Bed sores, also known as pressure sores, decubitus ulcers, or pressure ulcers, are a graphic sign of neglect at nursing facilities, hospitals, and other long-term care facilities.
The personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC have successfully resolved bedsore cases in all care settings in Cook County and other jurisdictions in Illinois.
Our experience litigating and resolving bedsore lawsuits has given our legal team a unique perspective to evaluate your specific situation.
How do Bed Sores Arise in Nursing Home Residents?
Why do Bed Sores Develop in Nursing Home Residents? Bed sores develop when pressure is put on the skin for long periods. They cut off blood flow in the underlying area and cause other problems. Here is a set of common causes.
- Pressure. Prolonged force on the body will lessen blood flow. Blood flow is critical in order to bring oxygen, nutrients, and other things to underlying tissue and vital organs. Nursing home patients that are physically disabled are at risk when they are confined to a hospital bed or wheelchair. This can trigger wounds when that force breaks the skin and then the underlying area including muscles, tissues, and organs.
- Shearing. Shearing is when two things move in opposite directions. That force creates stress on the body. If a person is in bed or on a chair all day, they might slip down and that can cause shearing. Yet, it may come about in different ways altogether. It is important to check for this issue as it can cause serious damage.
- Friction. Friction occurs when things rub up against people. This can be from a medical device, linens, clothes, or something else. Certain factors make friction even more seriously including moisture. It is important to make sure that people with limited mobility are secured in their position to reduce friction or shearing risks.
Nursing home abuse causes many bed sores, pressure ulcers, pain and suffering, punitive damages, and even wrongful death. Speak with a bed sore lawyers today in a free consultation and find out how you can get relief from the nursing homes that committed this negligence and medical malpractice.
What are the Four Stages of Bedsores?
Bedsores are ‘graded’ or ‘staged’ so staff in a nursing home or hospital can track a wound and implement proper medical care. The staging system is standardized using objective information to provide a standardized level of care for these injuries.
Stage 1 – Initially, bed sores or a pressure wound appears as a persistent area of red skin that may itch or hurt and feel warm and spongy or firm to the touch. Stage I wounds are superficial and go away shortly after the pressure is relieved.
Stage 2 – At this point, some skin loss has already occurred — either in the epidermis, the outermost layer of skin, in the dermis, the skin’s deeper underlying tissue layer, or in both. The stage ii wound is now an open pressure sore (or bed sores) that looks like a blister or an abrasion, and the surrounding tissues may show red or purple discoloration. Stage ii bedsores are series and can lead to serious injury or death for the patient.
Stage 3 –By the time a skin ulcer reaches this stage (stage iii), it has extended through all the skin layers down to the muscle, damaging or destroying the affected tissue and creating a deep, crater-like wound.
Stage 4 –In the most serious and advanced stage, a large-scale loss of skin occurs, along with damage to muscle, bone, tissue, and even supporting structures such as tendons and joints. Stage 4 wounds are extremely difficult to heal and can lead to lethal infections commonly identified as sepsis, even with aggressive medical attention. Particularly in patients with physical disabilities stage 4 bed sores may develop on:
- Tailbone, hips, or buttocks
- Shoulder blades and spine
- Back of the head or ears
Occasionally, a pressure wound may be categorized as ‘unstageable’. Unstageable pressure wounds are usually referred to as an extremely advanced wound where there is the involvement of skin, muscle, and bone and the amount of dead tissue simply makes evaluation of the wound impossible.
Our legal team knows the law around bed sores and nursing facility medical neglect and wrongful death. Speak to a member of our firm in a free call if a patient or a loved one suffered a decubitus ulcer in a nursing facility. An attorney client relationship can help the patient make up for their injury or injuries so contact us today about what your lawsuit value may be.
How Much is an Illinois Nursing Home Bed Sore Lawsuit Worth?
An Illinois nursing home bedsore lawsuit for bed sores might be worth more than a million dollars. They average as much as several hundreds of thousands of dollars in Illinois.
Illinois law allows the victims of bed sores to recover compensation value for economic damages (medical expenses) and non-economic damages (pain and suffering and disability, punitive damages). Nursing home residents have rights and a nursing home or hospital should be held responsible if a patient develops bed sores.
Our law firm can give you a free consultation on medical malpractice, pressure sore development, pressure ulcer bedsore settlement value, or a bed sore lawsuit following nursing home abuse. Call toll free today to create an attorney client relationship for the patient, patients, or even the family.
How do You Win a Bed Sore Case Against a Nursing Home?
In order to win a bedsore case against a nursing home, hospital, assisted living or other long-term care facility, you must show under the law that the a) defendant’s wrongful conduct b) caused or worsened your skin break down, and that c) they had no excuse for such acts.
Normally, this will take the form of a negligence lawsuit.
Negligence cases argue that the defendant acted unreasonably and damaged the plaintiff. You must show that the other party breached a duty owed to you and that breach created harm.
With wound cases, here are some acts that might qualify as negligence and allow you to sue a nursing home for their negligence.
- The facility did not conduct an initial assessment for skin breakdown.
- The facility did not devise a plan to detect, prevent, and treat the ulcer, bedsores, or wounds.
- The hospital did not follow its own plan of care.
- The patient developed the bedsores while at the place or the sores got worse.
- The facility did not follow the doctor’s instructions or failed to coordinate with the proper medical personnel.
- The facility did not properly or frequently rotate the plaintiff in order to prevent bedsores from emerging.
There are other examples of negligence that might cause decubitus ulcers. Yet, these are some of the most common forms that lead to bedsores lawsuits.
Patients and their loved one are able to get free legal help from a lawyer. Contact us to see what factors led to your injuries and if compensation is possible.
Nursing Home Bed Sore Cases: Sample Settlements & Verdicts
DAVIS VS. WASHINGTON HEIGHTS; COOK COUNTY; $837,552 SETTLEMENT
In this case, the estate of a woman sued a nursing home following her death after she developed bed sores (also referred to as pressure sores or pressure ulcers) and died from their complications. Apparently, the bed sores had worsened so badly that maggots were actually found inside the affected area according to her attorney.
Also, she was suffering from dehydration and malnutrition as well as other injuries at the time of her death. The subsequent nursing home neglect lawsuit complained that the nursing home failed to meet the standard of care required of similar homes.
It concluded that the nursing home was responsible for her death. The nursing home could not mount any legitimate defense to these factors allegations so both sides agreed on a settlement of $837,552.
BEARD VS. BOULEVARD HEALTHCARE; COOK COUNTY; $575,000 SETTLEMENT
A 77-year-old woman was transferred to a nursing home for care following treatment at a hospital when she developed bed sores on her back and heels. At the time she was transferred, doctors instructed the home that she was a high risk for bed sores.
However, friends and family that visited noted that her clothes and sheets had not been changed in a long time. A few months after developing bed sores, she was sent back to the hospital with pneumonia, sepsis, and dehydration. She died shortly thereafter.
The family sued the nursing home on her behalf arguing that it failed to properly assess and care for her pressure sores and that caused her death. Fearing an exorbitant jury award, the nursing home quickly chose to settle, and the family agreed for $575,000.
For more information on this facility, view our page here.
WAZYDRAG VS. WALDEN NORTH; COOK COUNTY; $1,000,000 SETTLEMENT
Here, a 51-year-old quadriplegic sued a nursing home after he developed bed sores following a five-month stay at the center. He claimed that prior to entering the home he did not have any bed sores but that once there they arose and advanced to an advanced stage that eventually became septic.
After discovering the presence and spread of this disease, he moved to another nursing home and then eventually to his personal residence where his wife managed his care.
He sued the original nursing home and claimed that it did not change his clothing or bedding regularly, that it did not develop a plan to minimize the emergence of bed sores, and that the bed sores created other medical problems throughout his body. The nursing home refuted some of the factual allegations of his suit.
However, presented with the possibility of a long-term lawsuit and sympathetic jury, the defendant nursing home chose to settle for the policy of $1,000,000.
Contact an attorney to review the average compensation value of these cases and how nursing home neglect may have caused your injuries or those of a loved one. We have represented many patients and their family obtain compensation for their pain, injuries, neglect, and can offer legal advice on these topics and more!
Hiring a Chicago Nursing Home Bed Sore Lawyer
Most bedsore lawsuits against nursing homes claim that nursing staff did not do an adequate job caring for the patient. While the underlying reasons may be complex, under-staffing and inadequate training of staff are recurring themes in lawsuits.
Our nursing home negligence attorneys have experience litigating and settling cases involving the development of pressure ulcers in all care facilities, including nursing homes and hospitals both within Illinois and throughout the country.
Our law firm is currently representing clients in Cook County, DuPage County, Kane County, Lake County, Will County, Aurora, Naperville, Orland Park, and Schaumburg.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC can evaluate all sensitive information in your bed sores case and advise you of your legal rights, with an emphasis on timely and effective resolution of your case.
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