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Erb’s Palsy: What Is It and Can I Sue If My Baby Has It?

If you've been injured in an accident or on the job, the attorneys of Hach & Rose, LLP have the knowledge, skills, and experience required to hold the party responsible for your injury accountable.

Last Updated: 07-24-2023
Written by: Michael A. Rose and Gregory Hach

Erb’s palsy is paralysis of the arm caused by damage to the upper group of the arm’s nerves. This nerve damage is usually the result of complications during birth. The baby’s shoulder can get caught on the mother’s pubic bone during a difficult birth. That leads to a strain or break of the nerves.

Other common causes of Erb’s palsy:

  • If the baby is born face first, Erb’s palsy could occur if the doctor pulls the baby out by their face or neck
  • If the baby is born feet first, Erb’s palsy might happen if the doctor pulls the baby’s legs and feet, causing the arms to go over the head. This puts undue stress on the shoulder
  • If the baby is too big for the birth canal, it may be shoved through the birth canal. That causes unnecessary stress on the arms, shoulders, and neck
  • If a nurse or physician picks up the baby by its arms instead of supporting its head and neck, they could cause damage to the shoulder’s nerves
  • Forceps or vacuum extraction tools used to aid childbirth might result in nerve damage and Erb’s palsy if used improperly

How do I know if I have a case?

If you suspect that your baby’s Erb’s palsy was caused by the improper use of tools or negligent actions of medical staff, you should contact a personal injury attorney specializing in medical malpractice. Your attorney can get copies of your baby’s medical records. They will enlist the help of an expert to determine whether medical malpractice occurred during childbirth. Once your attorney determines you have a case, they can calculate how much it might be worth and your next steps to take legal action.

Contact a New York birth injury lawyer

Sometimes, Erb’s palsy will resolve itself over a period of months. But other times, the baby may need physical therapy or surgery to regain arm movement. If the injury the baby sustained at birth was caused by the negligent or careless actions of a doctor, the parents may be able to sue for compensation to pay the medical bills associated with Erb’s palsy. The attorneys at Hach & Rose, LLP are here to help you get the compensation you need. Then you can focus on your child’s health. Call us at (347) 318-9604 today.

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