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When a baby is injured during a difficult birth, it can be hard for parents to distinguish swift, emergency action from negligent care. One of the rare but disabling injuries that can be caused by excessive force or incorrect handling of an obstructed labour is brachial plexus nerve damage, also known as Erb’s palsy. 

For over 30 years Boyes Turner’s birth injury lawyers have recovered the highest compensation awards to help clients affected by paralysis, weakness and restricted movement from Erb’s palsy manage their condition and lead active and rewarding lives.

What is Erb’s palsy?

Erb’s palsy is one of several names given to the disabling condition which follows injury to the brachial plexus nerves. It is also known as brachial plexus nerve injury, brachial plexus paralysis or Erb-Duchenne palsy. It can occur during a difficult or obstructed delivery when the baby’s brachial plexus nerves which give movement or feeling to an arm are stretched, bruised or torn by excessive traction (pulling) on the baby’s head, causing weakness or paralysis in the arm.

The severity and duration of the child’s disability depends on the type of nerve damage but can range from mild and short-term to lifelong and severe.

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What is the brachial plexus?

The brachial plexus is a network of five nerves:

  • the four lower cervical nerves (C5, C6, C7 and C8);
  • the first thoracic nerve (T1)

The brachial plexus nerves run down the spinal cord and emerge from between the vertebrae (bones of the spine) in the neck, passing under the collarbone to form the major nerves of the arm. These nerves give movement and feeling to the arm by conducting signals from the spinal cord to the muscles and skin of the chest, shoulder, arm, and hand.

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What maternity mistakes lead to compensation claims for Erb’s palsy?

Boyes Turner have helped recover compensation for clients affected by Erb’s palsy after:

  • unnecessary traction (pulling) and force has been applied to the baby during delivery;
  • failure to follow the protocol and recommended manoeuvres for shoulder dystocia;
  • hospital failure to take into account the baby’s weight and size before delivery:
  • failure to anticipate and plan for the risk of shoulder dystocia;
  • failure to perform a caesarean section if there are clinical indications to do so;
  • failure to counsel the mother of a large baby about the risks of Erb’s palsy and plan an appropriate method of delivery;
  • failure to recognise and treat maternal diabetes.
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My child has Erb’s palsy - will they be able to live and work independently?

Brachial plexus nerve injury, or Erb’s palsy, can leave the child with permanent physical impairments, such as restricted movement of the shoulder and arm, paralysis or weakness of the arm and reduced grip strength in the hand on the affected side. Living with Erb’s palsy makes everything more difficult, whether at home, at school or at work, and affects the individual’s ability to participate in some sports and leisure activities.  

Every client’s abilities, circumstances and impairments will be unique. We work closely with each client, their family and our experts to understand their injury and the restrictions that their disability imposes on their life, so that they receive compensation which eases their hardship and meets their needs.

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How does Boyes Turner help clients with brachial plexus nerve injury/Erb’s palsy?

Boyes Turner’s childbirth injury specialists are experts in securing top-level compensation payments for clients with Erb’s palsy from maternity errors at birth. Our clients benefit from the best settlements as a result of our extensive experience of successful claims.

We understand the causes and lifelong effects of brachial plexus nerve injury and the way Erb’s palsy affects our clients’ lives. Our careful, thorough and personalised valuation of each client’s disability enables us to claim and achieve the compensation that will maximise their independence and enable them to live life to the full.

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How much compensation can I claim for Erb’s palsy or brachial plexus nerve injury?

Boyes Turner have helped clients with permanent Erb’s palsy disability from maternity mistakes recover compensation for:

  • the cost of therapies, such as:
    • physiotherapy;
    • occupational therapy (OT);
    • psychological counselling;
  • specialist aids and equipment;
  • adapted vehicles;
  • care and assistance;
  • adapted accommodation;
  • replacement of loss of earnings;
  • private medical care, such as surgery;
  • assistive technology;
  • special educational assistance.
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Meet your team

Susan Brown


Richard Money-Kyrle


Julie Marsh

Senior associate - solicitor

Vanessa Wand

Senior associate - solicitor

Nicola Anderson

Associate - solicitor

Rachel Makore

Associate - solicitor

Alpa Rana

Associate - solicitor

Fran Rothwell

Associate solicitor

Sita Soni

Associate - solicitor

Tara Byrne


Ben Ireland


Audrey Elmore

Medical records coordinator

Nicky Melville

Professional support assistant

What causes Erb’s palsy during childbirth?
What are the different types of Erb's palsy injuries?
What are the effects of Erb’s Palsy?
Who is at risk of Erb’s palsy?
What are the treatments for Erb's Palsy?
How much compensation can you get for medical negligence?
How to make a medical negligence claim?
How long do medical negligence claims take?
How to fund a medical negligence claim?
How can you prove medical negligence?
Is there a time limit for claiming medical negligence compensation?
Will I need to go to court to claim medical negligence compensation?

Erbs palsy cases

Awards & Accreditations

Our teams have been nationally recognised over the past decade for their dedication and commitment to securing maximum compensation for our clients

What our clients say

Our clients constantly recognize us as the most experienced, professional, efficient and supportive

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"Successfully negotiated a full and fair compensation"

Boyes Turner staff were always helpful and quick to respond. Communicating from the other side of the world presented no problems. Boyes Turner secured generous early interim payments that allowed me to continue my (non-funded) medical treatment that otherwise I could never have afforded. My Boyes Turner solicitor successfully negotiated a full and fair compensation and continuation of funding for future medical treatment and associated costs giving me great peace of mind. Thank you so much Annabelle! I would recommend Boyes Turner solicitors. They are professional, courteous and helpful. 


"More compensation than expected"

"Boyes Turner provided us really great support and the staff are very professional & supportive. They kept us up to date at all stages and helped us win the case. We got more compensation than expected. We will definitely recommend them to our friends". 

Boyes Turner client

"Clear and understandable advice"

Your explanations and advice were clear and understandable and seemed eminently sensible. Clearly they were, with the result achieved. 

Eddie West

"Fantastic and invaluable support"

The advice and support I had from the team was fantastic and invaluable. They put mine and my wife's mind at rest on many occasions and got a great result for us. Thank you from all of us. 

Mr Horne

"No hesitation in recommending "

Your easy and friendly manner has made a difficult situation much more tolerable. We shall have no hesitation in recommending Boyes Turner to anyone who might need your help. 

Mr & Mrs Smith