Nursing Home Bedsores Attorneys
Bedsores are preventable open wounds that can lead to severe pain, serious infections and even death in extreme situations.
If you suspect that neglect has caused your loved one to develop this type of injury, do not hesitate to contact the nursing home bedsores attorneys at Gordon & Partners for help fighting for the justice your loved one deserves.
Our West Palm Beach nursing home abuse attorneys take pride in protecting the rights and interests of the elderly and helping them receive compensation for their pain and suffering.
If someone has treated your aging loved one negligently, you have every right to seek justice. Our skilled nursing home bedsores attorneys will put their knowledge, experience and resources to work and hold the liable parties accountable for their actions.
Bedsores and Nursing Home Neglect
Bedsores, also called pressure sores or decubitus ulcers, are an important warning sign that your loved one may be suffering from neglect or inadequate care.
These preventable injuries can occur among residents who are bedridden, unable to move on their own, or who are restricted to wheelchairs.
The lesions are caused by constant pressure that restricts blood flow to skin and tissue in stationary patients, causing the affected area to die and produce an ulcerated sore.
They commonly develop on parts of the body where bone is directly beneath the skin, such as ankles, heels, elbows, shoulder blades or the tailbone. The exact location, however, varies in every case and depends on how the victim is positioned for an extended period of time.
It is the responsibility of nursing homes and caregivers to ensure a resident is moved and shifted into a new position every few hours in order to prevent bedsores from developing. Sores often develop when staff members do not have enough time to provide needed care, or when they are simply providing inadequate care. The development of sores is never the fault of the victim.
A facility may be held liable for resulting bedsores if the staff fails to assist, reposition or monitor immobile patients, or if they fail to change soiled clothing or bedding. Our nursing home bedsores attorneys can review the circumstances of your claim to determine if you have grounds to file a lawsuit for abuse or neglect. We can help you hold an assisted living facility accountable for the injuries your loved one has suffered.
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Stages of Bedsores
Bedsores are painful injuries that can quickly lead to serious complications. Once a sore begins to develop, it is vital that a nursing home take immediate action to heal and remedy the injury, as they can quickly worsen.
There are four stages of bedsore development, with each stage progressively becoming more serious:
- Stage one – When a bedsore first appears, the skin will not be broken, but there may be some discoloration and the affected area will be sensitive to the touch. The skin may feel warm and softer or firmer around the sore.
- Stage two – During this stage the sore will become an open wound that will look like a scratch or blister, damaging the skin beyond repair. It may also appear as a crater shape that is beginning to deepen into the skin.
- Stage three – At this point the sore will have become a deep, crater-like wound that continues to deepen into the soft tissue under the skin.
- Stage four – This is the most severe stage of a bedsore, at which point the damage is irreversible and may affect muscle or bone.
If a resident’s sores reach stage three or four, it is often considered a life-threatening condition. At this point, serious infections or diseases may develop as a result of the open and untreated wound. The victim could suffer from sepsis, bone and joint damage, or even death.
The early stages of bedsores are treatable, as long as the staff recognizes the sores and takes appropriate actions to treat them. If an assisted living facility fails to provide adequate care to prevent or treat bedsores, you may be entitled to file a personal injury lawsuit on behalf of your loved one.
Our nursing home bedsores attorneys can help you seek and recover justice and fair compensation for your loved one’s pain and suffering.
Call 1 (855) 722-2552 to learn more about your legal options.
Understanding Bedsores: Causes, Stages, and Legal Implications
Bedsores appear in areas of skin that have the blood supply cut off for several hours. This is most common in patients who are unable to move on their own, which is why it is imperative that care staff reposition them.
Causes of Bedsores
Bedsores are not caused by laying in bed, but rather through the application of pressure to the skin. That is why they are typically called pressure ulcers by medical staff. However, many people most susceptible to developing bedsores have restricted movement, poor circulation, or a lack of sensation in the affected area. These factors combine to create a situation that allows sores to develop.
Pressure ulcers typically appear on bony areas of the body with thin tissue coverings. Elbows, shoulders, hips, and heels are common examples of areas where bedsores may appear. If these areas are left in the same position for too long, such as when a patient is not repositioned in bed, and the blood supply to an area is cut off.
Proper positioning and adjusting of immobile patients can help prevent bedsores. Appropriate skin care and nutrition also support healthy skin that is less likely to suffer damage.
Legal Implications of Bedsores
Patients in medical care facilities are at an increased risk of developing bedsores. Inadequate staffing and poor training can lead to negligent patient care practices, such as not regularly repositioning bedbound patients, that contribute to bedsores. Failure to recognize developing sores and provide early treatment is also a problem.
Care facilities are obligated to provide appropriate care to patients. Negligence occurs when staff fails to provide a minimum standard of care.
When to Consult a Bedsores Lawyer: Signs of Neglect in Healthcare
Bedsores are not a normal part of being in a hospital bed. They can typically be avoided with proper skin care, nutrition, and patient positioning. When patients in a healthcare facility consistently develop pressure ulcers, it could be a sign of neglect.
Signs of neglect in a nursing home may involve patients, facility upkeep, or staff. Patients, family members, and friends should stay alert to potential signs of healthcare neglect and report concerns to the appropriate person. One or two signs may not seem like much, you could just be noticing the tip of the iceberg when it comes to neglect.
- Insufficient staff for the number of patients (everyone seems hurried or unable to keep up with the workload)
- Lack of communication between staff members
- Long response times after a nursing call
- Rude or inattentive staff members
- Poor staff supervision
Facility and Safety Problems
- Bad hall conditions (slippery floor, obstructed hallways, etc.)
- Obvious signs of disrepair in the building (paint peeling, leaks, etc.)
- Broken medical equipment
- Spills that are not cleaned immediately
Medical Care Concerns
- Patients that appear ungroomed (hair uncombed, dirty clothes, etc.)
- Sheets are not changed regularly
- Meals are inadequate or consistently go uneaten
- Patients are thin, malnourished, or complain of being hungry
- Improper medication or the wrong dose of medication given
- Patients have pressure sores that are left untreated
Early Signs of Bedsores
Since bedsores can take months (or even years) to heal once they become ulcerated, it is important to catch them early. Looking for the following signs that may appear before skin damage becomes severe can help:
- Areas of skin that are a different temperature than the rest of the body (hot or cold to the touch)
- Pressure points that are tender, sore, or uncomfortable
- Discoloration in areas where pressure sores frequently develop (shoulder blades, hips, knees, heels, etc.)
When To Contact a Bedsores Lawyer
You do not have to wait until someone becomes ill or suffers an emergency to contact a bedsores lawyer. Taking action when you first see healthcare neglect could save lives, maybe even the life of your loved one. Report your concerns as soon as you feel that something is wrong. If a supervisor does not follow up, it might be time to speak to an attorney.
Our bedsores and healthcare neglect attorneys will help ensure your loved ones get the care they deserve. We’ll hold the staff and management responsible for their actions and help you seek compensation for damages caused by them.
The Role of Bedsores Lawyers in Seeking Justice for Victims
When nursing staff allow bedsores to develop, it is a form of abuse. They are completely preventable occurrences that staff should not allow to happen. Sadly, elder abuse, including abuse that occurs in nursing homes and care facilities, is on the rise. Approximately 10% of older adults will experience some form of abuse.
If your loved one developed bedsores as the result of medical neglect, it is imperative to begin treatment as soon as possible. Contacting a bedsores lawyer is a logical next step. Many patients and their families pursue legal action against nursing homes where neglect occurs. Whether you are considering legal action or just want to ensure that your family member gets the best care possible, a bedsores lawyer can help.
Bedsores and medical neglect attorneys work with victims and their families to hold care facilities responsible for their actions. In this case, that is for the neglect of your loved one. Consider these valuable roles they play in instances of medical neglect.
Investigate the Abuse
An experienced attorney will take steps to investigate the claims of abuse against your loved one and provide supporting evidence to back up those claims. In some instances, your lawyer may uncover additional cases of abuse that have gone unnoticed. This not only supports your efforts but also helps protect other current and future patients from additional instances of abuse.
File any Legal Claims
Filing a neglect or personal injury claim is a complicated process that involves navigating the local legal system. Your bedsores lawyer will file the required documentation in a timely manner, ensuring claims adhere to the limits of any applicable statutes of limitations. They will also represent you in legal proceedings that result.
Negotiate With Insurance Companies
Many personal injury and medical neglect claims do not go to trial. Instead, they are often settled by insurance companies beforehand. Those insurance companies have attorneys handling the process for them, and so should you. Experienced attorneys are skilled negotiators who will help get you the best settlement possible.
Support You Throughout the Process
Finding out a loved one suffered abuse by a care provider is a traumatic experience. You will undoubtedly have numerous questions and feel overwhelmed by the situation. Your legal team will support you through this process, ensuring you have time to heal personally. This leaves you best prepared to support your loved one and attend to his well-being.
Proving Negligence in Bedsores Cases: Legal Strategies and Challenges
Individuals who have suffered from bedsores can seek compensation from the organization responsible for their care. However, to obtain funds for medical expenses and emotional distress, you must prove the organization is legally responsible. While this may seem like a straightforward process, a few factors complicate matters.
While bedsores are often the result of neglect, defendants have a few facts on their side:
- Pressure injuries are not 100% preventable for certain patients.
- Medical research indicates that slight variances in time between turnings (two versus four hours) don’t impact the development of bedsores.
- While medical descriptions of bedsores may include the word “injury,” the presence of the word doesn’t imply malice or purposeful infliction.
To further complicate matters, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the federal agency responsible for facilitating the Healthcare Marketplace, as well as Medicaid and Medicare programs, has created a list specifying intolerable medical errors called “never events.” While this list includes incompatible blood products, performing the wrong surgery and leaving surgical equipment inside patients, bedsores are absent.
Though staff can’t prevent all bedsores even with perfect adherence to prevention protocol, that doesn’t mean negligence is never the cause of pressure injuries. Proper care can absolutely prevent the development of bedsores, as well as infection.
To prove to a jury that your case falls under this category, you must establish five things:
- The defendant had a duty of care toward the plaintiff.
- The defendant failed to fulfill that duty.
- The plaintiff suffered injuries of a physical and emotional nature.
- The defendant’s breach of duty caused the plaintiff’s injuries.
- The plaintiff didn’t contribute to the injuries in whole or in part.
Hospitals and nursing homes generally have a duty of care toward patients, especially those with limited mobility or cognitive abilities. It’s also fairly straightforward to prove patients didn’t demonstrate comparative negligence under those circumstances. The biggest challenge arises in establishing the extent of a patient’s injuries and proving the connection between them and the defendant’s actions or lack thereof.
Diagnosis of pressure injury or infection by a qualified third party is valuable evidence in a medical negligence case. Photographs also go a long way toward convincing a jury. Medical records detailing pressure injury treatment can also bolster your position.
Testimony from an expert witness is also invaluable. Jury members may not understand the medical complications accompanying bedsores or how protocols can prevent their development. Expert witnesses can lay a knowledgeable foundation and provide their opinion on a case.
How Our Nursing Home Bedsores Attorneys Can Help
No one should have to suffer from something as painful and preventable as bedsores. Every patient, especially elderly loved ones, deserves to receive the best care possible.
If your loved one has developed bedsores, you should alert medical staff and the facility management right away. Then you should contact our reputable nursing home bedsores attorneys for help holding the facility legally responsible for their inadequate care and neglect.
Our West Palm Beach nursing home abuse attorneys have decades of experience representing elderly abuse victims throughout South Florida, and we can help you obtain the justice your loved one deserves. We have an impressive record of recovering the MAXIMUM amount of compensation for our clients, and we will work diligently and quickly on behalf of the best interests of your loved one.
Contact Gordon & Partners today to schedule a free, no obligation consultation. We work on a contingency fee basis and do not get paid unless you win your claim.
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Verdicts & Settlements
Negligent supervision at Assisted Living Facility resulting in death.
For negligent care resulting in maggots in leg and amputation.
For negligent supervision where a dementia patient pushed another patient down resulting in brain injuries.
Negligent care resulting in fall out of bed causing broken hip.
For negligence in causing a bedsore.
Negligent care at nursing home resulting in fall, broken hip and death.