Erb’s Palsy Lawyers in North Carolina
When Medical Negligence Leads to Serious Birth Injuries
Erb’s palsy results from certain brachial plexus injuries, which affect the nerves near the neck. This bundle of nerves is responsible for arm, shoulder, and hand movement and feeling. Therefore, individuals who suffer from Erb’s palsy typically experience weakness, numbness, or inability to use one arm. This may affect the entire arm and shoulder, or it may affect only the hand and fingers, only the arm and not the hand, just the shoulder, etc.
Erb’s palsy commonly occurs when an infant’s head and/or neck is stretched too far to one side during birth. This can occur during an unassisted birth or when forceps or a vacuum extractor is used. If you believe that a birth injury led to your child’s disability, reach out to the North Carolina Erb’s palsy lawyers at Lanier Law Group, P.A. With decades of experience standing up for injured victims and their families, our team is prepared to fight tirelessly for the justice and recovery your family deserves.
Types & Causes of Erb’s Palsy
Erb’s palsy is categorized according to severity; the more severe the initial injury, the more severe the symptoms, effects, and implications for the victim. That said, with proper treatment and care, most children are able to regain most movement and sensation in the affected shoulder, arm, and/or hand. In very severe cases, the child may not make a full recovery, though some recovery can typically be expected.
The various types of Erb’s palsy include:
- Neurapraxia: The most common form of Erb’s palsy, neurapraxia occurs when the brachial plexus nerves are simply stretched. In most cases, neurapraxia will heal on its own. However, it can be extremely painful and your child may experience discomfort during the healing process. Typically, it takes about three months for the stretched nerve to heal itself.
- Neuroma: When the nerve is stretched enough that scar tissue forms, neuroma occurs. While neuroma also typically heals on its own, the resulting scar tissue may result in some issues with nerve stability. This can cause stiff or abnormal arm/shoulder/hand movements that may need to be corrected with ongoing physical rehabilitation therapy.
- Rupture: A rupture occurs when the nerve is not only stretched but actually tears. When this occurs, the child will need professional medical treatment, as the injury will not heal on its own. Symptoms of a rupture include pronounced weakness of the shoulder/arm/hand, inability to use that shoulder/arm/hand, lack of flexibility, lack of fine motor skills, pain, and more.
- Avulsion: The most serious type of Erb’s palsy, an avulsion is when the nerve is torn away from the spinal cord entirely. Sadly, it is not possible to reattach the nerve to the spinal cord when an avulsion has occurred. That said, there are alternative treatment options, such as surgical grafting. Some children will be able to regain some movement and sensation, though it will likely be limited.
Who Is Liable for Your Child’s Injury?
Determining—and then proving—liability in an Erb’s palsy case can be difficult. A mother may not realize that the doctor or nurse pulled her infant’s head to one side, resulting in a brachial plexus injury. After a difficult labor or delivery, parents are often overwhelmed and concerned only with the health and well-being of their child. They may miss initial signs of Erb’s palsy and, only later when a child begins to exhibit more serious symptoms, will they realize something is wrong.
This is completely understandable. At Lanier Law Group, we know that there are few things worse than having a joyous occasion, the birth of your child, suddenly turn frightening due to unforeseen complications. However, if you believe your child was the victim of a healthcare professional’s negligence, we encourage you to reach out to our firm for help. There is no risk in speaking with a North Carolina Erb’s palsy lawyer at our firm, as we offer free initial consultations and contingency fees.
Our legal team can investigate your situation to determine if any of the following parties are liable for your child’s injuries:
- The delivery room doctor
- A nurse or another medical professional in the room
- The midwife
- The hospital
Regardless of the complexity of your case, you can rely on our team for dedicated legal representation from start to finish. We don’t back down from tough challenges; we are here to fight for you.
Call us at (855) 757-4204 to schedule a complimentary case evaluation.