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Philadelphia Erb’s Palsy Attorney

Complications during the birth and delivery process can result in injuries with lifelong effects. Although these complications and the resulting injuries can arise spontaneously, sometimes they are due to doctor’s errors. If your child is suffering from Erb’s palsy because of the carelessness of your doctor or healthcare provider, they may be entitled to financial compensation. The Philadelphia Erb’s palsy lawyers at Youman & Caputo can help you understand your child’s rights and pursue compensation for their injuries.

Philadlephia Erb’s Palsy Resources

To immediately access the resources at any point on this page, click the corresponding links below.

Why Choose Our Team?
What is Erb’s Palsy?
Types of Erb’s Palsy
Common Causes of Erb’s Palsy
Symptoms of Erb’s Palsy
Did Erb’s Palsy Occur Due to Medical Negligence?
Erb’s Palsy Treatment
How an Attorney Can Help
Proving Negligence in a Lawsuit
What to Do if Your Baby Suffered Erb’s Palsy
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Why Choose Our Team for Erb’s Palsy Cases in Philadelphia?

  • Youman & Caputo is a Pennsylvania trial law firm whose lawyers have more than 100 years of combined experience representing individuals and their families.
  • Our Philadelphia birth injury lawyers investigate our cases thoroughly and provide our clients with personalized and aggressive representation.
  • Our case results speak for themselves – the firm’s lawyers have achieved more than 100 seven-figure and eight-figure settlements and verdicts for past clients.

If you’re looking for representation for your child’s Erb’s palsy case, call Youman & Caputo today at (215) 302-1999. Your initial consultation is at no cost to you.

Philadelphia Erb’s Palsy Attorney

What Is Erb’s Palsy?

Erb’s palsy is a form of brachial plexus palsy. The brachial plexus is a network of nerves in the shoulder that carry signals from the spinal cord to the shoulder, arm and hand. Erb’s palsy is a nerve condition that affects the shoulders and arms and results in weakness or loss of movement in the affected arm. It occurs as a result of injury to the nerves that can take place during a prolonged labor or difficult delivery.

Types of Erb’s Palsy

If the nerves of the brachial plexus in an infant get pulled or stretched, they can suffer serious damage. This nerve damage can lead to one or more conditions that affect the brachial plexus, including Erb’s palsy and Klumpke’s palsy. Klumpke’s palsy describes paralysis of the arm and loss of sensation due to an injury of the brachial plexus.

There are multiple types of Erb’s palsy based on the mechanics of the injury:

  • Neuropraxia: when the nerves are stretched but not torn. This can cause a stinging or burning sensation. It typically heals on its own in three months or less.
  • Rupture: when the nerves are stretched enough that they tear. This injury generally requires surgery to stitch the damaged nerves back together.
  • Neuroma: scar tissue that develops when nerves are torn. Neuroma can place pressure on healthy nerves and cause further damage. Most children with neuromas only partially recover.
  • Avulsion: the most severe type of brachial plexus injury, describing nerve roots that are completely torn away from the spinal cord. It can cause permanent weakness or paralysis.

The most common type of Erb’s palsy is neuropraxia. The type of nerve damage can determine the patient’s treatment options and prognosis for recovery. More severe types of Erb’s palsy may require surgery and could cause permanent nerve damage. With avulsion, for example, surgery can help repair the torn nerves but is not able to reattach them to the spine – meaning the damage will be permanent for the child.

Common Causes of Erb’s Palsy

Erb’s palsy can develop before the baby is born due to the position of the baby in the uterus during pregnancy and at the onset of labor. One of the most common causes is a condition known as shoulder dystocia, when a baby’s shoulder gets stuck behind the mother’s pubic bone during childbirth. The handling of a baby during a difficult labor can also stretch out or tear the brachial plexus nerves and result in Erb’s palsy.

There are some conditions that increase the risk of Erb’s palsy such as:

  • Gestational diabetes: This can result in a larger-sized baby, making delivery difficult.
  • Small maternal size: If the baby is large and the mother is particularly small and cannot support an easy delivery.
  • Breech birth: This is when the baby presents feet first instead of head first in the birth canal.
  • Improper use of tools: During a difficult delivery, some tools may be required to force the child out of the birth canal. Improper use of such tools can cause damage to the nerves.
  • Prolonged labor: This may put pressure on the nerves and cause Erb’s palsy.

If a doctor fails to react correctly and appropriately to a maternal risk factor or complication – such as shoulder dystocia – this can increase the odds of a brachial plexus injury and Erb’s palsy. Pulling too hard on the baby’s arm, head or shoulders could stretch or tear the nerves. During a difficult delivery, a doctor must move quickly and use the proper birthing techniques to get the baby safely out of the birth canal.

Symptoms of Erb’s Palsy

It is up to a newborn’s parents and pediatricians to notice the signs of Erb’s palsy so that a prompt diagnosis can be made. It can be difficult for parents to detect Erb’s palsy, as most of them do not know what to look for in their newborn. Although each child and case is unique, some of the most common symptoms of Erb’s palsy are:

  • Inability to move the arm or shoulder (or limited motion)
  • Signs of numbness or weakness in one arm
  • Limpness or paralysis in one arm
  • An arm that bends inward toward the body
  • Apparent lack of sensation in the arm, wrist or hand
  • No grip strength in one hand
  • Reduced muscle development and small arm size
  • Impaired circulatory and nervous development in one arm

Contact your doctor as soon as you notice potential signs of Erb’s palsy or a brachial plexus injury. The sooner your child is diagnosed with this condition, the sooner he or she can receive treatment and start recovery.

Did Erb’s Palsy Occur Due to Medical Negligence?

A common cause of Erb’s palsy in newborns is medical negligence. This refers to a medical practitioner’s failure to adhere to the applicable standard of care when treating a patient. Obstetrician or gynecologist malpractice during labor and delivery, for example, could inflict serious harm on an infant. Any act or omission that a reasonable and prudent doctor would not have made under similar circumstances can constitute medical negligence.

A common example is a negligent or reckless response to shoulder dystocia during a complicated delivery. If a doctor fails to promptly and correctly respond to this situation, it could result in serious harm to the infant’s brachial plexus. Pulling the baby’s head or neck sideways, pulling the baby’s shoulders, putting too much pressure on the baby’s arm, or pulling on the baby’s feet during a breech delivery could all cause Erb’s palsy. The child’s shoulder, arm or neck could also sustain additional injuries, such as shoulder dislocation or a clavicle fracture.

Erb’s Palsy Treatment

While some babies make a full recovery from Erb’s palsy, some require extensive treatment and may never make a full recovery. Early intervention after diagnosis is essential for giving a child the best chance at a successful recovery.

Depending on the severity of the case, some patients can make a full recovery with physiotherapy treatments. Others may need surgery and continued physiotherapy. There is no guarantee that they will make a full recovery after treatment. Even with treatment, there is a chance that Erb’s palsy will cause permanent disability in some patients. Our lawyers have experience with both Erb’s palsy and cerebral palsy lawsuits in Philadelphia, and they will fight for justice and a full recovery for your family.

How a Philadelphia Erb’s Palsy Attorney Can Help

If your child has recently been diagnosed with Erb’s palsy and you believe medical malpractice is to blame, contact an attorney in Philadelphia as soon as possible. An attorney can conduct a comprehensive investigation into the delivery of your child to search for signs of medical negligence, such as improper birthing techniques used by your doctor.

A law firm can correctly identify the party or parties responsible for your child’s medical condition. Then, your attorney can file claims against the responsible health care providers and medical facility to seek maximum financial compensation on your child’s behalf. You can trust your Philadelphia Erb’s palsy attorney to take care of the complicated legal process for you while you focus on your child’s treatment and future.

Proving Negligence in an Erb’s Palsy Lawsuit

Obtaining compensation for your child’s Erb’s palsy requires proof of medical negligence. The burden of proof in a personal injury claim is a preponderance of the evidence, meaning enough evidence to show that the defendant is more likely to be responsible for the plaintiff’s injury than not. To win a medical malpractice claim, four elements of proof must be shown:

  1. The defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff through a doctor-patient relationship.
  2. The defendant breached his or her duty of care by deviating from acceptable standards.
  3. The plaintiff’s harm was a direct result of the defendant’s negligence.
  4. The plaintiff suffered damages as a result.

To prove these four elements, a medical malpractice lawyer must identify and preserve the necessary evidence and retain top medical experts to provide the opinions required under Pennsylvania law. Your attorney must prove your losses and the full extent of your child’s injuries with the medical records, testimony from parents and other loved ones, and expert medical opinions. A lawyer will work tirelessly to pursue the financial compensation that your family deserves.

What to Do if Your Baby Suffered Erb’s Palsy

You should speak with an Philadelphia Erb’s palsy lawyer as soon as possible as your child may be entitled to financial compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and other damages. If your child is entitled to compensation, you must act or else you may lose the chance to make a claim within the applicable time limit.

These cases can be complex given the process required to access and evaluate medical records from the pregnancy until delivery. The qualifications of medical professionals that cared for the patient, the proper use of birthing tools, and the standard of care provided will all be evaluated to determine whether there is a valid case for a Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer.

Speak to a Philadelphia Erb’s Palsy Attorney Today

For aggressive and personalized representation in your Erb’s palsy case, contact the experienced lawyers at Youman & Caputo. Call (215) 302-1999 to schedule a free consultation and assessment of your case.