Legal Help for Victims of Mistreatment or Neglect

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

Putting a 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.

If you suspect negligence caused your loved one’s pain and suffering, you can count on the Dallas bedsore lawyers at Crowe Arnold & Majors, LLP for sound legal counsel.

Compassionate Dallas Bedsore Attorneys

Our Dallas nursing home abuse lawyers bring decades of experience advocating for the most vulnerable among us. Bedsores can be life-threatening conditions, and whether resulting from overworked caregivers, staff shortages, or gross neglect, we will utilize every resource to ensure that negligent parties are held accountable for their actions.

Taking legal action against negligent caregivers or facilities can result in the recovery of monetary damages for a wide range of losses, including medical expenses for health-related complications, in addition to emotional pain and suffering.

There are strict time limits to initiate a claim for negligence leading to bedsores. Do not hesitate to contact our firm for a free, no-obligation consultation.

What Are Bedsores, And What Causes Them?

A bedsore, in its simplest form, is a type of ulcer that is caused by the 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. Bedsores, or pressure ulcers, commonly appear on body parts that lack protective muscle and fat, such as:

  • Buttocks
  • Hips
  • Tailbone
  • Elbows
  • Shoulder blades
  • Spine
  • Heels
  • Backs of legs and arms
  • Ankles

How to Prevent Bedsores

A nursing home resident or hospital patient can develop bedsores when blood flow is restricted to certain body parts due to lack of regular movement or repositioning. These ulcers can develop in a matter of days and result from constant pressure, friction against bedding or clothing, and poor hygiene that causes the skin tissue to break down.

In the majority of cases, bedsores are completely preventable, and their presence is a blatant sign of neglect. Patients who are diabetic, are confined to a wheelchair, or are bedridden are at highest risk for bedsores, which can be prevented through:

  • Repositioning the patient every two hours
  • Reducing pressure on the skin with soft padding
  • Providing proper hygiene, and keeping the skin dry and clean
  • Inspecting the skin daily for redness or damage
  • Regularly changing the patient’s clothing
  • Adequate nutrition and hydration

When improper wound care in a healthcare setting causes bedsores to develop or worsen, the law affords remedies. The attorneys at Crowe Arnold & Majors, LLP are available to discuss your potential claim.  

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.

Signs of Neglect or Abuse That May Lead to Bedsores

Neglect or emotional abuse in a long-term care setting can be difficult to identify. It’s critical to pay close attention to your family member’s physical condition, as well as any changes in demeanor. Regular complaints that they haven’t been moved or are being ignored should be cause for concern.

Speak to our Dallas bedsore lawyers if you notice any of the following signs of neglect or abuse:

  • Unusual changes in skin color or texture
  • Improper nutrition and weight loss
  • Poor hygiene and soiled bed clothes
  • Unexplained changes in mood
  • Social withdrawal
  • Anxious behavior around caregivers

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.

Next Steps If Your Loved One Suffers From Bedsores

Nursing homes and assisted living facilities owe their residents a specific duty of care. If you discover that your loved one has developed a bedsore, take the following steps to protect their rights:

  • First and foremost, ensure your loved one gets immediate medical attention to prevent further complications. Antibiotics may be prescribed to prevent bacterial infection and sepsis, and debridement may be indicated in more severe cases.
  • Gather evidence. If neglect or abuse is suspected, try to collect evidence that shows mistreatment took place.  
  • Seek legal advice from an experienced bedsore lawyer who can help you gather appropriate documentation to prove that nursing home abuse or neglect led to your loved one’s bedsores.

Speak With a Dallas Nursing Home Bedsore Attorney

To understand your legal rights and remedies, talk to a Dallas nursing home bedsore lawyer at Crowe Arnold & Majors, LLP at (214) 428-6628 and Toll Free (214) 428-6628. 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