Portland Erb’s Palsy Lawyers
The day a child is born should be one of the best days of any parent’s life, but when a newborn develops Erb’s palsy due to medical malpractice during labor, it can take a devastating turn. This type of birth injury causes nerve damage in the arm, head and shoulder region that may leave a child permanently impaired. If you believe your baby’s birth injury could have been prevented, contact our experienced lawyers at Rizk Law today for a free, no obligation consultation. The consultation is absolutely free and will be used to carefully review your situation to determine if you have a case. If you decide to go ahead with legal action, we will represent you on contingency. That means we do not get paid unless you do first.
Our Portland birth injury lawyers understand the devastation families feel when their child has an injury that could have been avoided. We are strongly committed to pursuing fair compensation for all the injuries your child suffered and to cover future medical bills and other damages. We know how important compensation can be as you attempt to move forward and deal with all of the issues caused by a birth injury.
What is Erb’s Palsy?
This type of birth injury is a result of damage to the Erb’s point in the brachial plexus, which is a network of nerves that control movement in the shoulders, neck, and arms. The Erb’s point is the area where the fifth and sixth cranial nerves come together to form the upper point of the brachial plexus.
If your baby is suffering from Erb’s palsy, the affected area will be weakened and partially or completely paralyzed. For instance, your baby may have difficulty gripping things, lifting his or her arm, or moving his or her hand. Even if your baby can use his or her arm or hand, it may be much more difficult than it should be. Your newborn may even have sensitivity or numbness in their arm where the nerves have been damaged.
This injury can lead to unnecessary delays in a child’s development and can make simple daily tasks challenging. Unfortunately, some children with this injury will never have completely normal use of their affected arm.
What are the Signs of This Injury?
There are a variety of symptoms to watch for that could indicate your baby has this injury, such as:
- Holding an arm limp against the body
- Impaired development
- Lack of feeling in the affected arm
- Inability to grip things
- Pain on the affected side of the body
Different Kinds of Erb’s Palsy Injuries
It is important to understand the types of nerve damage your infant may be suffering to better understand the severity of injury:
- Rupture – This usually occurs when the baby’s neck is stretched during labor because the doctor used too much force when pulling the baby out of the birth canal. A rupture is a tear in the nerve and the injury will not heal on its own. Certain types of treatment and surgeries are needed to improve symptoms associated with a rupture.
- Neurapraxia – This occurs when nerves in the shoulder are overstretched, but not torn. Neurapraxia injuries can heal on their own, typically three months after birth.
- Neuroma – This is a stretch injury that may cause damage to the nerves, resulting in scar tissue that can cause the baby to potentially have a disability. Some children can recover from this condition without treatment.
- Avulsion – This is a serious injury that occurs when a nerve is torn from the spinal cord. Both ruptures and avulsions are the most severe type of damage that can lead to paralysis and serious complications in the baby’s development. Treatment for these type of nerve damages may take years. Without special treatment or surgeries, the baby will not be able to recover on his or her own.
If your newborn shows signs of nerve damage, give our experienced and compassionate lawyers at Rizk Law a call for a free consultation. We know how devastating a birth injury can be and are prepared to pursue fair compensation.
Contact a Portland Erb’s palsy attorney at 503.245.5677 for a free consultation.
Causes of Erb’s Palsy
Erb’s palsy is often caused by the negligence of the doctor or other professional medical staff present during labor. Some common examples of negligence during labor may include:
- Failure to anticipate a difficult delivery due to the baby’s size or position - large infants have a tougher time fitting in the birth canal, and those that are facing feet first are more at risk for being injured when they are pulled out
- Improper use of vacuum or forceps extractors - forceps extractors are metal instruments used to guide the baby’s head through the birth canal. A vacuum applies suction to the baby’s head to help extract the baby from the birth canal.
- Doctors using too much force or inappropriate twisting movements to pull the baby out
- Failing to call for a cesarean section (C-section) when necessary
Mothers also have certain risk factors that put their baby at risk for developing Erb’s palsy, including the following:
- Mothers who have had a history of prolonged labor, or failure to progress, typically it is considered failure to progress when labor exceeds 20 hours or more for first time mothers and 14 hours or more for mothers who have previously given birth
- Mothers with unusually small pelvic regions
- Mothers who suffer from gestational diabetes
- Mothers who gave birth to one or more children with macrosomia, or a newborn who is significantly larger than average, exceeding the weight of eight pounds
- Mothers who have previously given birth to a child who had shoulder dystocia
- Mothers who previously gave birth to an awkwardly-positioned or large fetus
In all the cases listed above, a cesarean section should be considered as an option. We trust that doctors and professional medical staff fully comprehend situations in which this procedure is necessary and they should be ready and fully equipped to call for this procedure at any given moment to prevent injury to the baby and mother.
If you feel your doctor or other medical staff failed to foresee a difficult birth and did not take the proper steps to protect your baby and he or she developed Erb’s palsy, you may be entitled to compensation if you can prove medical malpractice was involved.
Contact a Portland Erb’s palsy attorney for a free, no risk consultation at 503.245.5677.
Compensation for Your Child
You and your child should not have to suffer due to a doctor’s malpractice. Treatment to overcome Erb’s palsy can be expensive and time consuming. You should not be burdened with the financial costs of negligence. This is why we are prepared to pursue compensation for the medical costs related to your child’s injury, which could include:
- Physical therapy
- Prescription medications
- Appointments with doctors
- Medical testing
- Nerve transfer surgery
- Nerve graft surgery
Treatments to reverse the symptoms of Erb’s palsy can take up to several months and sometimes, even up to several years in severe cases. Even then, many children who have suffered this injury at birth will most likely experience discomfort and weakness in the affected area for years to come.
If the injury was the result of negligence, you should be compensated for these expenses. You should also receive compensation for other damages, including physical and emotional pain and suffering.
At Rizk Law, our Portland Erb’s palsy lawyers are focused on obtaining compensation for all of your damages. We know that compensation can be a huge help for families who are dealing with the effects of medical negligence during childbirth.
Schedule a free legal consultation right away by completing a Free Case Evaluation form.
Contact Rizk Law’s Erb’s Palsy Lawyers in Portland
Birth injuries like Erb’s palsy can have long-term or even permanent consequences. When these injuries were caused by negligence, they can be even more devastating. Families are left with the knowledge that if medical professionals had acted differently during childbirth, their child might be perfectly healthy.
This is why families often decide to take legal action to hold the negligent medical professionals accountable for their actions. This can potentially help other families avoid having the same thing happen to them. Legal action can also provide compensation for physical, financial and mental damages caused by the injury.
Your consultation is 100 percent free, with no obligation. Our services are provided on a contingency fee basis, which means we do not charge upfront costs. We only get paid for our services if we successfully obtain compensation from your case.