Legal Help for Victims of Mistreatment or Neglect

Front view of empty bed and walker in bed room at retirement home

Putting a beloved family member into nursing care is a difficult decision for any family. And when their beloved family member starts showing signs or symptoms of possible mistreatment or neglect, it can be devastating. Bedsores are an unfortunate and painful reality for many elderly individuals left to the care of busy nursing homes and hospitals.

What Are Bedsores, And What Causes Them?

A bedsore, in its simplest form, is a type of sore that is caused by pressure of the individual’s body weight resting on one spot for an extended period of time. They are caused by not turning over or moving an individual who is unable to do so themselves. This neglectful treatment can result in physical and psychological damage to the patient.

There are four stages of bedsores: 

  • Stage one, where the sores are present but the skin remains intact.
  • Stage two, where the sores break open and ulcerate.
  • Stage three, where the tissue is compromised and extensive damage may be present, forming craters in the skin.
  • Stage four, where the craters in the skin may get deep enough to expose internal tendons, joints, and tissues.

At all stages, bedsores are extremely painful.

How Can Bedsores Be Treated?

The easiest way to treat bedsores is, of course, to avoid getting them in the first place. To do so, all that is required is that the positioning of the patient, even if they are unable to move themselves, be shifted at regular intervals so that the same places on the skin are not required to be holding the person’s weight for extended periods of time. Proper hygiene and cleaning are also essential for avoidance of bedsores.

Once bedsores exist, however, their treatment varies, depending on the extent of the area and the depth of the sores. The most important thing to do is to remove the pressure from the affected area to give healing an opportunity to occur. The wounds themselves must be treated with antibiotics to prevent infection. Any dead tissue needs to be removed, and the wounds must be cleansed and bandaged regularly.

Who Is Liable For Bedsores?

In the case of a patient who is either immobile or dependent on the care of others, it is the caregiver’s responsibility to monitor and maintain the health of their patients. If it is a hospital or a nursing home, there must be a medical team involved in the patient’s care. If the medical team and caregivers fail to provide necessary treatment for the patient, then the hospital or nursing home may be liable for the actions on their employee’s part.

The legal cause under which a civil claim can be filed is negligence or neglect. In other words, the caregiver, hospital, or nursing facility had a duty to the patient to provide appropriate care. By failing to do so, they caused harm to the patient in the form of the bedsores and that harm has caused the patient to suffer.

A lawsuit may be brought under appropriate conditions to recover costs, such as medical treatments and rehabilitation required because of the bedsores and there may be a medical malpractice claim as well.

To understand your legal rights and remedies, talk to a Dallas nursing home abuse lawyer at Crowe Arnold & Majors, LLP at (214) 231-0544 and Toll Free (800) 738-4046. We humbly offer you our 25 years of experience and a free case evaluation. Click here to see some of our past case results.

Additional Information

  • Pressure Sores | Bedsores | Pressure Ulcers – MedlinePlus: https://medlineplus.gov/pressuresores.html
  • Bedsores Overview – Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bed-sores/symptoms-causes/syc-20355893