Call Now 24/7 - Free Consultation! 855-866-5529

Pittsburgh Erb’s Palsy Lawyer

Get a FREE Consultation

Erb’s Palsy is a full or partial paralysis of the arm caused by nerve damage. Because Erb’s Palsy is often avoidable, in some cases, parents may be able to take legal action against the doctors or other medical professionals involved in the delivery process. This kind of personal injury case, which falls under the umbrella of medical malpractice, is complicated. Working with a Pittsburgh Erb’s Palsy lawyer with specific expertise in this subject area is the best way to set yourself and your family up for success.

Contact our Munley Law today for a free consultation and learn how we can fight to protect your best interests.

What Is Erb’s Palsy?

Pittsburgh erb's palsy lawyerAlso known as Erb-Duchenne paralysis, Erb’s palsy is one of multiple possible brachial plexus injuries. The brachial plexus is a network of nerves with roots in the neck, upper torso, and spine. This bundle of nerves ultimately connects to nerves in the arm and allows for arm movement. According to the Mayo Clinic, when nerve damage occurs in these areas, it can result in Erb’s palsy, characterized by paralysis or extreme weakness in the arm.

Because of how the brachial plexus nerves function, a child with Erb’s palsy may be able to move their shoulder and fingers on the impacted side but have no muscle control or ability to move the arm itself; the impacted arm also may feel extremely numb.

The good news is that, according to research in the National Library of Medicine, children with Erb’s palsy can be improved and even cured if treatment begins in the first two weeks of life. This study found that in cases where physical therapy and medical treatment began this early, more than 80% of children with Erb’s palsy were cured.

That being said, not all cases are cured. And even with those that are, a huge amount of time and money must be spent to achieve maximum results. Filing a birth injury claim if the circumstances around the injury qualify as a medical error, can be a way to pursue compensation and receive damages for the high costs associated with treatment.

What’s the Difference Between Erb’s Palsy and Cerebral Palsy?

Like cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy can result in a birth injury. However, cerebral palsy can result in brain damage in the infant and may affect the child’s life. A brachial plexus injury, on the other hand, may improve within a few weeks following the birth injury.

However, both injuries can result from medical negligence by a medical professional. To determine whether a healthcare provider caused your child’s injury, it’s important to speak with our Pittsburgh birth injury attorneys as soon as possible.

What Causes Erb’s Palsy?

Pittsburgh Erb's palsy lawyerWhile Erb’s palsy can be sustained in other ways, it is most often a type of birth injury caused during labor and delivery. In some cases, it’s unavoidable — for instance, it can be caused by the way the baby was positioned in the uterus, such as behind the pelvic bone. However, in other cases, it can be caused by medical negligence.

Some examples of medical negligence that can lead to Erb’s palsy include:

  • The healthcare provider pulls the baby’s head sideways as they exit the birth canal
  • Failing to order a c-section when there are signs of fetal distress results in a more complicated and dangerous delivery
  • Pulling too hard or using excessive force on the baby’s shoulders, causing the injury during childbirth

Sometimes, shoulder dystocia can lead to Erb’s palsy. Shoulder dystocia is when one or both of the baby’s shoulders get stuck during delivery.

What Are the Symptoms of Erb’s Palsy?

Signs and symptoms of Erb’s palsy include:

  • Paralysis, limpness, or lack of muscle control in the arm and shoulder. This means the baby may be unable to lift or bend their arm.
  • Abnormal sensations like numbness and tingling in the arm and hand.
  • The hand is stuck in the waiter’s tip hand position (the fingers curl towards the back of the hand, forming a U-shape.

If your child suffers from any of these signs or symptoms, it’s best to begin documenting anything that may help you build a case. This includes:

  • Keeping all medical records, including a record of all medical appointments
  • Taking photographs or videos of your child exhibiting any of the symptoms
  • Work with a lawyer to ensure you’re gathering all necessary evidence

Is Your Child’s Erb’s Palsy a Result of Medical Malpractice?

Some cases of brachial plexus injury are unavoidable and not the fault of any healthcare professionals involved in the child’s birth. However, others are preventable and are the result of negligence. So, what exactly does negligence look like in the context of a birth injury like Erb’s palsy?

In medical malpractice cases, negligence is when a medical practitioner deviates from the standard of care. This is usually defined by whether or not a reasonable doctor, given the same or similar circumstances, would have acted in the same fashion as the doctor in question. For instance, in the case of a birth injury, would another doctor (with a similar level of training and experience) have done something different to prevent the injury? Or would they have made all the same choices? Asking this question helps determine whether a doctor meets the standard of care they are obligated to uphold.

When negligence does occur, the consequences can be something like Erb’s palsy: an uncomfortable, disabling condition that requires ongoing care.

If your child has suffered a birth injury in Allegheny County, and you believe it may be the result of medical malpractice, contact an attorney today. Working with an experienced Pittsburgh medical malpractice lawyer is the best path toward securing maximum compensation for your family.

What Compensation is Available for Erb’s Palsy Cases in Pittsburgh?

Pittsburgh birth injury lawyers Caroline Munley and Marion MunleyMore broadly, there are two overarching categories of financial compensation in medical malpractice and personal injury cases: economic and noneconomic.

Economic Damages

Economic damages refer to all losses with specific and definitive monetary value. This includes things like lost wages, medical bills, the cost of ongoing medical care and rehabilitation services, and more.

Noneconomic Damages

Noneconomic damages, conversely, refer to losses that are less tangible but still entirely deserving of compensation. When your child suffers from a birth injury, it takes a huge mental and emotional toll on the entire family. Noneconomic damages are intended to compensate for pain and suffering, emotional distress, and more.

Who is Eligible to File an Erb’s Palsy Lawsuit in Pittsburgh?

If the person injured is a minor, their parents or legal guardian may file a medical malpractice claim. In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations on these cases is two years, meaning guardians have two years from the date of the injury to file the claim.

However, there is an exception. If a guardian does not file a claim, the child has until two years after their 18th birthday to file, regardless of when the injury happened.

How Do Our Pittsburgh Birth Injury Lawyers Approach Erb’s Palsy Cases?

The legal process of seeking fair compensation in a birth injury case can seem convoluted, but your attorney will guide you through each step, ensuring you understand exactly what’s happening.

The general steps for taking legal action in an Erb’s palsy case include:

  • Hiring a birth injury attorney
  • Requesting your medical records
  • Speaking with the care provider, you believe to be negligent (with your lawyer)
  • Filing a complaint with the licensing board
  • Negotiate with the defendant to reach a settlement
  • Going to trial if a settlement cannot be reached
  • Outline the legal process for pursuing a birth injury lawsuit in Pittsburgh

Additionally, Pennsylvania law dictates that you must have your medical records reviewed by a medical expert. This expert will determine if the doctor deviated from the standard of care and whether you have grounds to claim that they exhibited negligence.

Working with our birth injury lawyers is the best way to ensure you meet every one of these steps successfully and in a timely fashion.

Consult a Skilled Pittsburgh Erb’s Palsy Attorney Today

Going through a medical malpractice experience can be a difficult time for the whole family. It’s awful to watch your child suffer and, even worse, to feel powerless to help them.

But you are not helpless. That’s where our law firm comes in. With the aid of an experienced legal team, you can take action and ensure that those at fault are held accountable. You want to be with your child, supporting them and ensuring they receive the care they need. Allow us to do the bulk of the legal heavy lifting so that you can focus on your family and your child’s recovery.

We have an astounding track record of securing settlements for our clients in Western Pennsylvania and elsewhere. We have the skills and resources to take on even the toughest cases. Moreover, we treat each case and each client with the care, compassion, and attention they deserve.

Don’t wait another moment. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can fight for you and your family.

    Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys

    510 Third Avenue
    2nd Floor,
    Pittsburgh, PA 15219

    PA Bar Association
    top 100
    Super Lawyers
    Best law firms
    best lawyers
    top 1% of trial lawyers
    Irish Legal
    BBB Accreditation Badge Munley Law Review Us
    Back to Top