Seniors with mobility issues regularly turn to nursing homes for assistance with daily living. Unfortunately, the same reason these individuals turn to facilities for help is often the cause of additional medical woes, like bedsores. With over one million reports of elder abuse a year, federal and state legal codes have begun to reflect the increasing need to protect those who don’t usually have a voice.
If your spouse, parent, or sibling has developed bedsores during their nursing home residency, speak up on their behalf, and advocate for their legal rights. A Louisiana bedsores lawyer can work with you to bring a case against liable parties.
Call (800) 842-6336 to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm. We fight to ensure every nursing home resident is treated with compassion, dignity, and professionalism.
Bedsores in Nursing Home Residents
When a patient remains in the same position for a prolonged period of time (whether it be in a bed or wheelchair), the near-constant pressure puts them at risk of developing sores. Most commonly found on the ankles, heels, and tailbones, the severity of bedsores depends on what stage the sores have reached. If not caught in a reasonable amount of time, life-threatening conditions can arise.
Signs of bedsores include discolored or broken skin and the absence of significant portions of the skin. If you suspect your loved one is suffering from bedsores, there are a number of factors that may have caused the injury.
Causes of bedsores include:
- Pressure: The continuous pressure that results from areas of skin pressing against bed sheets or wheelchairs causes skin cells to become damaged and die.
- Friction: If portions of the skin are dragged during position changes, areas that are moist and fragile can develop sores.
- Shear: When two different surfaces are forced to move against each other, sores can result.
- Dehydration and malnutrition: A malnourished body simply doesn’t have the resources it needs to repair damaged skin and heal from bedsores.
Bedsores can result from other factors not included on this list. You may consider reaching out to a Louisiana bedsores lawyer to learn more.
Bedsores and Personal Injury Claims
The Code of Federal Regulations Title 42 §483 demands that all nursing homes have written policies preventing abuse, neglect, and mistreatment. Louisiana’s laws further protect residents from abuse to retaliation to discrimination.
Within this bill of rights are regulations designed to prevent the development of bedsores and ensure prompt treatment of patients who develop sores. Failure to take adequate precautionary measures qualifies as neglect.
Nursing homes that neglect their responsibility to prevent bedsores in patients can be held legally liable for the injuries, and you may be able to seek financial compensation.
Bedsores can occur when:
- Staff members fail to provide adequate hydration and nutrition, and individuals become malnourished as a result.
- Staff members fail to properly move residents while repositioning on a bed or wheelchair. This can lead to friction-based bedsores and can be the result of inadequate training or staffing.
- Staff members fail to regularly reposition patients while in their beds.
You may not see the cause of your loved one’s bedsores listed above. Still, you may have legal options.
When to Contact a Louisiana Bedsores Lawyer
Regardless of the severity of your loved one’s case of bedsores, any injury or illness that results from abuse, negligence, or mistreatment of nursing home residents can warrant a personal injury, medical malpractice, or wrongful death claim. If your family has suffered as a result of improper care or intentional abuse, a Louisiana bedsores lawyer can guide you in fighting for the compensation you deserve.
A financial award may cover:
- Pain and suffering: If negligence or abuse is determined to have caused bedsores in your loved one, the associated nursing home can be held responsible for compensating you for the pain and suffering experienced by your family or your loved one.
- Medical bills: Any party found legally responsible for an injury or illness (including bedsores) can be held responsible for covering all medical bills associated with the injury. While the state of Louisiana generally places a $500,000 cap on what victims can claim, a personal injury lawyer can guide you through the process of ensuring all medical expenses are covered––even if they exceed the stated cap.
This is not an exhaustive list. You may qualify for additional damages than those listed here.
How a Louisiana Bedsores Lawyer Can Help
A lawyer can help to:
- Review the specifics of your case to determine the viability of a personal injury claim
- Communicate with the nursing home facility, medical providers, insurance companies, and the courts
- Advise you in the various options for compensation
- Report the incident and facility to the state to prevent other residents from experiencing the same pain that you and your family are going through
- Guide you in understanding the statute of limitations under Louisiana Revised Statutes (RS) §9:5628
Accidents happen, and bedsores are not uncommon in individuals over the age of 60. However, residents deserve knowledgeable and attentive caregivers. Whether the result of understaffing, inadequate staff training, or systemic frustrations taken out on elderly residents, your loved one deserves justice.
If your spouse, parent, or sibling has been the victim of negligence within a nursing home, a Louisiana bedsores lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm will fight tirelessly to bring justice to your family. Call (800) 842-6336 for a risk-free consultation today.