“Bedsore” is a non-technical “lay” term referring to damage to the skin, muscle and subcutaneous tissues caused by prolonged pressure. Sustained pressure is the root cause of these serious wounds and thus they are more properly called “pressure injuries”, “pressure ulcers” or by their technical term: “decubitus ulcer”.
Bedsores are classified in “stages” (I – IV) depending on their depth and severity, with stage I being the least serious and state IV being the most serious. Stage IV wounds are horrible, painful, open wounds which extend through the muscle to the bone, often exposing the bone.
Bed sores can affect anyone who is unable to effectively move and re-position themselves. Nursing home residents are frequently dependent on others, whether in whole or in part, to move and re-position them and thus are at high risk for developing pressure injuries. It is not uncommon for these folks to be confined to bed or wheelchair-bound, and their inability to move themselves and ‘offload” the pressure of their weight from their tissues is a source of danger to them. Residents admitted to nursing homes, assisted living facilities, hospitals, group homes and other medical settings have a disproportionately greater risk of forming these wounds than the rest of the population.
A bedsore is a devastating injury. Bedsores can lead to infection, the shutdown of various body systems, and death, particularly in an elderly or physically challenged person. When a nursing home resident dies from a bedsore caused by negligent medical care, the surviving family members may be able to take legal action by filing a “wrongful death” lawsuit against the persons or facilities responsible. Meritorious claims generally result in a monetary award, either through a trial or out-of-court settlement.
Q: Should I Bring a Lawsuit for the Wrongful Death of my Loved One?
A: The decision on whether or not to sue is a personal one, but it is important to note that there is nothing wrong with doing so. In fact, you may be doing a service to your community by filing the claim. The behavior of many persons or entities, particularly large corporations, are driven by financial considerations. By holding the wrongdoers accountable for their actions, you may succeed in changing the facility’s attitude and approach, and thus reduce the odds that others will meet a similar fate.
It is important to remember that pressure injuries, or “bedsores”, are preventable and should not progress to a Stage III or IV level if the resident is receiving proper care and quality nutrition. However, nursing home residents are often not able to recognize that they are receiving poor care or may not be physically able to complain to anyone about the fact that they are being neglected, and therefore they often fall victim to greedy corporate owners who place profits ahead of patient safety.
Bed sores frequently develop because the facility is deliberately understaffed. When a corporate owner does not provide enough nurses, nursing aides and other health care providers, it can make it physically impossible for the facility to provide proper care. Bedsores are virtually certain to develop in such an environment, and overall patient safety can be abysmal. As you can imagine, if the staff is overworked and spread too thin, or if they are not properly trained, the most vulnerable patients are generally the first to be ignored. Bedsores quickly develop in this type of setting.
Family members who see their loved one dying from a bed sore caused by such a tragic scenario often feel tremendous anger. And, rightfully so. Suing those responsible is a valid solution for a family who seeks justice for this terrible wrong and wishes to hold the responsible parties accountable for neglecting and abusing their family. At Davis & Brusca, we have the skilled New Jersey Nursing Home attorneys who can help seek compensation for your loved one’s pain and suffering, and the financial losses associated with their untimely death.
Q: Do I Need a Lawyer to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit against a Nursing Home?
A: Depending on the particular facts of your situation, it may be technically possible for you to bring the claim yourself. However, it is generally not advisable for you to attempt to do so. There are a multitude of rules and laws which will govern the claim and the proofs needed to successfully prosecute the claim. As such, if your loved one has died from complications from a bedsore, the surviving family members should speak with an experienced New Jersey Nursing Home Attorney as soon as possible.
The lawyers at Davis & Brusca offer a free consultation during which we can discuss the facts of your case and discuss the options which exist to seek justice through the New Jersey court system. Davis & Brusca has a proven track record of delivering justice to victims of nursing home neglect and abuse, and our lawyers are skilled in bringing wrongful death lawsuits for bedsores. Call us today at (609) 786-2540 to discuss your case with a top New Jersey Bedsore Lawyer.