Can I Sue a Nursing Home for Bedsores or Neglect?
Yes, it is possible to sue any U.S. nursing home for bedsores or neglect if the facility does not provide the required level of care and attention that you could reasonably expect and deserve.
In fact, as the trend for people to move to nurse homes and assisted living facilities becomes more popular, lawsuits against nursing homes are becoming more common in the U.S.
However, the process can be challenging. In order to sue, you need to be familiar with what constitutes neglect and the necessary legal steps required.
That usually requires the experience of a dedicated lawyer who is familiar with nursing home liability, bedsore lawsuits, medical malpractice, and other types of cases where medical facilities are sued.
What constitutes neglect and what are bedsores?
Nursing home neglect is essentially:
“a failure, intentional or not, to provide a person with the care and services necessary to ensure freedom from harm or pain; a failure to react to a potentially dangerous situation resulting in resident harm or anxiety.”
There are some common signs of neglect in nursing homes, which you can read more about here.
They may include:
- Unusual or unexpected weight loss, malnutrition, or dehydration
- Unsanitary conditions of the bed, the room, or the patient
- Bedsores or “pressure ulcers”
- Frequent illness of the patient (unrelated to their primary condition)
- Mistakes with administering medication
- Unsafe living conditions (poorly heated or ventilated conditions, lack of hot and cold running water, fire hazards, etc.)
Bedsores are one of the more obvious signs of neglect.
These injuries occur when a patient, who is unable to move, is kept in the same position without moving (usually in bed, in a chair, or in a wheelchair) for an extended period of time.
Left untreated, small bedsores can quickly progress into larger and deeper ones that may become infected.
If you suspect bedsores, look out for the following signs:
- Redness in the affected area
- Skin that is tender or hot to the touch
- A visible open sore
- Swelling of the skin
Bedsores are completely preventable and nursing homes should take reasonable steps to avoid putting patients through such discomfort.
When could a nursing home be liable for neglect?
Any nursing home in the country should provide at least a basic level of movement, adequate nutrition and hydration, and comfortable, safe, and sanitary conditions for their residents.
Most homes charge high rates and should be able to meet the standards required.
If you witness any of the signs of neglect mentioned above, the home may be liable and you may have a case for compensation.
Remember that it is irrelevant whether the neglect is intentional or unintentional. It can result in safety or security risks, unnecessary pain or illness, discomfort, and unnecessary extra costs for patients.
The nursing home should remain accountable for this.
A lack of resources at the nursing home, poorly trained staff, or overworked employees is not a valid excuse for patient neglect.
Speak to a bedsore lawyer or a firm that specializes in medical malpractice. There may be legal avenues you can take to claim compensation, though it can sometimes be challenging to prove that neglect has occurred.
How do you sue for bedsores or neglect?
Whether you are the victim of neglect or you are representing a friend or relative who is the victim, it starts with getting strong legal advice.
Sinel & Associates PLLC is based in New York City and we understand what it means to sue medical facilities, including nursing homes.
We have defended many victims of neglect and we always follow the case through in search of the desired results.
The basic process for suing for neglect or bedsores is as follows:
- Discovery and investigation: we gather details about the circumstances surrounding the neglect, interview witnesses, collect medical reports, and (if applicable) get medical experts to evaluate the injuries.
- Assess potential future damages: including medical expenses, recovery programs, physical therapy, etc. There may be compensatory and punitive damages, depending on the circumstances.
- Fully scope the cost of injury: we look at all of the potential expenses and determine a fair value when discussing a settlement.
Did you suffer neglect in a nursing home?
If a nursing home did not adequately fulfill its obligation to care for your (or a loved one’s) welfare, speak to a qualified lawyer.
If you or a loved one suffered neglect in a nursing home, you may want to discuss your options with Sinel & Olesen, PLLC right away. Call (844) 512-4098 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.