Erb’s Palsy claims

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    We’re here to support families with Erb’s Palsy claims – when a child suffers due to medical negligence or their condition is made worse by poor care.

    Erb’s Palsy, also called Brachial Plexus Paralysis, shoulder dystocia or Obstetric Brachial Palsy Injury, leads to difficulties for a baby to move their arm and often occurs due to birth trauma. In some cases, it may have been avoided if procedures were followed. It can also be made worse by delays in treatment.

    For families, the impacts of Erb’s Palsy can be devastating, and, whilst the majority of children make a full recovery, it can cause lifelong injury.

    We’re here to help children and their parents seek explanations over the care they were given and to understand if things could have been done differently. When negligence was a factor, we help families to access compensation to help them cope.

    What can Erb’s Palsy claims pay for?

    Erb’s Palsy compensation can be used to cover any losses the injuries have led to for families and the costs of ongoing care that may be needed.

    If parents have had to take additional time off work or are unable to work due to their child’s injury, compensation may help. If there have been costs associated with medical appointments, damages can cover those.

    In cases where children need ongoing rehabilitation and physiotherapy, compensation may be claimed to help families access services that may not be easily available on the NHS.

    If children suffer harm that may impact their earning potential in the future, such as ongoing arm paralysis, compensation may be claimed to reflect the loss of earnings. If they’ll need care in the future or home adaptations or specialist equipment is needed, compensation can help with that too.

    An element of claims damages is also intended to reflect the pain and suffering caused and compensate for it.

    Can you sue a hospital for Erb’s Palsy?

    It is possible to sue for Erb’s Palsy if it was avoidable and errors in care were made.


    Issues that can lead to Erb’s Palsy include:

    • poor decisions being made during labour
    • the wrong tools being used during the delivery of a baby
    • excessive force being used during the delivery of a baby
    • failures to refer for caesarean early enough
    • in some circumstances, failures to advise of risks relating to Erb’s Palsy.

    In some cases, Erb’s Palsy is unavoidable, and it is not possible to claim compensation in those circumstances.

    If your baby has suffered Erb’s Palsy and you don’t know if it was avoidable, we may be able to help.

    Get in touch for an informal discussion. We’ll let you know if we can help and what your choices are.

    Help with Erb’s Palsy

    If your baby is born with Erb’s Palsy, which may result in a floppy or lifeless arm, it can be extremely traumatic.

    Your clinical team should explain what may have led to the condition and what needs to happen next.

    Our specialist birth injury claims solicitors have helped numerous families when Erb’s Palsy results from negligence or outcomes are made worse due to delays or mistakes in care. We know what to look for to help you understand if things did go wrong and can help you get answers and access compensation to help you cope with your situation. We will never put pressure on you to pursue a claim. Firstly, we’re here to listen and signpost.

    There may be support groups and charities operating in your area that can help when you have a baby in traumatic circumstances or a child who faces a disability.

    The Erb’s Palsy Group[1] is a charity dedicated to families affected.

    [1] Enable Law is not affiliated with this charity and is unable to recommend, comment upon or vouch for its services.

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    £400,000 Erb’s Palsy settlement

    We supported the family of Chrissie* in a £400,000 settlement when she was left with a permanent disability due to suffering Erb’s Palsy when her birth was mismanaged.

    During Chrissie’s delivery there was an undiagnosed shoulder dystocia (where, in effect, her shoulder became stuck in the birth canal). When the shoulder dystocia was eventually identified the midwife managing the labour did not undertake the appropriate techniques to free the shoulder.

    As a result, Chrissie suffered a severe injury (a brachial plexus palsy), as well as a fracture to her right clavicle.

    Chrissie required extensive surgery for the brachial plexus injury. Whilst improving function, unfortunately she was left with permanent disability. She has very little use of her left arm which impacts on all aspects of her daily living and her employment prospects in the future.

    The compensation secured will help Chrissie to cope with the negative impacts her injury will have on her future.

    What causes Erb’s Palsy?

    Erb’s Palsy is a possible outcome of shoulder dystocia.

    Shoulder dystocia is caused when a baby’s shoulder becomes stuck during birth, according to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG).The RCOG advises it is not always possible to predict shoulder dystocia, but it is more likely to happen if mothers have:

    • had a labour where shoulder dystocia has occurred previously
    • diabetes
    • a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more
    • labour induced
    • a long labour
    • an assisted vaginal birth (with forceps or ventouse)
    • a large baby.

    Whilst shoulder dystocia is an emergency, it happens in more than one in every 200 births (0.7%) according to the RCOG, and in many cases babies can be delivered without suffering any harm. In some cases it can prove fatal.

    If your baby suffered Erb’s Palsy (a paralysis of the arm), it may have been unavoidable. However, sometimes, guidelines were not followed and Erb’s Palsy could have been avoided.

    Klumpke’s palsy may also result from shoulder dystocia.

    If you think warning signs were not picked up or mistakes might have been made during your baby’s delivery, you have a right to seek further information. We may be able to help you do that. Do get in touch for advice.

    ill baby suffering with erbs palsy

    Do I have a valid Erb’s Palsy negligence claim?

    You may have a valid Erb’s Palsy negligence claim if you were at high risk of your baby suffering shoulder dystocia and this was not identified or discussed with you.

    If shoulder dystocia occurred, you may have a claim if procedures were not properly followed and action was not taken quickly enough.

    Shoulder dystocia can cause birth injury to mums too and can result in vaginal tears, episiotomy (a cut to enlarge the vaginal opening) and postpartum haemorrhage. These may be unavoidable, but if you feel they could potentially have been avoidable you have a right to find out more and may be eligible for compensation.

    You may also qualify for compensation if treatment for Erb’s Palsy wasn’t appropriate or there were mistakes during surgery on you or your child.

    We can advise you if you are likely to have a claim and on the next steps you can take to find out more about what went wrong. Do contact us.

    Will it affect the care my child receives if we make an Erb’s Palsy negligence claim?

    Making a claim for compensation should never affect the care you or your child receives.

    It may be reasonable for a medical professional to request someone else treats you to avoid any further upset or you may wish to request this, but it is not always necessary.


    Further questions about Erb’s Palsy compensation

    There are a number of frequently asked questions we hear in relation to medical negligence.

    We’re more than happy to discuss these with you and answer any others you may have.

    If you’d like to read more for yourself, please click on the links below:


    How do you prove a medical negligence claim?

    Will my negligence claim be successful?

    How much compensation will I receive?

    How much does it cost to bring a compensation claim?

    Why choose Enable Law?

    Find out more about Erb's palsy compensation today

    The effects of Erb’s palsy can be devastating, and if you or your child have been affected by this condition, an experienced lawyer may be able to help you obtain compensation.

    Call us today for a free initial discussion of your Erb’s palsy claim.

    0800 044 8488