Erb’s palsy is the partial or complete paralysis of the arm caused by nerve damage, usually as a result of trauma to the shoulder joint during birth. While some children will recover from Erb’s palsy relatively quickly without treatment, many require ongoing treatment, including surgery and rehabilitation therapy over a number of years.
If your child has been left with Erb’s palsy due to medical negligence at birth, it is understandable to be angry and upset, as well as wanting to make sure you get the very best treatment for your child. Unfortunately, for many families, paying for private treatment and other types of essential support for a child with Erb’s palsy is beyond their means.
Claiming compensation is therefore often the only way to make sure your child gets the very best care and support, so they can make the strongest recovery possible.
Making a compensation claim can seem like a confusing and stressful process, however, with the right legal guidance and personal support, it can be much more straightforward than you might imagine. We therefore strongly recommend getting in touch if you think your child may be entitled to compensation for Erb’s palsy.
Why choose Devonalds for your Erb’s palsy compensation claim?
For more than 30 years, our team have advised and represented families throughout Rhondda Cynon Taff and Bridgend. We take pride in our strong connection to the local community, with most of our team having been born and bred in the Rhondda Cynon Taff area.
You may never have dealt with a lawyer before, so our aim to make you feel completely comfortable when contacting us about your claim. We are people just like you and will be happy to answer your questions clearly and honestly, without unnecessary legal jargon.
We believe in providing close personal support, so your claim will be dealt with by the same member member of our team from start to finish. They will be available by phone and email whenever you have a question or need an update.
Understandably, most people would prefer to avoid going to court if possible. Fortunately, we have a strong track record of securing out-of-court settlements for our clients. This means it is often possible to get you compensation without the need for court proceedings, allowing your claim to be resolved faster, with lower legal fees and much less stress.
Speak to us about starting an Erb’s palsy claim today
For a friendly, informal discussion about whether you or a loved one may be entitled to compensation for Erb’s palsy, please contact your local Devonalds team in Bridgend, Pontypridd, Talbot Green, Tonypandy, Treorchy or Tylorstown.
How Erb’s palsy claims work
Starting a claim for a Erb’s palsy compensation
We offer a free initial consultation to discuss how your child’s injury occurred, whether there are likely to be grounds for compensation and what the claims process involves. At this meeting, we will also give you an idea of how much compensation may be available and your options for funding a claim, including no win, no fee deals.
The goal of this initial consultation is to give you all of the information you need to feel confident deciding what you want to do next. This meeting is intended to be entirely for your benefit, so we want to assure you that you will be under no pressure to pursue a claim with our team afterwards unless that is what you feel is in your child’s best interests.
No win, no fee Erb’s palsy claims
We represent most of our clients using Conditional Fee Agreements (CFAs), more commonly referred to as ‘no win, no fee’ deals.
With a no win, no fee Erb’s palsy claim, you do not need to pay us anything upfront to start a claim and our fees will only apply if we succeed in winning compensation for you. This allows you to avoid any financial risk in pursuing a claim.
Where we do secure compensation for you, it is also often the case that some or all of your legal costs may be met by the other side. This can mean there are no legal costs to you for pursuing a claim.
Proving Erb’s palsy was caused by medical negligence
For your child to receive compensation, we must show that their Erb’s palsy was caused by negligent errors in the way their birth was handled.
We will review various types of evidence to establish this, including:
- Medical records
- Examinations by independent medical experts
- Witness testimony
With the benefit of our decades of experience, we can ensure every detail is properly considered and used effectively to support your claim, giving you the best chance of getting your child the compensation they need.
Putting a value on your Erb’s palsy compensation
Working out how much compensation your child is owed is referred to as ‘assessing quantum’ or ‘assessing quantum of damages’. This will cover both specific financial costs involved with treating your child’s condition, as well as the personal, non-financial impact on their life.
Compensation for Erb’s palsy can cover issues such as:
- The cost of medical treatment, specialist care & equipment
- Pain and suffering
- Travel costs and other expenses
- Loss of amenity i.e. not being able to carry out activities you/your loved one would otherwise have enjoyed
Time limits for Erb’s palsy claims
You will typically have until your child’s 18th birthday to bring a claim on their behalf for Erb’s palsy compensation. Once they turn 18, your child will have a further three years to bring their own claim, should they feel the need, giving a final deadline of their 21st birthday.
The exception to this is if your child is deemed not to have the mental capacity to pursue a claim e.g. due to brain damage sustained at birth. In such cases, there will be no time limit for you to pursue a claim on their behalf.
If you are unsure whether you still have time to make a claim, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Reaching a settlement out of court
Our team have very strong skills in negotiation and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), and we will always seek to negotiate an out-of-court settlement for your Erb’s palsy claim wherever possible. This can allow your child to receive maximum compensation faster, with lower legal fees and less stress.
Taking your claim to court
Should court proceedings be required, we will make sure you have the very best representation and provide close personal support for every stage of proceedings. Even where we do need to initiate court action, it is often still possible to agree a settlement out of court, meaning you will only ever have to attend court where absolutely necessary.
Common questions about Erb’s palsy compensation claims
Can I claim compensation for Erb’s palsy?
For your child to be owed compensation for Erb’s palsy, it must be shown that:
- Negligent errors were made by doctors, midwives, nurses or other clinical professionals during their birth
- These errors directly led to or made their condition worse
For errors during your child’s birth to be considered negligent, we will need to show that no competent clinical professionals would have made the same errors under the same circumstances.
How long does it take to get compensation for Erb’s palsy?
Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question. The reality is that it will depend on the circumstances, including whether the hospital trust or other healthcare provider responsible for your child’s birth is willing to admit liability and agree suitable compensation.
If the healthcare provider agrees a voluntary settlement, you claim will normally be resolved much faster than if court proceedings are required.
Where you need immediate financial support to meet your child’s needs, we may be able to secure interim payments while the claim is still ongoing.
How do interim payments work?
Your child is likely to need immediate treatment to help alleviate their condition and start the recovery process. While some of this treatment, such as surgery, may be provided on the NHS, other types of support may need to be funded privately, which can be an issue for many families.
To ensure your child gets the support they need when they need it, it is often possible to agree interim payments, meaning you get some of the compensation they are owed upfront, while your claim is still being resolved.
Courts generally support the principle of interim payments as they can ensure a child’s long-term recovery is not compromised by a lack of funds while parents wait for a claim to be settled.
Will we get an apology?
There is no guarantee that you will receive an apology, even where a healthcare provider admits liability and pays compensation. However, we know how important this can be to people, so will always seek to secure an apology wherever possible.
Start an Erb’s palsy compensation claim
For a friendly, informal discussion about whether you or a loved one might be entitled to compensation for Erb’s palsy, please contact your local Devonalds team in Bridgend, Pontypridd, Talbot Green, Tonypandy, Treorchy or Tylorstown.