Nursing homes owe a special obligation to their residents to care for them and ensure that their health and safety needs are met daily. These obligations are much higher than your average person, because these facilities are specifically paid to care for their residents. Therefore, when you have a resident who develops bed sores under a nursing home’s care, victims and their families have the right to file a lawsuit against the nursing home, caretakers, and any other responsible party.
When Can You File a Lawsuit for Bed Sores in Nursing Home Care?
When a resident in a nursing home is immobile (meaning they cannot move themselves), the nursing home staff is required to rotate them so that they do not develop bedsores. A person may be paralyzed, unconscious, or have a condition that limits their mobility. When they remain in bed or in a fixed position, this increases the risk for bed sores. The only prevention is frequent movement.
A bed sore can be severe and sometimes even life-threatening. Bed sores never occur in a patient that is well cared for and regularly monitored. Therefore, when a patient develops bed sores, it is obvious there is neglect in that facility.
If a loved one receives bedsores while under the care of a nursing home, you may have a legal claim against that nursing home facility. Today, with medical advancements, there is no reason for a patient to suffer from bed sores. Nursing home beds can be programmed to automatically help with repositioning immobile patients. Staff should also be adequate enough to check on those patients and reposition them when necessary.
Lastly, state and federal regulations make it clear the obligations a nursing home has to their residents. When a nursing home violates these obligations, it is considered negligence and they are financially liable.
What If a Nursing Home Patient Refuses Care and That Causes Bed Sores?
There might be an instance where a nursing home resident refuses care. If a bedsore results from that refusal, then the victim and their loved ones may not have a claim for the bedsore injury. However, a nursing home must take every precaution possible to ensure that even a combative patient receives the care they need. If they cannot supply proof that they took every precaution possible to prevent bedsores, they might be legally liable for the injuries still.
Is It Medical Malpractice or Neglect?
Bedsore injuries that occur in a nursing home are typically neglect claims. Residents of a nursing home who sustained bed sores are not properly cared for. There may be other instances of neglect in addition to the bed sores, such as malnutrition, dehydration, or not receiving medications when they are needed.
Furthermore, when a patient does not receive medical care right away when a bedsore first forms, the nursing home can be held liable for any additional injuries and complications that occur from that lack of care.
Bedsores develop in stages. While the initial stages are not life threatening, when bed sores are allowed to continue to progress, they will become life threatening. A stage 4 bedsore, for example, is an open wound and has a high risk for infection. For a bedsore to reach stage 4, the patient would not have received medical treatment for several days or weeks after the initial formation of the bedsore.
What Compensation Can You Receive for a Bedsore Lawsuit?
Compensation for bedsore injury claims vary. Numerous factors play into compensation value, such as:
- Medical expenses and future medical treatment
- Pain and suffering
- Transportation costs
- Relocation costs
- Attorney’s fees
- Lost wages for loved ones who had to care for their family member suffering from a bed sore
- Funeral and burial costs (if a wrongful death occurs)
Do You need to Hire a Lawyer for Your Bedsore Lawsuit Case?
Any time you are considering filing a lawsuit, you should speak with an attorney. An attorney that has experience with bedsore lawsuits or elder law abuse cases is best. Your attorney can review the facts of your case and determine if you have a valid claim along with estimating the amount of compensation you are entitled to.
How Much Will I Have to Pay an Attorney for My Claim?
In most cases involving bedsore lawsuits, the attorney that represents you will do so on a contingency fee basis. A contingency fee means that a percentage of your compensation will go to the attorney as part of their service fee. Every attorney varies with the type of contingency fee they charge. When you meet with an attorney for your free consultation, you can ask about their contingency fee and you can compare theirs to others. Most attorneys in the area will charge a similar fee.
You will also want to review the additional fees that may fall outside of your contingency fee, such as filing fees.
The Cost Is Well Worth It
You may be tempted to seek compensation alone or try to negotiate with the insurance company to save yourself from paying a contingency fee. While you do lose a portion of your settlement, you are not left without. In fact, you have a higher chance of recovering maximum compensation with an attorney, which factors in legal fees, than trying to negotiate alone.
Did Your Loved One Suffer Harm Due to Bedsores?
If your loved one was in the care of a local nursing home, and they sustained serious bedsores from neglect, you may be entitled to compensation. To explore your options, contact a local nursing home abuse and neglect attorney like attorney Seth Gladstein.
Schedule your free consultation by calling the office or inquire more about our legal services online.