A Guide To Erb’s Palsy Claims

This guide will explore the process of making Erb’s palsy claims and outline the steps you can take to seek a settlement. Injuries during labour can have serious consequences on both the mother’s and baby’s health and quality of life.

Erb's palsy claims

Erb’s palsy claims guide

All medical professionals owe their patients a duty of care. This means that they need to provide a minimum standard of care. If this is deviated from and you or your baby are harmed unnecessarily, then you could be entitled to claim.

To help you understand maternity negligence claims, this guide will discuss how Erb’s palsy could occur and the circumstances in which you could be entitled to claim. We will also highlight birth injury compensation amounts and how these claims can be valued. 

Furthermore, you can contact our advisors for free legal advice. Our team can answer any questions you may have about the legal process and how to seek a settlement for medical negligence. You could also work with one of our medical negligence claim solicitors if your case is valid.

Choose A Section

  1. Erb’s Palsy Claims – A Guide
  2. What Causes Erb’s Palsy?
  3. Does A Health Professional Owe Me A Duty Of Care?
  4. Potential Compensation Figures From Erb’s Palsy Claims
  5. What Evidence Could Be Used In Erb’s Palsy Claims?
  6. How Can No Win No Fee Solicitors Help You Make Hospital Negligence Claims?
  7. Learn More About How To Make A Medical Negligence Claim

Erb’s Palsy Claims – A Guide

Medical negligence occurs when a medical professional fails to uphold the minimum standard of care required, and unnecessary harm occurs as a result. For example, a birth injury could occur if you were provided with the wrong level of care while giving birth or in the late stages of pregnancy. 

Erb’s palsy is a condition that can occur after a difficult birth. It’s a form of brachial plexus injury and is characterised by a weakness in the shoulder or arm and it can happen after an injury. It can range in severity depending on how badly the nerves have been damaged. It’s distinct from another form of birth injury called cerebral palsy, as it affects the nerves in the shoulder and not the brain. 

If your baby has been harmed by medical negligence has experienced Erb’s palsy as a result, then you may be able to claim. Your baby sustaining this kind of injury due to the actions of a medical professional is not enough alone to form the basis of a claim. You must show that the harm your baby experienced was directly caused by a medical professional administering substandard care.

Continue with this guide to learn more about Erb’s palsy claims. Alternatively, you can call our advisors using the phone number at the top of the webpage for more information.

What Causes Erb’s Palsy?

The brachial plexus is a nerve network that allows communication between the shoulder and the arm and hand. If the brachial plexus is injured, then the nerves may have been compressed, stretched or torn completely. It can occur in a vaginal birth or during a c-section.

This kind of injury can cause moving the arm to become difficult. Some babies can make a full recovery from this condition, whereas others may suffer from the effects for the rest of their lives.

The level of damage to the nerves will impact the effect of this kind of injury. If the nerves are only slightly damaged, then this could result in a weakened grip and partial loss of movement. More serious injury could result in a total loss of movement and sensation.

For guidance on claiming for birth injuries caused by medical negligence, speak with one of our advisors today.

Does A Health Professional Owe Me A Duty Of Care?

In order to form the basis of a successful medical negligence claim, you must have proof that:

  • You and your baby were owed a duty of care by a medical professional
  • This duty of care was breached
  • Your child was harmed as a direct result of this breach

All medical professionals owe their patients a duty of care. This means that the care they provide must not fall below a minimum standard. For example, the ways that midwives are expected to act in order to fulfil their duty of care is set out by the Nursing and Midwifery Council.

Not all harm that occurs as the result of medical care is automatically grounds for a claim; it must have been caused by a breach of duty. A medical professional can do all they can to treat you to the appropriate standard and complications can still arise. For example, they might make a misdiagnosis because your condition is asymptomatic.

Furthermore, in some cases, harm is a necessary part of medical care. For example, some medications that are required for certain conditions have side effects. Provided that the medication was prescribed in accordance with the medical professional’s duty of care and was not the result of a negligent medication error, you wouldn’t be able to claim for these side effects.

Continue reading to see examples of evidence for Erb’s palsy claims. You can also contact our advisors for more information.

Potential Compensation Figures From Erb’s Palsy Claims

General damages can be awarded in Erb’s palsy claims; this head of claim covers the pain and suffering experienced due to medical negligence. This covers both physical and psychological injuries. The amount that your child receives in this head of claim will depend on the severity of the injuries they have sustained. 

The Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) are used by legal professionals to help them value compensation for medical negligence claims. However, they should only be used as a guideline and not a guarantee. 

InjuryCompensation BracketNotes
Quadriplegia (a)£324,600 - £403,990Injuries don’t cause physical pain, but the injured person will struggle to communicate and use their senses effectively. Life expectancy will be reduced alongside the degree of independence.
Paraplegia (b)£219,070 - £284,260Significant injuries can cause various degrees of paralysis. The level of award will depend on the severity of pain and its impact on independence.
Severe Neck Injury (a) (i)In the region of £148,330Injuries associated with incomplete paraplegia or permanent spastic quadriparesis.
Arm Injury £96,160 - £130,930Injury such as a serious brachial plexus injury that leaves the arm little better off than if it had been amputated.
Severe Neck Injury (a) (ii)£65,740 - £130,930Serious fractures or damage to the cervical spine discs, causing disabilities and permanent damage.
Severe Neck Injury (a) (iii)£45,470 - £55,990Severe damage to soft tissue and tendons causing chronic conditions and significant disabilities.
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder £23,150 to £59,860Injured person will be disabled to a significant degree for the foreseeable future.
Psychiatric Damage £19,070 - £54,830Moderately severe, causing significant problems with factors like ability to hold relationships and future vulnerability. More optimistic prognosis than in more serious cases.
Shoulder Injury £19,200 - £48,030Serious brachial plexus injuries causing significant symptoms in the neck and/or arm.
Shoulder Injury £12,770 - £19,200Shoulder is dislocated and lower part of the brachial plexus is damaged causing shoulder and neck pain.

Could I Receive Special Damages In A Medical Negligence Claim?

You can also seek compensation for financial losses as a result of medical negligence. This head of your claim is known as special damages and can reimburse you for:

  • Loss of earnings after taking time off work to care for your child
  • Care costs
  • Medical bills
  • Prescription costs

Evidence is crucial in assisting you in seeking a settlement. For example, providing bank statements, receipts and copies of prescriptions can support your claim for financial losses.

You can read more about providing evidence in support of your claim below. Contact our advisors today to see if you could work with one of the solicitors from our panel. 

What Evidence Could Be Used In Erb’s Palsy Claims?

Providing evidence is an important factor in making a medical negligence claim. If you fail to provide evidence in support of your case, then you could receive less compensation than you’re entitled to.

Evidence you could provide could include:

  • Medical records, including hospital reports and the details of any treatment that your child has undergone
  • Contact details of witnesses who would be willing to provide a statement at some point
  • A diary of your child’s symptoms.

You must also start your claim within the time limit set out in the Limitation Act 1980 to make Erb’s palsy claims. This means that you must start the claims process within three years of the date the incident occurred or from the date you connected medical negligence with your child’s condition. 

You can claim on behalf of your child as a litigation friend as your child cannot pursue their own claim for compensaiton while they are underage. The three year time limit is suspended while they are under 18 and you can claim for them at any point. When they turn 18, they have 3 years in which to start their own claim if this has not already been done. 

Please don’t hesitate to contact our advisors today for free legal advice about Erb’s palsy claims. Our phone lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

How Can No Win No Fee Solicitors Help You Make Hospital Negligence Claims?

You may be able to make a medical negligence claim with a No Win No Fee solicitor. These terms allow you to access legal representation from an legal professional without paying high legal fees. In fact, there’s generally nothing to pay upfront or as the claim progresses. If the claim is not a success, there is usually nothing to pay your lawyer. 

If your claim is successful, there is a small success fee your solicitor will be paid from your settlement total. This has a legal cap to ensure that you keep the majority of the award.

Our panel of solicitors can offer their services through a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), which is a type of No Win No Fee agreement. You can connect with our team and, if an advisor feels like you have a valid claim, you could start the Erb’s palsy claims process today. 

Would You Like Free Legal Advice? Contact Us 24/7

If you’re interested in starting your claim, contact our advisors today. Alternatively, if you have any more questions, please get in touch. Our advisors are available at any time to support you with any legal queries free of charge.

Learn More About How To Make A Medical Negligence Claim

We’ve compiled some useful resources to help you with your claim.

You can also visit more of our guides using the links below.

If you have any remaining questions about Erb’s palsy claims, please call us today for free legal advice.

Writer Jess Aitch

Published Fern Smith