Understanding Your Legal Rights: Holding Nursing Homes Accountable for Bed Sores

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You and your loved ones have the right to quality nursing home care and if you are not receiving it, you can take legal action.

Santa Clara, CABed sores are an unfortunate reality for individuals who are not mobile on their own and spend much of their time bedridden. People who have fragile skin (particularly the elderly) and who are incontinent as well may be more prone to bed sores than others. This is why it’s somewhat common to see bedsores on residents who live in nursing homes and assisted living centers. 

While bed sores may be common due to several circumstances, it doesn’t mean they aren’t painful and should not be treated. If you live in a nursing home and have recurring bed sores or you have a loved one who gets them and you have growing concerns, you may be able to hold the nursing home facility responsible for these medical injuries. Learn more about what bed sores are and what causes them, when you should be concerned about them happening, and what legal rights you may have for holding nursing homes accountable for these skin irritations. 

What Are Bed Sores? 

Bed sores are skin injuries that occur when constant pressure is placed on the affected areas. Bed sores can occur anywhere on the body that is pressed into a bed or other place where a person is immobilized, such as a wheelchair. For example, a resident lying in bed for days without being turned or lift-assisted out of bed may get bed sores after a short time has passed. 

Why Are Bed Sores Concerning? 

Bed sores are concerning because they are preventable, and they’re most likely caused by immobility or the inability of a person to turn themselves when they are in a constant sitting or lying down position. If a person is in a nursing home and is getting bed sores, it could mean that they are not getting the physical care and medical attention they deserve. In simpler terms, bed sores can be a sign of neglect, and are often the very first sign of abuse in nursing homes. 

What Are Your Rights Regarding Bed Sores And Nursing Home Abuse? 

If you or a loved one are constantly covered in bed sores, you must know your rights. After all, it’s difficult to prove that bed sores are a sign of neglect, however, there are often other concurring issues with frequent bed sores to look out for. 

For example, you may notice emotional or physical abuse from a nursing home caretaker, or you may realize rapid care is not being received for toileting and other nursing home care needs in addition to regular bed sore suffering. You can hire a nursing home abuse lawyer who will help you in determining the cause of bed sores in nursing homes. This is the first step in deciding what your rights are. Here are ways your lawyer will help you:

Creating A Probable Cause Case

Your nursing home abuse attorney will help create a probable cause case for your bed sore situation. This means they will help you uncover evidence that the bed sores in question are caused by things outside your or your loved one’s control, and therefore, the responsibility and fault of the nursing home and its staff. For example, your lawyer can find evidence that there are not enough staff members per resident to give proper care and prevent bed sores or that the bed sores are caused by neglect. 

Providing Legal Representation

It’s intimidating to deal with nursing home representatives on your own, especially when you don’t know what legal grounds or rights you have to stand up for yourself. The reality is: that you and your loved ones have a legal right to proper care, and bed sores are a violation of this basic human right. Your lawyer will represent you in your case, defending you by communicating with nursing home representatives and authorities (including insurance companies that are quick to settle out of court or deny any wrongdoing) on your behalf. If your case is taken to court, they will represent you there as well. 

Fighting For Fair Compensation

When you have a bed sore issue, other medical maladies can occur as a result. Bed sores lead to not just discomfort, but infection and other skin issues as well. There may be joint and other health problems that need to be addressed and paid for. Your lawyer considers all these things, as well as future care needs such as physical therapy, wound dressing and cleaning, and more to help build a class action lawsuit on your behalf.

Your nursing home abuse lawyer then comes up with fair compensation based on your particular situation and fights hard for you and your family to get the legal compensation that is well-deserved. Since many companies prefer to settle out of court to avoid costly legal fees and public attention, your lawyer can help navigate this arena as well. With the help of your lawyer, you may be able to not only get your bed sore case heard before a judge but be able to settle more quickly and get more financial compensation as a result. 

Getting Started 

It’s wise to seek legal counsel as soon as you suspect that recurring bed sores are happening due to neglect or abuse in a nursing home. You and your loved ones have the right to quality care and if you are not receiving it, you can take legal action. With the right intervention, you may be able to receive relief for your skin conditions.

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