- What happens next
- Choosing a solicitor
- Funding A Claim
- Types of Claims
- Wrongful Birth
- GP negligence
- Birth Injury and Cerebral Palsy
- Erb's Palsy
- Injury to mothers during childbirth
- Claims for children
- Negligent hospital treatment
- Negligent weight-loss surgery
- Fatal claims & inquests
- Missed diagnosis of cancer
- Missed diagnosis of fractures
- Spinal injury
- Pressure sores
- Dental Negligence
Erb's Palsy is a condition arising from injury at birth. Sometimes during birth the baby’s shoulder may become trapped ("shoulder dystocia") and serious nerve damage to the baby can occur during attempts to free the shoulder. This damage can cause severe long term consequences. Negligent handling of the birth can sometimes be found responsible for the injury. Claims of this nature can be of high value.
The Clinical Negligence Team has considerable experience and expertise with Erb's Palsy cases and can advise if you feel there may be a claim to investigate.
A member of the Clinical Negligence Team recovered £100,000 for a young man who had suffered Erb’s Palsy at birth and who had been prevented from embarking upon the career he otherwise would have done. He was working in a job which was lower paid than the alternative career he would have pursued, but for his injury.
POssible causes oF Erb's Palsy
Sometimes the fact that the shoulder dystocia has occurred at all can be criticised. If the mother has risk factors making it predictable that her baby’s shoulder may become trapped during delivery, for example, then it can be argued that steps should have been taken to prevent this happening. Such circumstances may include a previous delivery in which shoulder dystocia occured, or if the expected baby is very large.
Sometimes the attempts made to free the trapped shoulder can be criticised. There are certain steps which should be followed in freeing the shoulder and if these steps have not been followed, or implemented properly, this could be negligent
Sometimes it is not possible for the doctors to predict that the shoulder will become trapped, or to prevent this happening. Similarly, sometimes it is not possible to avoid the nerves being damaged whilst the shoulder is freed. We can advise you whether the Erb’s Palsy is likely to have been caused by negligence or not.
When might I have a claim?
You will have a claim if the cause of the Erb’s Palsy was negligent medical treatment. In order to show that the treatment received was negligent it is necessary to prove that the standard of care provided fell below a reasonable standard and that the substandard part of the treatment caused the damage.
We have given some examples above (see Possible Causes of Erb’s Palsy ) of the circumstances in which Erb’s Palsy might have been caused by negligence. However, those are merely examples and there are many circumstances in which negligent medical care may have caused Erb’s Palsy. Our experienced team can advise whether you may have a claim.
What sort of compensation might I receive?
Compensation is awarded in two categories: firstly for your pain and suffering, and loss of ability to do the things that you used to be able to do, and secondly for any direct financial losses which you have suffered or will suffer in the future.
In Erb’s Palsy cases, as well as an award of damages for pain and suffering, compensation can include a claim for care given by a relative and the costs of any treatment required as a result of the injury. The costs of physiotherapy, rehabilitation treatment and specialist items of equipment are usually recovered. Loss of earnings may also be claimed if the injury has affected, or will affect earnings
The extent of the compensation will vary depending upon the severity of the Erb’s Palsy and the impact it is having, and will have, on the life of the individual affected. Below are some of the cases our team members have handled, for a broad indication of value.
The Erb's palsy group
The Erb's Palsy Group is the national support organisation providing advice, information and experience for people with Erb's Palsy. They have over 1,400 people registered and provide support on all issues relating to Erb's Palsy. The Clinical Negligence Team are pleased to be able to work closely with the Erb's Palsy Group, including writing articles for their newsletter, Erb's Blurb.
Registered charity number 1036423
Awards for Erb's Palsy
Kerstin Scheel, Partner in the Clinical Negligence Team, recovered £40,000 for a three-year-old boy who suffered a brachial plexus injury as a result of negligence during his birth.
Richard Coleman, a Partner in the Clinical Negligence Team, recovered £300,000 for Mrs M’s child, who at the time of birth developed shoulder dystocia. In trying to deliver the baby the doctor damaged the brachial plexus nerve and baby M was left with a useless arm. The compensation allowed Mrs M to purchase specialist equipment and therapy to enable baby M to acheive his full potential as he grows up.