multiple fetuses, including twins or triplets

In all cases, your physician has a duty of care to prevent damage to your child during delivery, not cause it. If they fail to do so, it is crucial to secure a labor and delivery error lawyer or a birth injury lawyer as soon as possible, to pursue compensation for the expenses required for aftercare.

Types of Erb’s Palsy

While Erb’s palsy occurs due to a brachial plexus injury, the condition can present in many forms. Contact a Baltimore-area medical malpractice lawyer if your child experiences one of these forms of Erb’s palsy:

Avulsions 

Avulsions are the most severe and impactful form of Erb’s Palsy. Avulsions occur when the nerve is completely severed from the spinal cord. Unfortunately, this nerve cannot be reattached, though surgery can be performed to help with resulting conditions.

Rupture

With a rupture, the injury exists in the nerve itself, rather than between the nerve and the spinal cord. Generally, this means the nerve has suffered a tear. Ruptures cannot heal without surgery to reconnect the pieces of the nerve.

Neuroma

A neuroma means that scar tissue forms along the healthy parts of a stretched nerve. Though the condition may improve over time, it will never fully heal. Unfortunately, neuromas resulting from Erb’s palsy can cause lifelong discomfort.

Neuropraxia

This is the mildest form of Erb’s palsy. In neuropraxia, the nerve is stretched but it does not tear or undergo extensive damage. Neuropraxia patients have the capacity to heal on their own in most cases but may require additional medical treatment.

Why You Need a Birth Injury Lawyer

No matter the type of Erb’s palsy your child has experienced as the result of a birth injury, it is important to seek justice. Not only will your settlement help to alleviate future medical bills and financial burdens, but taking action now can help to protect other newborns from experiencing the same medical malpractice.

Experiencing a birth that results in Erb’s palsy can be traumatic, to say the least. You will likely experience emotional pain and distress after the diagnosis, as well as significant fear and anxiety about your child’s future. These feelings are valid, and very little can erase the pain that you experience following the birth. However, pursuing a successful medical malpractice claim can relieve you of some of the stress that comes with the financial burden of a birth injury. If those responsible for the injury are held financially responsible, you can focus on your child’s recovery, and give them the best chance at a normal future. 

How Do I Know if I Have a Medical Malpractice Case?

To establish that medical malpractice has occurred, you and your attorney must prove that both parties entered a doctor-patient relationship, that some form of negligence occurred, and that it led to your child’s injuries and the additional expenses they caused. First, however, it is important to recognize when you may have a birth injury medical malpractice case. Some telltale signs of a potential birth injury case include:

  • The doctor or nurses opted to use forceps or a vacuum during birth, rather than performing a cesarean. 
  • You had no reason to expect anything other than a completely healthy baby, but after birth found that your child had mobility issues.
  • Your doctor, nurses, or other hospital staff attempted to get you to waive your right to sue with extra paperwork.
  • Your child has not developed at a normal rate after arriving home. 

If you suspect you are eligible for compensation for an injury that would otherwise have not occurred but for the negligent actions of your doctor or another member of the hospital staff, contact our attorneys right away.

Let Us Answer Your Erb’s Palsy Legal Questions for Free Today

The time after a birth injury is often stressful and emotionally charged—and the process of filing a medical malpractice claim can seem daunting. Our birth injury lawyers have years of experience with Erb’s palsy and other birth injury cases in Baltimore, Frederick, Annapolis, Bowie, and the surrounding areas, and can guide you through this complicated process. Do not suffer the physical, emotional and financial burdens alone—contact the Peter Angelos Law Firm today to schedule your free consultation.