Families who make the difficult decision to move an elderly relative into a nursing home should not have to worry about bedsores due to inadequate care. In Texas and elsewhere in the United States, nursing home residents who suffer from neglect and their family representatives can sue to recover compensation for bedsore injuries.
The Dallas nursing home abuse lawyers at Crowe Arnold & Majors, LLP believe nursing homes should be accountable for the inadequate care that precipitates bedsores. We represent patients and their family representatives in lawsuits against neglectful elder care facilities throughout North Texas.
What are the causes of bedsores?
Bedsores are pressure wounds that form when an immobile patient is not moved frequently enough. Lack of movement places pressure on a small area of the patient’s skin for an extended period and reduces blood flow to that area. Eventually, that area becomes inflamed and, if not treated properly, an open wound will form.
Under both federal and Texas State law, a nursing home is obligated to provide the care and services to enable residents to maintain the highest level of physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being. That obligation includes repositioning an immobile resident with sufficient frequency to prevent long-term pressure on any part of their body.
When should you file a bedsore lawsuit?
The medical community grades bedsores on a 4-stage scale:
- A stage I bedsore is evidenced by persistent redness of one or more areas of the patient’s skin
- With a stage II bedsore, that area will begin to blister
- A stage III bedsore is an open wound with clear damage to the surrounding skin
- A stage IV bedsore is diagnosed when the skin surrounding the sore begins to necrotize or die.
An elderly or infirm nursing home resident may not be able to communicate when they are in distress from a bedsore, particularly when it is in Stage I or II. Family members should remain vigilant for signs of pressure wounds or irritation and initiate litigation as soon as residents develop bedsores.
Damage from pressure wounds can progress rapidly, and early treatment is critical to prevent further damage or degradation to a nursing home resident’s skin. A resident’s family members are more likely to force a nursing home to take remedial action when they promptly file a lawsuit for nursing home neglect.
Can you recover money damages for bedsore injuries?
Even when they are caught early, pressure wound injuries can be very costly to treat. The bedsore victim often experiences chronic pain and discomfort, including infections and complications that can substantially reduce a victim’s life expectancy. These and other elements combine to justify a demand for money damages from a negligent nursing care facility for:
- Medical bills, drugs, and other healthcare-related expenses related to bedsore treatment
- The value of the victim’s pain and suffering and the extent to which the bedsores reduced the quality and span of their life
- If the victim passed away due to complications from bedsores, their representatives might also be able to recover compensation for wrongful death
- In egregious cases involving willful or intentional neglect, a victim may be able to recover punitive damages if a judge and jury believe those damages are necessary to deter future negligent conduct.
Contact our team at Crowe Arnold & Majors, LLP for a free consultation
Please see our website or call our Dallas nursing home abuse lawyers directly for a no-fee consultation if your elderly family member is suffering from bedsores resulting from nursing home neglect. Bedsores will not heal without aggressive and attentive care, and a nursing home may be unable or unwilling to provide that care unless they are motivated by a lawsuit.
If the facts of your case demonstrate nursing home neglect, we will use our skills and experience to get your loved ones the care and the money damages they deserve to recover.