Courts are seeing an increase in nursing home abuse lawsuits related to the development of bedsores. Bedsores, also called pressure sores or pressure ulcers, are skin lesions that result from prolonged pressure applied to the skin. In nursing homes, bedfast patients must be turned, repositioned, and cared for in a manner that prevents the development and progression of bedsores.
Nursing home residents who are not properly cared for may develop bedsores. In these cases, severe injury, infection, or death may occur. Residents or their families may be entitled to file a nursing home abuse lawsuit against nursing facilities responsible for harm caused by bedsores. Bedsore settlements may be awarded to residents or their families as a means of resolving bedsore lawsuits outside of the courts.
Bedsore Settlement Case Examples
Bedsores can significantly reduce a nursing home resident’s overall quality of life. In many cases, bedsores become severely infected and progress through intensifying stages. As a result, bedsore patients must often undergo extensive medical treatments and endure severe pain. Bedsore settlements may be awarded to compensate residents for financial, physical, and mental hardships sustained.
Bedsore Settlements for Residents
The following provides examples of bedsore settlements reached on behalf of nursing home residents:
- In Delaware, an 88-year-old woman developed bedsores which progressed to become severely infected. Her family filed a lawsuit against the nursing facility on her behalf. The resident and her family were awarded a $2.3 million bedsore settlement.
- A quadriplegic nursing home resident developed bedsores during his residency in an Illinois nursing home. Despite treatment, the painful bedsores did not fully heal for more than a year. His family members filed a lawsuit on his behalf, and the case was awarded a $1 million bedsore settlement.
- An 88-year-old nursing home resident developed several infected bedsores. In order to treat the condition, the resident underwent surgery, extended hospitalization, and comprehensive wound care and maintenance. The resident and his family were awarded a $1 million bedsore settlement.
Bedsore Death Settlements for Family Members
In severe cases, nursing home residents who develop severe bedsores may suffer death. When this occurs, family members of deceased bedsore patients may file lawsuits on behalf of the resident’s estate. These wrongful death bedsore lawsuits often result in significant bedsore settlements to compensate families for loss of a loved one and the associated financial and emotional burdens that they become faced with.
The following provides examples of bedsore settlements reached on behalf of nursing home residents who died as a result of sustained bedsores:
- In Texas, an 82-year-old woman developed severe bedsores that penetrated the skin and infected the underlying bone. As a result, the patient died. Her family filed a bedsore lawsuit on her behalf, and was awarded a $1.2 million bedsore settlement.
- A similar infection case occurred with the family of an 87-year-old woman in a Washington nursing home facility. She died of stage four bedsores which reached the underlying bone. The resident’s family was awarded a $900,000 bedsore settlement.
- A 75-year-old woman developed several bedsores during her nursing home residency. The bedsores became severely infected, which led to her death. Her family filed a bedsore lawsuit on her behalf, and received a $1.1 million bedsore settlement.
- In Illinois, an 80-year-old woman developed multiple stage four bedsores. The infection of the bedsores led to her death. Her family filed a lawsuits against the nursing home facility, and received a $1 million bedsore settlement.
Receiving a Bedsore Settlement
Residents or resident family members who believe that they may have grounds for a bedsore lawsuit should speak with an experienced nursing home abuse attorney as soon as possible. A nursing home abuse attorney can help families to navigate each case based on existing evidence, legal circumstances, and laws that apply to relevant cases in each state. In these cases, the defending nursing home facility may offer a bedsore settlement in exchange for taking the case to court.
Deciding When to Settle
The bedsore attorney can help to educate and advise the plaintiffs on whether or not it is in their best interest to accept the amount offered in the bedsore settlement. In order to do so, the attorney will evaluate the case and determine an estimate of maximum compensation through a bedsore settlement versus a trial verdict. In cases where strong evidence exists against the defending facility, a full trial may be recommended for the plaintiff.
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“Verdicts & Settlements December 24, 2007: Man develops bedsores, gangrene in nursing home.” Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly24 Dec. 2007. Academic OneFile. Web. 29 Sept. 2013.