NYC Erb’s Palsy Attorney
Has your child been diagnosed with Erb’s Palsy because of trauma they suffered at birth? Do you believe that their injury could have been avoided, but was the result of negligent medical care? If so, please contact Mirman, Markovits & Landau, P.C. to discuss your legal rights and options. Your family might have a legitimate claim for compensation. Our NYC Erb’s Palsy attorneys can help you fight to maximize your recovery.
We offer a free initial case assessment, so give our New York City law firm a call or reach out to us online to arrange yours today.
Why Do I Need a NYC Personal Injury Lawyer If My Child Was Injured at Birth?
You trusted that your child would be in good hands on the day they were born. You trusted that your OBGYN and medical team would be able to handle any complications or curveballs thrown their way during the delivery process. However, they’ve made a mistake and now your child is paying the price. You might not know if their Erb’s Palsy will heal over time or if your child will have to struggle with a disability for the rest of their life. Either way, you’re probably faced with otherwise unnecessary medical costs and a whole lot of distress.
Fortunately, you may be entitled to a financial settlement or award. In New York, you can file a lawsuit or injury claim to hold a negligent medical provider for injuries and suffering they cause. However, thanks to laws that are written more in favor of huge medical organizations and hospitals, medical malpractice cases are often challenging for injured patients and their families. To make matters worse, negligent caretakers, hospitals, and insurance companies will almost certainly put up a fight and attempt to get out of paying you the money you deserve.
That’s where our experienced New York City personal injury lawyers can help. At Mirman, Markovits & Landau, P.C., our team has more than 200 years of combined experience handling medical malpractice cases. We’ve successfully recovered more than $1 Billion in compensation for our clients and their families. We know how devastating a birth injury like Erb’s Palsy can be. We understand that it can fundamentally change the course of your child’s life forever. That’s why we are prepared to help you fight to hold the negligent doctor or medical provider responsible for your child’s injury fully accountable.
We will work day and night to help you secure the compensation you deserve by:
- Carefully and thoroughly investigating the circumstances surrounding your child’s Erb’s Palsy diagnosis
- Determining what complications led to your child’s injury
- Consulting with independent medical specialists to identify what the proper course of action for your child’s care should have been
- Gathering and analyzing evidence, including photographs, witness statements, and medical records, to build a strong case on your behalf
- Working with experts as we navigate the complex valuation process; and
- Taking your case to a jury in NYC, if necessary.
Don’t let hospitals or insurance companies pressure you or bully you into accepting less money than you deserve. Don’t let them scare you into walking away without compensation. Call Mirman, Markovits & Landau, P.C. and have our accomplished and award-winning NYC personal injury lawyers fight for you. Your first consultation is free, so call now.
What is Erb’s Palsy?
Erb’s Palsy is a condition that occurs when the nerves in a child’s neck and/or upper arm are damaged. This usually happens when the neck, shoulders, and/or arms are overstretched during birth.
Specifically, it involves damage to the brachial plexus, which is a network of nerves between the neck and arm. The brachial plexus contains five nerves – beginning at C5 and running through T1. Most Erb’s Palsy injuries affect the cervical spinal nerves C5 and C6, which are responsible for relaying signals from the brain to the arm. When these nerves are damaged or destroyed, the shoulder, arm, hand, and/or fingers can lose function.
While Erb’s Palsy can cause paralysis, palsy actually means weakness. So, for most babies who suffer from Erb’s Palsy, their shoulders and arms tend to become weak. Mobility suffers. Many children are unable to move their shoulders and upper arm. As a result, it’s common for the child’s arm to hang limply, turned inward at the elbow. The child may or may not retain some function in their hands and fingers.
The extent of a child’s Erb’s Palsy injury really depends on the degree to which the nerves in the brachial plexus were damaged. There are several different degrees of nerve damage that can lead to an Erb’s Palsy injury.
Neurapraxia: Nerves in the brachial plexus are stretched, but not torn. The injury itself does not affect the spinal cord. Erb’s Palsy resulting from neurapraxia typically heals within the first three months of life.
Rupture: Nerves in the brachial plexus are torn, but the injury does not affect the spinal cord. This is a fairly common injury, but surgery might be required for the child to recover.
Avulsion: Nerves in the brachial plexus are torn from the spinal cord. This type of injury causes roughly 10 to 20 percent of Erb’s Palsy cases. More invasive surgical procedures – including nerve transfers – are often required.
Neuroma: Neuroma means that scar tissue has formed and prevented an affected nerve from healing on its own. Rather, the scar tissue pushes on the nerve, causing pain and/or interfering with proper function. Nerve reconstruction surgery might be necessary to deal with this type of Erb’s Palsy injury.
Global (Total) Plexus Involvement: All five nerves in the brachial plexus are damaged, resulting in complete paralysis of the shoulder, arm, and/or hand. This accounts for between 20 and 30 percent of all Erb’s Palsy cases.
How Common is Erb’s Palsy?
Erb’s Palsy affects one or two out of every 1,000 babies that are born. In 2018, there were an estimated 3.79 million children born in the United States. In turn, there were roughly 3,800 new cases of Erb’s Palsy that year.
How Serious is Erb’s Palsy?
It depends on the extent of the injury. If nerves are merely bruised or stretched, a child might recover with minimal treatment in a matter of months. If nerves are torn or severed, a child might never fully recover without intense surgical interventions. Even then, there is no guarantee that a child’s nerves will function fully or properly as they grow into adulthood.
What Causes Erb’s Palsy?
Erb’s Palsy is most commonly associated with trauma sustained during birth. Most typically, it occurs when the child’s neck and head are pulled to the side while the shoulders pass through the birth canal. This can cause shoulder dystocia and put extreme pressure on the nerves in the upper arm and neck, leading to bruising, stretching, or tearing.
Factors that might increase the risk of a child suffering Erb’s Palsy include:
- Small mothers
- Older mothers
- Excessive weight gain during pregnancy
- High birth weight
- Child presenting in breech position (feet first)
- Extended labor, and
- The use of extraction tools during delivery, including forceps and vacuums.
However, these are simply factors that can increase the likelihood of an Erb’s Palsy injury. A proficient medical doctor should have the training and experience necessary to overcome these issues without causing injury to a child.
However, doctors and medical professionals make mistakes. Medical errors that can cause Erb’s Palsy include:
- Failing to determine a baby is in breech position
- Failing to turn a child who is presenting in breech position
- Failing to request a timely C-Section
- Applying too much pressure to a child’s head or neck during delivery, and
- Using excessive force while pulling on the baby’s head or shoulders during delivery.
Note that an Erb’s Palsy injury can also occur during a C-Section. However, these injuries occur far less often than in vaginal delivery.
What Are the Short-Term and Long-Term Consequences of Erb’s Palsy?
Immediately-noticeable symptoms of Erb’s Palsy can include:
- Limp arm
- Partial or complete paralysis of the shoulder, arm, hand, and/or fingers
- Loss of sensation, and
- Difficulty making a fist or grasping items.
If a child’s Erb’s Palsy is severe, they may require surgery and rehabilitation. Those treatments may or may not be effective and lead to a full recovery. Some children with Erb’s Palsy will struggle with arm weakness and limited mobility for the rest of their lives. Others will notice that their affected arm is noticeably smaller than their healthy arm.
The good news is that most children will be able to grow up and live normal lives. Some will be affected by arm weakness and require medical devices and assistance performing some tasks. Even those without full use of their arm(s) can lead rewarding and engaging lives. For any sacrifices and costs they may have to endure, compensation might be available.
Call Our New York City Erb’s Palsy Lawyers For Help Today
Whether your doctor failed to notice that your child was breech or simply mishandled the delivery, your child is now faced with a tough road ahead. They might need surgery and years of rehabilitation to get healthy. There’s a chance their Erb’s Palsy will affect them for life. Mirman, Markovits & Landau, P.C. will help you fight to recover money to pay for medical bills, compensate for your child’s reduced earning capacity, and make up for any pain and suffering they may experience.
Give our NYC law office a call today to arrange a free consultation to learn more. Our medical malpractice lawyers proudly represent clients in and around the city, including the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, Westchester County and more.