Houston Erb’s Palsy Attorneys
If your child has experienced a birth injury in the form of Erb’s palsy, the consequences can be devastating. In addition to an inability to move their arm, your child may experience pain as a result of the injury. These negative effects can be long-lasting and even permanent. To help with your child’s quality of life, you may be able to recover compensation if medical negligence played a part in causing your child’s injuries.
Whether a doctor or other medical provider contributed to Erb’s palsy in your child can be difficult to determine, which is why you should reach out to an attorney for help. A lawyer can contact medical experts and examine the evidence to determine whether malpractice was committed and a lawsuit is possible. Do not hesitate to contact Williams Hart at (713) 352-7071 so that we can help you pursue the recovery you and your child deserve.
Do I Need an Erb’s Palsy Lawyer?
There are a number of ways in which your child can develop a nerve injury that causes Erb’s palsy. Complications during birth and delivery and the choice of a natural birth compared to a Cesarean section are some of the areas in which a doctor or other medical professional will have to make split-second decisions to try to provide the best care in the moment. When it comes to evaluating the treatment you have received, medical experts will usually be necessary to prove malpractice was committed and you are entitled to compensation. An attorney is in the best position to retain the necessary expert witnesses who will help to prove your case.
The legal proceedings in any medical malpractice or negligence case are complex. Certain deadlines must be met throughout the process and procedural rules must always be followed. By entrusting your case to an attorney, you can free up your time to tend to your child’s needs. An attorney will work to make the process as stress-free as possible for you.
Why Choose Williams Hart to Handle My Case?
If you have made the decision to pursue legal action against a medical provider after your child has developed Erb’s palsy, you want to hire an attorney you can trust. At Williams Hart, we pride ourselves on compassionately serving our clients and ensuring that they receive the best outcome with the most compensation possible.
Our partners at Williams Hart have achieved numerous awards and accolades and are deeply involved in the Houston community. Partner John Eddie Williams, Jr. graduated first in his law school class and has been achieving significant results ever since. He has been ranked as a Super Lawyer in Texas from 2003 to 2018. John Eddie has also served as president of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association. Similarly, Partner Jim S. Hart consistently has been named a Super Lawyer by Thomson Reuters.
All of the attorneys at Williams Hart will focus their efforts on you and your child so that you can recover to the fullest extent possible. We are dedicated to your well-being from the very beginning of your case, where we provide a free evaluation so that you are aware of your options. We also do not take any fees unless we recover compensation for you. This can give you peace of mind to attend to your affairs and nurture your child while we fight your legal battles.
What is Erb’s Palsy?
There are a variety of brachial plexus injuries that can occur to your child during the birth process. Erb’s palsy is the most common form of this type of injury. Brachial means “arm” and “plexus” means a network of nerves. In this case, the brachial plexus transmits nerve signals to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Damage to the brachial plexus causes pain and paralysis in the shoulder, arm, or hand. In particular, Erb’s palsy affects the upper part of the arm or the shoulder, and the nerve roots that control this area are more frequently damaged during childbirth than other areas.
What Causes Erb’s Palsy?
Erb’s palsy is caused by damage to nerves in a specific area of the brachial plexus. This damage is most often caused by force on the head or neck in a direction away from the spinal cord that strains the delicate nerves. The degree of seriousness of the injury depends on how much the nerves are stretched. The most serious injury is an avulsion, in which the nerves are completely torn from the spinal cord. A rupture is a partial tear, and a praxis is a stretching injury which does not involve tearing. Additionally, an injury called a neuroma can occur in which scar tissue grows near the injured nerves. Scar tissue can cause issues with the nerve signals from the injured nerves.
Erb’s Palsy Treatments
While the majority of brachial plexus injuries heal during the child’s first year of life, a smaller portion of these injuries require some type of therapy or surgery. It is important to obtain the correct diagnosis in order to receive the appropriate treatment for Erb’s palsy. Tests such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), CT scanning, or electromyography (EMG) may be necessary to show the precise nature of the injury.
Normally, a specialist should evaluate an injured child within approximately six to eight weeks of birth to determine whether surgery should be performed. If it is necessary to perform surgery, it often must be completed during the child’s first year if it involves reconstructing nerves. Muscle transfer surgeries may be useful when the child is a bit older. Physical therapy and exercises designed to improve range of motion are typical treatment regardless of whether surgery is necessary.
Preventing Erb’s Palsy and Signs of Medical Negligence
Erb’s palsy is often the result of shoulder dystocia. This occurs when the baby’s shoulder becomes stuck on the mother’s pelvic bone during delivery. A doctor must act quickly to prevent injury or death of the child in this situation. The doctor should be able to anticipate cases of shoulder dystocia by being aware of risk factors and planning accordingly. A doctor may not be able to predict shoulder dystocia in every situation, but should always be prepared to act quickly to minimize injuries when it does occur.
A large baby, particularly one over nine pounds, increases the risk of shoulder dystocia. Large babies are common in mothers who are diabetic, which means that a doctor should pay special attention in these situations to the possibility that shoulder dystocia could develop.
To prove that you are entitled to damages when your child has suffered from Erb’s palsy, your attorney will have to prove that one of your medical providers was negligent. This involves demonstrating that your doctor or other medical professional failed to treat you the way a reasonable medical professional would have under the circumstances. A doctor can be medically negligent in the following ways related to Erb’s palsy:
- Failing to obtain a complete history of the mother’s prior pregnancies and health, including history of diabetes, difficult deliveries or prior shoulder dystocia, and previously bearing large babies.
- Failing to identify or manage diabetes in the mother
- Failing to manage weight gain appropriately
- Failing to evaluate the size of the baby or failing to deliver a baby until after the due date
- Failing to recommend a Cesarean section in certain circumstances
- Using excessive force on the baby’s head or neck during delivery
- Using forceps or vacuums aggressively to check for, or manage appropriately, diabetes during pregnancy.
If you experienced any of the above during your pregnancy or delivery, you may be entitled to compensation for your child’s Erb’s palsy. If you are unsure whether your situation counts as malpractice, contact a lawyer right away.
Compensation for Erb’s Palsy Injuries
When your attorney proves that a medical professional provided medically negligent care that resulted in Erb’s palsy, compensation is available to make you “whole” again. This means that you should receive enough money to pay for all the losses you incurred as a result of the injury, including non-economic losses like pain and suffering.
If your medical provider was negligent, you may be able to recover for damages for the following items:
- Medical expenses, such as physical therapy, doctor’s appointments, equipment, supplies, medications, surgeries, and other medical procedures.
- Lost income if you had to miss work to care for your injured baby
- Pain and suffering, both physical and psychological.
If your child has suffered an Erb’s palsy injury, contact us today to receive an evaluation of the compensation you might be entitled to.
When Erb’s palsy has caused your child to suffer paralysis and pain, it may seem as if you have nowhere to turn for help. At Williams Hart, we are here to evaluate your case and help you understand the options you have for pursuing compensation in your case. With our policy of taking no fee unless we obtain compensation for you, your energy can go toward helping your child recover medically. We will handle the difficult work of obtaining expert witnesses to make the best case that you deserve to recover. Contact our birth injury lawyers today at (713) 352-7071 to start the recovery process.