No parent wants to see his or her child injured, especially if that injury is preventable. And, in some cases, newborn babies can be hurt during the labor or birth process due to a medical professional’s negligence, poor judgment, or mistake.
If a child’s shoulder, neck, or arm is injured during the birthing process, that child may develop a painful and sometimes life-altering condition known as Erb’s palsy.
If you or your child has been diagnosed with Erb's palsy, and you suspect that medical malpractice played a role, don't wait to discuss your case with an attorney at Cullan & Cullan. We offer a free consultation to help you understand your options.
How Cullan & Cullan Can Help
Our team at Cullan & Cullan has ample experience fighting for the rights of injured victims and their families, and we are passionate about each case we represent.
Our founding attorney began his career as a doctor and subsequently became one of the first doctor-lawyers in the U.S., which enabled him to better represent clients dealing with birth injury cases. Cullan & Cullan has won more than $350 million in settlements and verdicts on behalf of our clients, and we want to help you too.
Contact our Kansas City Erb's palsy attorneys today at (816) 253-8606 for a free consultation.
What is Erby’s Palsy?
Erb’s palsy is a medical condition that affects a baby’s nervous system and can have a lasting impact on neck, shoulder, and arm mobility.
Erb’s palsy often occurs as the result of a particularly traumatic birth, especially if the doctor used forceps or assisted in the delivery in some other way, or if shoulder dystocia made it difficult for the baby to maneuver through the birth canal.
If the baby’s head, neck, shoulder, or arm is handled too roughly, it could damage the brachial plexus nerves in that region. As a result, the child may develop Erb’s palsy.
Common Causes of Erb's Palsy
Examples of medical negligence that can contribute to Erb's palsy include:
- Negligent delivery technique: When a doctor fails to use proper delivery techniques, it can result in an injury to the baby’s shoulder or neck – for example, if the doctor applies too much force or pulls on the baby’s head or neck.
- Improper use of forceps: Forceps are long metal instruments used by doctors during delivery in order to help guide a baby through the birth canal. However, if they are not used properly, they can injure a baby’s shoulder or neck.
- Failure to order a C-section: In some cases, doctors may fail to recognize signs of fetal distress that indicate an emergency C-section is necessary in order for the baby's safety and health; this failure can lead to a traumatic vaginal birth.
- Negligent monitoring: Doctors should be monitoring both mother and child throughout labor and delivery in order to ensure there are no complications. When they fail to do so, it increases the risk of a birth injury substantially.
Common Symptoms of Erb’s Palsy
According to the AANEM, between 1-2 of every 1,000 births result in brachial plexus injuries, which can lead to Erb’s palsy. These children may experience temporary issues with muscle control in the neck, shoulder, and arm region, or, in more extreme cases, the child may suffer paralysis and permanent brachial nerve damage.
A child with Erb’s palsy may exhibit the following symptoms:
- Lack of mobility in the arm, causing it to fall limp or curled in along the baby’s side
- Difficulty gripping objects with the affected hand
- Numbness in the hand, arm, shoulder, or neck
- Poor motor and sensory function in the arm or shoulder
- Paralysis in the neck, shoulder, or arm
As a result of these symptoms, your child may have difficulty lifting their body weight, crawling, or rolling over. In milder cases, these symptoms may fade as the nerves heal, but more severe brachial plexus injuries may result in major damage to the surrounding muscular, nervous, and circulatory systems.
How Compensation Can Help Your Family
Erb's palsy, a condition that affects the nerves in a newborn's shoulder and upper arm, can have devastating consequences. Parents of children with this condition often face significant medical expenses, as well as emotional and psychological burdens.
Fortunately, legal recourse is available.
By pursuing an Erb's palsy lawsuit, families may be able to recover compensation for various damages, including medical bills, adaptive equipment, surgeries, therapy and rehabilitation, lost wages, increased living expenses, pain and suffering, and more.
While the process can be difficult, the potential benefits are worth exploring. By holding responsible parties accountable and securing the compensation necessary to care for their child's ongoing needs, parents can find peace of mind and move forward with confidence.
Let our Erb's palsy attorneys in Kansas City help you seek justice and fair compensation. Call Cullan & Cullan today to discuss your options in a free consultation.
Let Our Doctor-Lawyers Help You
While childbirth can be a risky process, healthy babies and mothers often sustain preventable injuries when their doctors are negligent. Our Kansas City Erb's palsy lawyers understand how difficult this time can be, which is why we are dedicated to providing our clients with the personalized legal support they need and deserve.
We handle a variety of birth injury and Erb’s palsy cases, however complex or difficult they may seem, and we want to help you obtain maximum compensation.
Contact Cullan & Cullan today at (816) 253-8606 to discuss your case with our Kansas City Erb’s palsy attorneys.