How Much is an Average Bedsore Lawsuit Settlement?
The prevalence of elderly and immobile individuals suffering bedsore wounds in nursing homes and other care facilities in New York might shock some people.
It’s far common than most imagine and the resulting injuries can be far more extensive than you think, leading to muscle, bone degeneration, nerve damage, and even death.
Growing awareness of the problem is leading to increasing numbers of bedsore lawsuits.
If you or a loved one have suffered bedsores due to the negligence of caregivers – whether at home or in a nursing or health facility – you may be entitled to compensation for the losses and pain and suffering caused.
You should not be out of pocket because of the negligent or reckless actions of others.
But how much is the average bedsore lawsuit settlement?
What can you expect if you sue a nursing home, hospital or care agency for losses experienced due to bedsores?
Factors that affect a bedsore settlement
Bedsores can lead to a range of undesirable consequences, most notably:
- Excessive medical bills to treat the bedsores
- Inconvenience – frequent trips to the hospital for treatment of the wounds
- The possibility of serious infections that are difficult to treat
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental and emotional pain and suffering
Victims often mistakenly believe that bedsores are part of the risks of having to remain in bed for a lengthy period of time.
However, a care facility has a duty to ensure that a patient receives adequate daily movement, just as they must ensure adequate nutrition, a hygienic environment, etc.
Being understaffed or failing to provide adequate training does not absolve the facility of this duty of care.
Bedsores and many potentially serious consequences associated with bedsores can result from negligence.
If you and your bedsore lawyer agree to pursue a lawsuit, the following factors will affect your settlement:
- The extent of the physical pain and suffering experienced
- The extent of emotional pain and suffering
- The amount of medical care required (and the associated bills)
- The need for future rehabilitation or disability care
- Whether there has been any lasting damage to health
- The age of the patient
The most important factor is the extent of the injuries caused. To assess this, we can consider the standard four stages of bedsores:
- Stage 1: Redness, sensitivity, and heat in the affected area (but no skin loss)
- Stage 2: Skin loss affecting all the layers of the epidermis and potentially causing serious infections
- Stage 3: Complete destruction of the skin and necroses of the underlying tissue
- Stage 4: Destruction of the underlying muscle tissue and bone degeneration, with potential nerve damage and even paralysis resulting
As you can see, bedsores are more than simple surface wounds resulting in discomfort. Not only can the pain be excruciating; the secondary effects of bedsores can result in serious injuries and permanent disability requiring round-the-clock care.
Bedsores, therefore, need urgent treatment early on to prevent more serious effects developing.
The greater the negligence the greater the potential for injury; and the greater the extent of the bedsores, the greater the settlement you can expect from a lawsuit.
Average bedsore settlement
Damages awarded in bedsore lawsuits punish the negligent, at-fault party so that similar harmful acts can be prevented in the future.
The extent of these damages varies greatly from case to case as every bedsore lawsuit is unique.
Because the factors vary in every case, a qualified bedsore attorney will need to assess these factors in order to provide an accurate indication of what a bedsore settlement may be worth.
A quick review of the facts of your case should yield the information needed to provide an approximate estimate of the settlement you can expect from a lawsuit. However, a thorough evaluation will ultimately be needed if you decide to pursue legal action.
It is informative to look at some examples as we consider an average bedsore lawsuit settlement in the U.S. Following are some indicative figures:
- In cases where bedsores are caused by neglect but the patient recovers relatively quickly, a bedsore lawsuit settlement may be in the region of $150,000 – $300,000
- In cases where bedsores lead to infection and hospitalization, a bedsore lawsuit settlement may be in the region of $500,000 or more
- In cases where patients have Stage 4 bedsores that lead to considerable pain, suffering and permanent long-term harm, the settlement range may be significantly higher than $500,000
- In cases where serious bedsores can be shown to have directly contributed to a person’s death, a wrongful death lawsuit may be brought by the surviving family members that may be worth up to $1 million (especially if the patient was not considered elderly)
A settlement’s value will depend on the age, severity, period of pain and suffering, and subsequent complications.
Do you have a case for a bedsore lawsuit?
Sinel & Olesen, PLLC represents families whose loved ones have been the victim of bedsores.
Because of the large sums potentially involved in bedsore lawsuits, large care facilities and hospitals usually have teams of lawyers representing them. It can be challenging to stand up to them.
We provide the support you need to get what you deserve.
Start with a free consultation with one of our bedsore lawyers.