Are Hospitals and Nursing Homes Responsible for Bedsores?
Individuals hospitalized for extended stays and residents in nursing homes can develop bedsores. Bedsores are preventable. Therefore, the patient suffers needlessly.
Hospitals and nursing homes in Jacksonville could be responsible for bedsores if negligence, abuse, or intentional wrongdoing caused them. They can also be responsible for infections and life-threatening conditions that develop because of bedsores.
What Are Bedsores, and How Do They Occur?
A bedsore or pressure ulcer can occur when a person remains in the same position for long periods without moving, such as lying in a bed or sitting in a chair. The pressure of the person’s body on specific areas can restrict blood flow to the skin. The skin begins to die if it is deprived of oxygen and blood flow for two to three hours.
In addition to pressure, friction from rubbing against clothing or bedding can cause bedsores. Also, pressure ulcers can develop if a person is pulled up or down in the bed without being lifted or using a lifting sheet.
Common areas for bedsores include, but are not limited to:
- Tailbone and hips (the buttocks area)
- Shoulder blades
- Back of the head
- Sides and backs of the knees
- Heels of the feet
Bedsores can cause permanent damage if they are not treated immediately and correctly. They can become infected, which could lead to sepsis and other severe complications.
Why Do Patients in Jacksonville Nursing Homes and Hospitals Develop Bedsores?
Neglect and nursing home abuse are often the two common causes of bedsores for hospital and nursing home patients. Physicians, nurses, and other healthcare providers may fail to take steps to prevent bedsores from developing.
Common reasons why patients in nursing homes and hospitals develop bedsores include:
- Failing to change the patient’s position as required
- Not taking proper care of a patient’s skin to keep it clean and dry
- Leaving a patient in soiled clothing or bedclothes
- Overmedicating a patient to keep them docile or asleep
- Failing to provide immediate medical treatment for skin irritation or sores
- Lack of proper training in steps to prevent bedsores
- Failing to monitor skin and check for bedsores to catch the condition in its early stage
- Inadequate supervision of staff members and patients by physicians, managers, and supervisors
- Failure to provide proper nutrition and hydration
- Not evaluating patients for risk factors that could increase the risk of pressure ulcers
A Jacksonville bedsore lawyer can investigate the cause of bedsores to determine if neglect, abuse, or intentional acts caused the pressure ulcer. If so, the attorney will identify all parties responsible for the patient’s condition to file claims seeking compensation for damages.
Who Is Responsible for Damages Caused By Bedsores in Nursing Homes and Hospitals in Jacksonville, FL?
Anyone responsible for the person’s care could be liable for damages. That includes:
- The hospital or nursing home owners
- Nursing staff
- Doctors and other medical providers
- Personal caretakers
- Home health aides
- Supervisors and managers
Hospitals and nursing homes owe a duty of care to their patients. The facility can be liable for damages if its employees harm a patient because of abuse, neglect, or intentional acts. Potentially, you could sue the hospital, nursing home, and all individuals whose actions contributed to the cause of the bedsores.
The injured patient must prove that the individual or facility:
- Owed them a duty of care to prevent bedsores
- Breached the standard of care because of their actions or inactions
- The breach of duty was the proximate and direct cause of the patient developing bedsores
- The patients suffered damages because of the breach of duty
A Jacksonville personal injury lawyer will perform an independent investigation to determine how you or your loved one developed bedsores. They’ll gather evidence proving the legal elements above to build a solid case for maximum compensation for damages.
What Damages Can a Victim Receive in a Bedsore Injury Claim in Jacksonville, FL?
Pressure ulcers and bedsores can be incredibly painful. They can cause permanent impairments, emotional suffering, and financial loss for patients.
Injured parties can seek compensation for their economic damages, including:
- Medical bills for physicians and other medical providers
- Hospital costs, including surgeries
- The cost of transferring to another nursing home or medical facility
- Lost wages, benefits, and earning capacity
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Cost of rehabilitation therapies
- Funeral and burial costs, if the bedsores lead to a wrongful death
A patient can also recover compensation for pain and suffering damages caused by bedsores. These non-economic damages include:
- Physical pain and discomfort
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- A decrease in quality of life
- Mental anguish
In addition to compensatory damages, a jury might award punitive damages. However, the injured party must prove that the at-fault party acted with gross negligence or a reckless disregard for the patient’s safety.
There are deadlines or statutes of limitations for filing claims seeking damages for bedsores. Seeking legal advice as soon as possible is the best way to protect your legal right to pursue a claim against the hospital, nursing home, and other responsible parties.
Contact the Jacksonville Nursing Home Abuse Law Firm of Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers Today For Help
For more information, please contact the Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra nursing home abuse law firm of Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers at the nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.
We serve Duval County, St. Johns County, and its surrounding areas:
Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers – Jacksonville
9471 Baymeadows Rd #105,
Jacksonville, FL 32256
Baggett Law Personal Injury Lawyers – Ponte Vedra
480 Town Plaza Ave #130,
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32081