Erb’s Palsy (Brachial Palsy)

No amount of joy can match what you feel the day you give birth to a child. At such a time, you are simply overflowing with happiness and excitement. Unfortunately, however, these festive sentiments can change in an instant if you discover that your seemingly healthy child was actually born with a devastating birth injury. Even more shocking is the fact that a number of times, birth injuries can be easily prevented with the deliverance of adequate medical attention.

One of the more common birth injuries that newborns can suffer is a condition known as Erb’s Palsy. It is caused by injury to the brachial plexus nerves, which lie in the shoulder and transmit neurological signals down the arm and even into the hand and fingers. If your child has suffered Erb’s palsy as the result of a medical provider’s negligence, then you may have the right to recover damages for your family’s suffering. 


Typically, Erb’s palsy arises during difficult birth situations. In these cases, the acting physician will need to apply certain birthing techniques that can be quite damaging if not done correctly. Cases with an increased chance of Erb’s palsy development include:

Abnormally large fetal head

Abnormally large baby

Breeched birth

Shoulder dystocia

Though doctors today should have the knowledge, skills, and experience to handle these situations, sometimes, they fall short of expectations. When this happens, the child being delivered is at risk of suffering serious injuries – for example, Erb’s palsy.


You should be able to tell shortly (or immediately) after birth that your child has suffered damage to his or her brachial plexus. The symptoms of such an injury include the following:

Lack of gripping abilities on affected side

Inability to spontaneously move affected arm and hand

No Moro reflex in the affected arm

Arm abnormally flexed and held against the body involuntarily

If your child has been a victim of this terrible condition, you should know that there are treatment options available. In most situations, affected children experience full recoveries. Therapy, including muscle exercises and massages, is typically prescribed. In more serious cases, however, surgery may be necessary to restore the area.

Contact Us

If your child has suffered from Erb’s Palsy as the result of a medical provider’s negligence, then you may have the right to recover compensation from the responsible party. The New Jersey medical malpractice lawyers of Levinson Axelrod can help you make an effective claim for damages. To learn more, visit today.