Pregnancy & Gynaecology Injury Claims

Erb’s Palsy Compensation Claims

Bringing up a child with Erb’s Palsy can be emotionally and financially stressful. Our medical negligence lawyers can make things a little easier by helping you get the compensation and support you deserve.

Erb’s Palsy (also called brachial plexus paralysis) often results from medical staff using excessive force on your baby’s shoulder during birth. We can help you secure compensation if the doctor, midwife or nurse treating you didn’t:

  • Use the correct tools/force during the birth
  • Advise you about the potential risks of birth injuries
  • Acknowledge signs that can cause Erb’s Palsy
  • Refer you for a caesarean section in the likelihood of a problematic birth
  • Take steps to move your baby out of a trapped position

Our birth injury experts will fight to get the best outcome for you and will always act to get your child the medical care they need.

We’re one of a select group of law firms that offer funding support through legal aid for certain types of birth injury claims. We can also accept cases on a No Win No Fee basis*.

Solicitors with in-depth medical knowledge
Offices across the country
No Win No Fee and legal aid funding available*
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Erb’s Palsy Compensation Claims - More Information
    • What Will Happen When I Make A Claim?
    • After you’ve contacted us, we’ll set up a free initial consultation to discuss your case and whether you have a legal claim. We’ll discuss what funding options are available to you to pay for your claim, including No Win No Fee agreements*.

      We’ll then get in touch with those responsible for your negligent treatment at an early stage to see if they accept the blame for your child’s injury. If they accept responsibility, we’ll try to secure interim compensation payments which can fund private medical care and ongoing expenses, before your claim fully settles. Any interim payments will be taken out of your final compensation award.

      Our experts will look into your child’s case in detail, gathering evidence from independent medical professionals. These experts evaluate what care should have received and can determine any future implications to your child’s health.

      We’ll always try and negotiate claims out of court, keeping the claim process as short as we can. However, if your opponent doesn’t accept responsibility or doesn’t agree with the amount of compensation we feel you need, we’ll start court proceedings.

      Even when trial dates have been set, claims are still often settled before reaching court. If your claim does need to go to court, we’ll be there to help you every step of the way, talking you through what will happen so you feel as comfortable as possible.

    • Who Can Make A Claim?
    • We could help you make a claim for injuries that you or your child sustained during the birth. Making a claim on behalf of your child can mean that they have access to the best care possible, limiting the impact of their injury.

      You have until your child’s 18th birthday to make a claim on their behalf but we urge you to get in touch as soon as possible. If you have Erb’s Palsy and would like to make a claim (after your 18th birthday), you can make a claim at any point until your 21st birthday for your injuries suffered at birth.

      Erb’s Palsy can range in severity and the long-term effects aren’t always apparent straight away. However, we would encourage you to contact us on 0800 121 6567 to find out if you have a claim.

    • How Can I Pay For My Case?
    • We’re one of a select group of law firms which can offer legal aid (also known as public funding) for neurological birth injury cases that resulted from problems during your pregnancy or up to eight weeks after the birth. If we think that your case should be investigated further, legal aid funding could be used which means that the costs of your case will be paid on your behalf*.

      Alternatively, many of our cases are funded with a No Win No Fee agreement. This means that there’s no financial risk* to you when making a compensation claim.

      At the start of your case we’ll discuss funding options with you, advising you which we think is most suitable. If you have legal expenses insurance (LEI) or are covered by a trade union policy, these may be best for you. Legal expenses insurance is included in many household insurance policies, so it’s always worth checking whether you’re already covered.

      If we think you’re best supported by a No Win No Fee agreement, we’ll explain the process clearly. This involves setting up an insurance policy that will protect you, at no cost to you. You’ll only have to pay anything when your claim is successful – your opponent will pay most of our fees.

      Please visit our No Win No Fee page for more information on how it works.

    • What Can Compensation Pay For?
    • In the most serious cases, Erb’s Palsy can mean that your child needs specialist care throughout their life. Sometimes children can make a full recovery from paralysis but we’re also aware that you might not know what the long-term effects of the condition might be at this time.

      By claiming compensation, we can help you access treatment from experts in this area. Compensation can help you pay for:

      • Appointments with private doctors
      • Physiotherapy
      • Occupational therapy
      • Adaptations to your home and vehicle
      • Private tutoring for your child
      • Travel expenses
      • Loss of wages

      It’s difficult to say exactly how much compensation you might be able to claim, as every Erb’s Palsy case is different. We’ll analyse your claim, coming to a figure that we think takes into account the above and also considers:

      • Physical and emotional pain and suffering
      • Ability to enjoy life and independence
      • Life-long effects of injuries

      If the person or organisation responsible for your injuries accepts that they’re responsible, we can help you get early compensation payments (interim payments) that can help pay for medical care and other costs before your claim has fully settled.

      We also have financial experts who can help you plan how your child’s compensation should be invested. They can help you set up a personal injury trust which can make sure that your child’s compensation is protected and that their entitlement to certain state benefits is maximised.

    • Meet Our Experts
    • Our specialist team of birth injury lawyers have a track record of working with families to secure the compensation they deserve. We will always listen to your concerns, explaining to you everything that’s happening and making sure you’re comfortable at every stage.

      As we’re a full-service law firm, we have teams that can help you with a number of other issues relating to your claim, including:

They were always there to answer my questions and queries when I was at my most vulnerable and they persevered to obtain the best possible result."

Lisa, client

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Erb’s Palsy And How Is It Caused?

Erb’s Palsy, often known as brachial plexus paralysis, is normally caused because of trauma during birth. The brachial plexus is a network of nerves that send messages from the spine to the shoulder, arm and hand.

If one or more of these nerves are damaged by bruising or tearing, your child could suffer partial or complete paralysis. Sometimes this paralysis is temporary and will resolve on its own, but many will require medical treatment. In the most severe cases, the child can remain paralysed for life.

Erb’s Palsy is commonly caused by shoulder dystocia in difficult labours. If inappropriate or excessive force is applied to the baby’s head, neck or shoulders, serious injuries can be caused.

Medical professionals should recognise signs of shoulder dystocia and implement techniques so that injuries are avoided. The effects of negligent care in this scenario can be life-changing and could mean that your child has to cope with severe disabilities throughout their life.

Certain situations can heighten your risk of shoulder dystocia and the child suffering from Erb’s Palsy:

  • Shortness (in height)
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Pelvic abnormalities
  • Long labours
  • The use of forceps or vacuum extraction
  • Excessive maternal weight gain
  • Babies in breech position

Your midwife or doctor should recognise if you’re likely to have problems during the birth and may suggest that you have a caesarean section or advise you on other precautionary measures.

Our lawyers are here for you if the medical professional treating you didn’t act within their duty of care. They should always check for any signs of shoulder dystocia and undertake any measures to avoid this condition.

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What Injuries Can Be Caused As A Result Of Erb’s Palsy?

When the brachial plexus nerves are bruised or torn, serious injuries can occur that often require special medical treatment. Your child could suffer a number of nerve injuries as a consequence of shoulder dystocia, including:

  • Neuropraxia (stretching of the nerve)
  • Nerve ruptures
  • Avulsion (nerve roots completely displaced from the spine)

Your child could need extensive surgery because of these injuries, especially in the event where nerves need reattaching. There’s also the risk of permanent paralysis, so it’s crucial that medical professionals treat this condition carefully.

Other injuries can also be caused as a consequence of shoulder dystocia, such as:

  • Fractures (to the humerus and collar bone)
  • Cervical subluxation (separation of the neck bones)
  • Facial palsy (weakness of the facial muscles)
  • Shoulder dislocations (more prone to this happening in the future)

Sometimes you might not recognise that your child has Erb’s Palsy straight away but there are common signs and symptoms that medical professionals should recognise including:

  • A limp arm that’s bent at the elbow
  • Lack of ability to grip with the affect hand
  • Partial or full paralysis
  • No sensory or motor function in the upper arm
  • Numbness in the arm
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What Constitutes Negligence?

If your midwife or doctor applies excessive traction to your baby’s head, neck or shoulders during delivery, damage can be caused to your baby’s brachial plexus nerves. Guidelines have been put in place that should be followed when shoulder dystocia occurs to manage the condition…

… and to avoid or minimise the injuries that are caused. If these protocols aren’t followed, you might be able to make a claim on the behalf of your child. Claims can be made if the person treating you didn’t:

  • Advise you about the potential risk of shoulder dystocia
  • Recognise prenatal signs of shoulder dystocia (size and position of your baby)
  • Refer you for a caesarean section when appropriate
  • Attempt to move the baby free from its trapped position
  • Follow procedures for a safe delivery (used excessive force which caused injury)

Our medical negligence solicitors can help get you the compensation that can pay for essential treatment for your child. If you’ve received negligent care, contact us today on 0800 121 6567 to set up a free initial consultation.

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Awards & Recognition

We're always proud to be recognised for the work we do for our clients and have been named as a leading firm in the latest legal guides - which provide information and recommendations about lawyers and law firms in the UK.

"They are forensic and analytical as well as campaigning and careful. All of the lawyers work tirelessly for the smaller cases as well as the bigger cases."
"One of the best’ and ‘go-to firm’ Irwin Mitchell covers the full range of work, and specialises in complex, unique cases."
We're delighted to have been named Claimant Solicitor of the Year in the 2016 Post Magazine Rehabilitation First Awards, an award we've won on seven previous occasions.

What Our Clients Say

We truly value and appreciate the feedback we receive from our clients, as we look to improve the services we offer on an ongoing basis.

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Supporting children and families with Erb’s Palsy.

We work alongside the Erb’s Palsy Group, an organisation that offers advice, information and support to families affected by Erb’s Palsy. This organisation can helps families and organisations by:

  • Putting parents in-touch with each other
  • Obtaining medical information
  • Providing information on treatments
  • Holding education days and events
  • Advising on benefits and aids

Our Offices

Our offices are located in major cities throughout the UK and have excellent transport links.

Start Your Claim Today

To begin your claim for compensation, or ask any questions regarding personal injury claims, contact us today for a free consultation.

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