How Much Is a Bedsore Lawsuit Worth?
Bedsores, sometimes known as decubitus ulcers or pressure ulcers, are telltale signs of neglect at hospitals, nursing facilities, and other long-term care facilities. Personal injury lawyers can help you recover damages if you or a loved one has suffered from bedsores due to a caretaker’s negligence. Read on to learn more about how much a bedsore lawsuit is worth and how an attorney can litigate your case.
Recoverable Damages in a Bedsore Lawsuit
The amount of a bedsore settlement will depend on the severity of the injury and the damages suffered. In some very rare and specific cases, the court may also award punitive damages if the facility’s actions were intentional, reckless, or careless.
Bedsore lawsuits can be worth thousands or millions of dollars depending on several factors, including:
- The severity of your injuries
- The costs of your medical treatment
- The total income you lost as a result of your injuries
- The pain and suffering you endured
- Whether the health care facility failed to take action
If you lost a loved one due to sepsis or another complication of bedsores, you might be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit. These lawsuits are typically brought by the surviving spouse or children of the deceased.
A bedsore lawsuit can be complex and challenging to litigate. It’s important to have a qualified attorney on your side who understands the law and can help you get legal recourse.
When should you file a bedsore lawsuit?
If you have developed bedsores while in the care of a nursing facility, hospital, or another long-term care facility, you may be able to file a lawsuit. These cases can be complex, so it’s important to speak with an attorney as soon as possible.
Your lawyer will review your claim and gather evidence to support your case. This may include medical records, eyewitness testimony, and expert testimony.
Once your case is built, your attorney will file a complaint against the health care facility or individual responsible for your injuries.
How to File a Bedsore Lawsuit
The first step you’ll need to take to file a bedsore lawsuit is to contact an experienced attorney. Together, you can review the facts of your case and explore your legal options.
If an attorney accepts your case, they will then gather evidence, which may include medical records, photos of the bedsores, and eyewitness testimony. This evidence will be used to build a strong case to prove that the nursing home or hospital was negligent in caring for you or your loved one and that a bed sore occurred as a result.
Next, a claim will be filed with the court. This claim will state the facts of your case and what damages you are seeking.
The litigation process may include hearings, depositions, settlement demands and offers, or a trial. The details of each case differ and an attorney will be able to advise you on the best course of action and how much in damages you can expect to recover.
Nursing Home Bedsore Settlements
At Levin & Perconti, we have successfully recovered millions of dollars in bedsore settlements for our clients and their families. Here are several of our landmark cases involving nursing home bedsores:
- $2.8 million settlement awarded after a Hillside nursing home resident developed bedsores and infections that took more than four years to heal fully
- $2.3 million settlement for an 88-year-old assisted living facility resident who developed severe and infected bedsores which ultimately led to her death
- $1.4 million settlement for a former nursing home resident who sustained injuries as a result of a pressure sore.
- $1.2 million settlement for bedsores that caused bone infections in an 82-year-old nursing home resident, who eventually died from complications from her injuries
- $1.1 million settlement for a 75-year-old nursing home resident whose pressure ulcers ultimately contributed to her death
These cases are an important reminder that bedsores are actionable wrongs. These injuries are entirely preventable and it’s vital to seek justice and compensation to hold nursing facilities accountable.
Sores form when nursing home facilities do not establish and follow a care plan for residents who are immobile. When patients are not moved often enough to relieve pressure on specific areas of the body, blood flow is hindered and the skin and tissue break down. This should never happen in a nursing home. Shearing and friction, which are also due to neglect, are other causes of pressure ulcers.
What are the four stages of bedsores?
Bedsores are graded in four stages to help nursing home or hospital staff members determine the severity of the wound. It’s crucial to treat bedsores as soon as possible because they can quickly progress from one stage to the next.
Stage 1 – The first stage of bedsores is marked by skin that is red and irritated. The area may be warm to the touch, and there may be some swelling. Stage 1 wounds are generally not painful and may disappear right after the pressure is reduced.
Stage 2 – At this stage, the skin breaks open, creating the ulcer itself. The ulcer may be red, yellow, or black. It will likely be painful, and there may be some discharge.
Stage 3 – Stage three ulcers penetrate the second layer of skin and start to damage the underlying tissue. The ulcer will be deep and crater-like. There may be a great deal of swelling and pain.
Stage 4 – Stage four is the most severe stage of bedsore classification. The ulcer begins to affect muscle, tendons, or bone. There may be significant tissue damage and infection. These wounds are excruciating and can take months to heal.
In some instances, a pressure wound may be categorized as unstageable, meaning that the base of the sore cannot be seen and, therefore, can’t be measured accurately.
How long do bedsores take to heal?
The healing time for bedsores depends on the severity of the sore. Stage I and II bedsores can heal within a few weeks. Stage III and IV bedsores can take months or even years to recover from.
How can I prevent bedsores?
If you are in the care of a nursing home, it is the sole responsibility of the staff to make sure your medical and living arrangements keep you safe from injury.
In order to prevent bedsores, it’s important that caretakers keep your skin clean and dry. They should also implement an adequate care plan with a repositioning schedule to prevent you from sitting or lying in the same position for too long.
This care plan should be consistently reassessed and adjusted to ensure it meets your or your loved one’s medical needs.
Contact a Nursing Home Bedsore Attorney
A majority of bedsore lawsuits against nursing homes are usually complex and require the experience of an attorney who is intimately familiar with this area of law. The attorneys at Levin & Perconti are pioneers in nursing home litigation, helmed by nationally renowned founder Steven Levin.
If you or a loved one have developed bedsores while in the care of a nursing home, you may be entitled to compensation.
against a facility located in the northern suburbs for a former nursing home resident who sustained injuries as a result of a pressure sore.
record nursing home pressure sore settlement against a suburban Hillside nursing home and physician for a 59-year-old resident who developed multiple painful and infected bedsores which took four years to heal
for the family of an 88-year-old assisted living facility resident who developed severe and infected bed sores which ultimately brought about her death. Her doctor was criminally indicted for his conduct and charged with involuntary homicide