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Erb’s Palsy

Birth Injury Attorneys Representing Families in Baltimore

Childbirth is a stressful process during which there is risk of harm to both the mother and child. Improper or excess force during labor can lead to a variety of birth injuries, including Erb’s palsy. If you believe your child suffers from Erb’s palsy due to medical negligence, a diligent Baltimore birth injury lawyer can help you pursue damages to compensate you for your losses. Our team understands how to navigate complex birth injury claims, and is prepared to answer your questions.

What is Erb’s Palsy?

Erb’s palsy generally affects one or two out of every 1,000 babies. Also known as brachial plexus birth palsy, the condition is a nerve disorder that takes place as a result of an injury during birth. The brachial plexus is a large network of nerves running from the neck to the arm. As such, the condition is characterized by weakness or paralysis of the arm and shoulder. Infants with Erb’s palsy can suffer partial or total paralysis of this part of the body.

Causes of Erb’s Palsy

Erb’s palsy injury in newborns typically occurs during a difficult delivery such as with a large baby, a breech presentation, or a prolonged labor. Shoulder dystocia is the primary cause of Erb’s palsy. It occurs when a baby’s shoulders get wedged on the mother’s pelvic bone through delivery. It is diagnosed when the shoulders do not deliver after the head has been delivered. When dystocia takes place, the physician often pulls too hard on the newborn’s head causing undue strain on the shoulder and brachial plexus nerves that can lead to Erb’s palsy. In addition, a doctor will often use vacuum extraction or forceps, which increases the likelihood of damage to the child’s shoulder.

Erb’s Palsy Arising From Medical Malpractice

Medical errors by the doctor during delivery may result in permanent damage to the brachial plexus, which causes Erb’s palsy. When a medical professional’s mistake or carelessness is the cause of a birth injury, you may be able to recover compensation through a medical malpractice claim.

In order to establish medical malpractice, the burden of proof is on the plaintiff to show that the medical professional’s conduct did not meet the accepted standard of care. The standard of care is determined based on what another, similarly qualified medical professional would have done in the same situation. Once it is shown that the medical professional failed to meet the standard of care, the plaintiff will need to show that the failure was a direct and proximate cause of the newborn’s injury, specifically the baby’s Erb’s palsy. It is important to note that a plaintiff’s attorney will typically use a medical professional to testify as an expert witness to demonstrate these points to the judge or jury.

Damages in Malpractice Case

Erb’s palsy does not heal on its own and often requires years of treatment. The sad reality for parents and children with birth injuries is that their medical, therapy, and educational needs can be very expensive. Given this high cost of care, Maryland law allows victims of malpractice to recover a variety of damages including medical costs, pain and suffering, lost wages, cost of extended care, and more. Every case is unique, and the precise amount of damages you will be entitled to will depend on the extent of the harm suffered.

Skilled Baltimore Attorneys Helping Victims of Medical Malpractice

Like many other birth injuries, Erb’s palsy can be prevented if proper medical care is administered. If your child has acquired Erb’s palsy due to a medical professional’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. At Arfaa Law Group, our seasoned medical malpractice lawyers are committed to protecting your rights and holding negligent parties accountable for the harm that they cause, whether through labor induction errors, fetal heart rate monitoring errors, or other misconduct. With years of experience serving residents of Baltimore and beyond, we understand how to handle even the most complex malpractice claims. For a free case evaluation, please do not hesitate to call 410-889-1850 or contact us online.