It is too easy to overlook a bruise, as many people experience bruises from time to time. However, sometimes bruises cause serious complications and, according to U.S. News & World Report, can be a leading sign of nursing home abuse. When you find unexplained bruises on a loved one who resides in a nursing home, it can be a signal that your loved one is unsafe in their current living environment.
Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to discuss your case with a Chicago bruises lawyer. Having a legal professional review the details of your case can give you an idea of whether you have a case. Not all bruise cases meet the criteria for taking legal action. We can help you to decide if filing a lawsuit is the right decision in your case. Call now for a free consultation.
Common Types of Bruises
Given the substantial number of elderly people cared for in nursing homes as documented via the National Center for Health Statistics, it is perhaps not surprising that bruises can be a frequent occurrence, There are different types of bruises that range in severity, however, and while some bruises highlight underlying medical conditions, others result from abuse. Three types of bruises are:
- Subcutaneous bruise: A subcutaneous bruise occurs just beneath the skin and can cause the hallmark black and blue color. This is the most common type of bruise. In most cases, subcutaneous bruises heal without difficulty.
- Intramuscular bruise: An intramuscular bruise affects the underlying muscles. This can cause swelling and additional pain at the location of the bruise.
- Periosteal bruise: A periosteal bruise is a deep bruise that impacts the bones. This is sometimes called a bone contusion and can cause fluid to build up around the location of the injury.
This list represents just some of the types of bruises that your loved one could experience. Other types of bruises could apply, based on the source of the injury and the location on the body. Other kinds of bruising are possible. The sooner you can identify and address the source of the bruises, the better chance you will have of preserving your loved one’s health.
Bruises can be one of several signs of nursing home abuse. If you notice any unexplained bruises on your loved one, it is imperative that you investigate the situation further. Ask your loved one’s doctor and nursing team to explain the bruises. If you have any questions about what steps you can take next, call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to discuss with our Chicago bruises lawyers a possible case against the nursing home to hold it accountable.
Dangers of Bruises
Bruises can be a sign of more significant injury or an underlying medical condition. If left untreated, your loved one could be in significant danger. Your doctor can classify a bruise based on its bruise harm score, which ranges from light bruises that pose little risk as a 0 to critical bruises as a score of 6 that could have the risk of death. Any bruise rated 2 or higher can cause serious complications such as swelling hematoma, compartment syndrome, and sprained ligaments, among other serious conditions.
Depending on the location of the bruise, it is possible that other serious complications could occur. For example, a bruise on the head could cause a brain injury, concussion, or coma. It can be difficult to truly understand the extent of the damage by just looking at the bruise. It is important to have a doctor evaluate any bruises to avoid negative complications.
For a free legal consultation with a Bruises Lawyer serving Chicago, call (800) 794-0444
How to Care for Bruises
Taking proper care of a bruise once you notice it is important to prevent further injury. After seeking medical attention and alerting your loved one’s caregivers, it is a good idea to try and rest the affected area. You could be advised to ice and compress the area, as well as elevate it. Your loved one’s doctor may request additional testing to ensure that there are no further complications or underlying medical conditions that require treatment.
If you later discover that someone caused the bruises, the doctor’s documentation could serve as evidence in a legal case. The doctor is a third party, unbiased witness to the injury. Even if you do not end up needing it, having access to these records can give you a certain peace of mind.
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Documenting Bruises for Possible Legal Action
Whether you suspect nursing home abuse or not, documenting the size, shape, and location of the bruises can be beneficial. The process of documenting bruises is easy. You can take clear photographs with your smartphone or tablet. You can use a ruler in the photos to demonstrate and track the size of the bruises over time. If bruises continually get worse, it could be a sign that the elder abuse is ongoing.
In addition, it is a good idea to keep records of your loved one’s caregivers. This can be as simple as writing down in a notebook with whom your loved one worked each day. If the bruises only show up after being cared for by a specific caregiver, there could be something happening only with that person.
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Bruises can be a physical sign of nursing home abuse. If your loved one is suffering from unexplained bruises, you could have a case against the nursing home they live in for allowing the injury to happen. This can help to cover any ongoing medical expenses required to treat the bruise and any complications, as well as pain and suffering. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to schedule a free consultation with a Chicago bruises lawyer to discuss your possible case and how we can be of service to you and your family.