A common sign of neglect in a nursing home is bedsores. A bedsore, otherwise known as a pressure ulcer, is a skin wound caused by constant pressure in one spot. The wound often affects the tissue under the skin and sometimes affects the bone and muscle if it goes deep enough.
Common places for bedsores include the buttocks, hips, ankles, and tailbone. When a patient lies in bed or sits in one position too long, it causes a bedsore to develop. Unconscious or immobile patients are at the greatest risk of developing bedsores. Medical staff and caretakers can prevent bedsores by ensuring the patient receives proper care.
If your loved one developed one or more bedsores while in a nursing home, contact an experienced St. Louis bedsore attorney for your free case evaluation.
About Bruning Law Firm
Led by Anthony Bruning's 35+ years of experience and a team of passionate lawyers, Bruning Law Firm puts advocacy first. The dedicated team consists of Tony and his sons A.J. and Ryan, along with Jamie Boyer and Dylan Kriegshauser. Together, the Bruning Law Firm fights for those who were unjustly injured. They are always ready to help those suffering injustices and devastating injuries.
We believe that every client deserves a fighting chance to recover what they need with the help of a knowledgeable legal advocate. Our experience and heart set us apart. Rest assured that if we take your case, you will experience a cohesive and personal experience built on a foundation of solid legal guidance.
Though we cannot promise results for your particular case, we believe our previous results speak volumes about our experience and capabilities.
Here are just a few of the case results we’ve achieved for our clients.
We know how to win bedsore cases. Call us now for your free case consultation.
How a St. Louis Bedsore Attorney at Bruning Law Firm Can Help You?
When you trust the care of a loved one to a nursing home, you expect the staff to provide your loved one with the care and attention they deserve. When the staff fails to provide proper care, you can hold the nursing home responsible for violating your loved one’s rights.
Our St. Louis bedsore attorneys can:
- Investigate to determine whether the nursing home staff or administrators provided negligent care.
- Determine who is responsible for the negligence in caring for your loved one.
- Forward a demand letter to the defendants to enter settlement negotiations.
- Negotiate a settlement.
If the defendants refuse a fair and reasonable settlement amount, your St. Louis bedsore attorney will file a court case against the defendants.
Do I Need to Retain an Attorney?
Yes. The nursing home and its insurance company will have experienced attorneys defending them against your claims. Even if the nursing home and its insurance company agree to settle, your loved one might not recover the compensation they deserve. Insurance companies are in business to make money, and paying out a claim decreases profits. An insurance company will deny your claim or offer you the least amount possible to make you “go away.”
Nursing homes that are negligent or hire negligent staff should face punishment, or they will continue to neglect and abuse their residents.
Causes of Bedsores
Pressure sores, or bedsores, progress much in the same way as burns, creating an area of dead tissue. If medical professionals do not catch the bedsore immediately, these open wounds can grow deeper and wider. It can also develop an infection and even cause death.
Bedsore causes include:
- Being immobile for a long time.
- Poor hygiene.
- Friction, even against something soft, such as bedsheets.
Small bedsores can quickly get out of hand and develop into significant open wounds.
Recovering Damages for Nursing Home Negligence
The resident who suffered due to the nursing home's negligence can recover compensatory damages. If the resident dies due to bedsores or other nursing home negligence, the family can recover compensatory damages.
The court orders economic and non-economic damages to make the victim or family whole again.
Sometimes referred to as special damages, economic damages have a monetary value.
- Medical expenses, including doctors' visits, surgeries, prescriptions, ambulatory aids, and medical equipment, such as oxygen machines.
- Lost wages and loss of future earning capacity if the patient is younger and in a nursing home for rehabilitation and suffers from bedsores that do not heal or cause the patient’s death.
- Death-related expenses.
General damages, or non-economic damages, do not have a monetary value and include:
- Pain and suffering, including emotional distress.
- Loss of quality of life.
- Loss of companionship.
- Loss of body part usage or bodily function if the bedsore causes long-term disabilities.
- Excessive scarring and/or disfigurement.
- Amputation of a limb or digit if the bedsore causes irreversible damage to an extremity.
To win a bedsore lawsuit or settlement against a caregiver or nursing home, you must prove that the caregiver or nursing home was negligent.
In Missouri, you must establish six elements:
- The nursing home or caregiver had a duty to provide your loved one with care. The law expects nursing homes, doctors, nurses, and caregivers to have a higher standard of duty of care than the average person because of their training.
- The nursing home or caregiver breached their duty; not turning a bedridden patient enough to prevent bedsores breaches that duty.
- The caregiver or nursing home should have known that not turning a bedridden patient would cause the patient to develop bedsores.
- The inactions of the caregiver and/or nursing home caused your loved one’s injuries.
- The injury is the bedsore.
- Damages include medical expenses, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.
As your St. Louis bedsore lawyer investigates the case, they will gather evidence that completes the elements of negligence for the bedsore wound.
St. Louis Bedsore Attorney FAQs
+ Are bedsores and pressure sores the same thing?
Yes. Bedsores are another name for pressure sores. These injuries are often called bedsores because the patients who suffer from them are bedridden.
+ What areas are more likely to develop pressure sores?
Depending on the patient, several areas are likely to develop bedsores, including the buttocks, back, heels, ankles, hips, shoulder blades, and elbows.
+ What do I do if I notice a bedsore on my loved one?
Immediately alert your loved one's caregiver. If the caregiver seems to push it off, insist they immediately treat it or the bedsore will grow very quickly.
You will have to stay on top of the staff. If, within an hour, the caregiver does not start treatment, notify the nursing home administrators and your loved one’s doctors. If you believe the bedsore developed because the caregivers and/or staff are neglecting your loved one, contact a St. Louis nursing home lawyer and file a complaint with the state board for nursing homes. The state board will send investigators to the nursing home.
If the nursing home board finds that the home was negligent or otherwise broke the rules, the board may fine the home. Ask for a copy of the state’s report as that could help you should you file a lawsuit.
+ Who do I sue for bedsores caused by negligence?
Your St. Louis bedsore attorney will investigate the case and determine who is responsible for your loved one’s bedsores. One person could be liable, or the entire facility could be liable. The caregiver or nurse who has direct contact with your loved one is often a target. However, it is also common to sue the facility, as it sets guidelines for patient care and its administrators oversee the employees and patients.
Sometimes, the facility is negligent because it did not provide proper training, hired unqualified staff, or neglected to supervise staff.
+ How long do I have to file a medical malpractice lawsuit?
In most cases, you have two years to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, never wait that long to contact a St. Louis bedsore lawyer. To prove negligence, you need to gather evidence. Memories and evidence tend to disappear within months of the incident.
Additionally, the nursing home’s insurance company could argue that the injuries to your loved one were not as bad as you purport because you waited so long.
+ Why did the nursing home neglect my loved one?
Loved ones in nursing homes may suffer neglect for many reasons, and none of them are justifiable excuses. A nursing home might be short-staffed because it is difficult to find people to work in a nursing home. It is often difficult to retain nursing home staff. And in some cases, illness causes staffing shortages.
The caregivers might not care, making it easier to forget to do something, such as turning a patient every two hours. Or, they may ignore patients calling for help. Training is another problem. Some nursing homes might rush caregivers through training to alleviate a staffing problem. However, they only create another problem by hiring staff with inadequate training.
Too often, we’ve found that nursing homes have the revenue to invest in sufficient staff—but their owners soak up those profits to buy expensive sports cars and mansions instead of providing your loved one with the good, competent care they paid for.
+ Who pays if I have to move my loved one due to the lack of care?
In many cases, you can recover compensation for the expense of moving your loved one to another nursing home or to a facility that offers better care, such as a facility with 24-hour doctors.
Call Bruning Law Firm Today
The team at Bruning Law Firm is standing by to help if your loved one has developed bedsores due to nursing home negligence. It's hard enough to decide to place a loved one in a care facility and the outrage and sadness you may feel in the wake of discovering negligence is completely valid.