Erb’s palsy is a condition that is characterized by weakness or paralysis of the arm. Erb’s palsy, which is also known as a brachial plexus injury, often occurs during an abnormal or difficult labor and delivery. In the United States, one out of every 1,000 children is born with this condition, which is often confused with cerebral palsy due to symptoms of paralysis and nerve damage.
How to Identify Erb’s Palsy
Erb’s palsy is distinguishable from other disorders such as cerebral palsy, which may also be caused by birth injuries. With Erb’s palsy, you may notice the distinct symptoms of paralysis. When your child is unable to move his or her upper arm or is not able to rotate the lower arm, it is symptomatic of Erb’s palsy. This condition is essentially caused by injury to the nerves of the brachial plexus.
The brachial plexus is a network of nerves that run down the spine and give the sensation of feeling to the nerves of the arm. These nerves control the muscles in the shoulders, elbows, wrists and hands in addition to providing mobility and sensation. When the upper nerves of the brachial plexus are damaged during a difficult labor and delivery, delays may occur in the child’s development, or it may result in permanent damage or lifelong disability.
Since Erb’s palsy is caused by nerve injury during birth, the symptoms of this condition may be seen in a child right after birth. The child’s level of disability may vary depending on the severity of the nerve damage. The child’s arm may be completely paralyzed or may be able to have limited movement depending on whether the nerves are completely ruptured or if the damage is less. Some of the common symptoms of Erb’s palsy include weakness in one arm; decreased grip in the hand of the affected side; arm that is bent at the elbow; numbness or lack of sensation in the arm; and partial or complete paralysis of the arm.
Why Prompt Action is Critical
If you notice any such symptoms after your child’s birth or learn that your child has an arm injury from birth, it is important that you call an experienced Erb’s palsy lawyer immediately. Do not wait to see if the arm gets better. Call a lawyer even if your doctor tells you that the arm will get better. There are several reasons why you should talk to a lawyer right away:
• When you contact a lawyer right away, you are able to convey the details clearly and accurately because they are still fresh in your memory. You will have all the documentation that is necessary including the doctor’s reports, diagnosis, recommended treatment, etc.
• Erb’s palsy cases may take quite a bit of time from the date of filing to go to trial. Since you are likely facing significant expenses for your child’s treatment and therapy, it would be in your best interest to file your case as soon as possible so you get the compensation you need in a timely manner.
Contacting an Erb’s Palsy Lawyer
If your child has suffered an arm injury at birth or has been diagnosed with Erb’s palsy as a result of medical negligence, you may be able to file a birth injury lawsuit seeking compensation for damages including, but not limited to, medical expenses, lost income and benefits, loss of livelihood, hospital and rehabilitation costs, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc.
The experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you. One of our clients secured a $2,850,000 verdict that was reduced by the appeals court to $1,850,000 because the verdict was so large. This was the highest amount upheld by the appellate courts for many, many years. In addition we recovered $1,400,000 for a newborn who lost motion in the arm during birth due to the doctors applying incorrect force on the baby’s head.
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