If you or a loved one were diagnosed with bedsores while living in a nursing home, you could bring an action against the nursing facility if it can be proven that the bedsores were the result of the nursing home’s negligence.
To secure this proof, you will have to be able to establish when the bedsores developed. If you or your loved one stayed in another facility, such as a hospital or another nursing home, before the bedsores occurred, it will be necessary to prove that the bedsores began to develop during your time in the current nursing home. This will be a key test as to whether you can sue a nursing home for bedsores.
Bedsores Are a Common and Serious Problem
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), bedsores (also known as pressure ulcers) are serious medical conditions that represent a vital method of measuring a nursing home’s quality of clinical care. The CDC reports that a significant percentage of nursing home residents suffer from bedsores, many of which may have been preventable with appropriate attention and care.
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Causes and Types of Bedsores
bedsores are caused by the pressure of the weight of a body being applied to specific parts of the body for extended periods of time to the extent that the tissue becomes damaged. Cases of bedsores can range from mild to severe, and they can become infected if left untreated.
Some warning signs to watch for include:
- Sudden weight loss
- Low or no mobility
bedsores may be prevented, even in high-risk situations, by regularly monitoring and repositioning the resident when necessary. As such, this condition rarely happens except for the negligence of a caretaker, nursing home, or other live-in facility.
If a nursing facility tells you that your or your loved one’s bedsores were “unavoidable,” we strongly suggest that you investigate further. This could be an attempt to avoid liability for negligence as you consider whether to sue a nursing home for bedsores.
Nursing Home Negligence and Bedsores
If you are a nursing home resident, the nursing home’s staff has an obligation to check on you regularly. If the facility knew or should have known that your condition prevents or prevented you from repositioning your body while in bed, and the facility staff failed to assist you, they could be liable for negligence.
In such cases, the nursing facility, the medical care providers, and facility staff could be held liable for negligence. To prove that the nursing facility was negligent when providing care, your case will need to establish four elements, as follows:
- The nursing home had a duty of care to keep you, as a resident of the facility, safe and free from harm.
- The nursing home failed to fulfill this duty of care.
- The nursing home’s failure to uphold their duty of care caused your bedsores.
- You developed bedsores that required medical treatment.
A lawyer who handles nursing home abuse and neglect cases can review the evidence of your case, including facility records, medical reports, and witness statements to establish that your case satisfies all the requirements.
Recoverable Damages When You Sue a Nursing Home for Bedsores
The types of damages you might recover from your nursing home bedsore case include:
- Medical treatment costs
- Future medical costs
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
Recovery for medical treatment could be substantial, perhaps explaining why more than 17,000 lawsuits every year are connected to bedsores, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). These injuries rank second to wrongful death in terms of lawsuits and even outnumber cases brought as a result of injuries suffered in falls, the agency reports.
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Preparing for Your Case
If you or a family member developed bedsores while living in a nursing home, it will be necessary to conduct an investigation, compile evidence, and establish a timeline that demonstrates when the bedsores occurred. We recommend that this investigation begin as soon as possible to ensure that any evidence and witness testimony is preserved.
If you notice any skin problems developing on you or a loved one, take photos of them in a well-lit setting. Speak with the facility medical providers and ask if the wounds are being treated and what type of treatment plan has been implemented. Ask for copies of any medical records that reflect the existence of the wounds and the treatment plan.
Call Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. If You Discover Bedsores
The attorneys at Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. feel passionately that nursing home residents’ rights must be protected. If you suspect that you or a loved one has bedsores that resulted from negligent nursing home care, we invite you to contact our office at (516) 932-0400 for a free consultation.