Chicago Bedsore Lawyer
The development of bedsores in vulnerable populations is a prevalent concern in Chicago nursing homes and hospitals. Victims who develop bedsores may suffer permanent damage to their health. Untreated bedsores can be deadly. If you or your loved one developed bedsores in a Chicago nursing home, you may be entitled to compensation to pay for your medical bills and pain and suffering. Let a bedsore lawyer at Ankin Law help you file a lawsuit for nursing home neglect.
Contact our Chicago bedsore lawyers att (312) 600-0000 to get started with your recovery.
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Pressure Sores Are a Sign of Nursing Home Abuse. Our Bedsore Lawyers Can Help
Bedsores are often a sign that a patient or resident is experiencing nursing home neglect. Also known as pressure sores, or pressure ulcers, bedsores can cause victims to develop adverse health conditions. When bedsores go untreated, the condition can result in death.
What Causes Bedsores in Patients?
Bed sores are primarily caused by limited movement. When pressure against the skin persists and cuts off blood flow for a duration of time, the area becomes damaged. Bedsores can also be caused by friction, when the skin rubs against clothing or other items repeatedly, or shearing, which occurs when two surfaces move in opposite directions.
Who Is at-Risk for Developing Bedsores?
Hospital patients and nursing home residents are at-risk for developing bedsores when they suffer from limited mobility, incontinence, poor sensory perception, and lack of proper nutrition and hydration. People who are diagnosed with medical conditions that restrict blood flow, like vascular disease and diabetes, are also at a greater risk for developing bedsores.
Untreated Bedsore Injuries Can Be Fatal
Pressure sores can cause patients to develop medical conditions that have the potential to be life-threatening. Bedsores can develop into cellulitis, which is an infection that affects the skin and soft tissues. Cellulitis in bedsore patients can go undetected at first, as patients may have nerve damage and not feel the pain from the infection.
Infections from bedsores can also impact the bones and joints, causing damage to cartilage and reducing functionality. In the long-term, bedsores that do not heal, known as Marjolin’s ulcers, can progress into squamous cell carcinoma. Patients with untreated bedsores are also at-risk for sepsis.
How Much Is a Bedsore Lawsuit Worth?
A bed sore lawsuit helps to hold negligent medical providers accountable and prevents future acts of malpractice or negligence against patients and residents. The amount of damages a bedsore claimant can get through a medical negligence lawsuit depends on the nature of the case. Factors that influence the amount a bedsore lawsuit is worth include:
- The cost of medical treatment for the bedsores
- The severity of the patient’s condition and any additional conditions he or she developed from the bedsores
- Physical pain and suffering
- The need for future rehabilitative and disability care
- Whether there is lasting damage done to the patient’s health
The average payout for a bedsore lawsuit varies significantly depending on the severity of the patient’s injuries. A bedsore lawyer can help determine the value of your claim and increase the odds of a favorable outcome.
Victims should consult with a hearing loss lawyer to understand the compensation available in a particular case. He or she can provide advice and guide claimants through the process to seek fair and appropriate compensation for their hearing loss.
Are Bedsores Medical Negligence?
Bedsores can be a sign of substandard medical care in nursing homes and hospitals. When patients or nursing home residents are bedridden, unconscious, or immobile, they become at risk for developing pressure sores. Individuals with poor nutrition, diabetes, and circulation problems are also at risk.
When these medical or nursing home patients are not attended to properly by medical staff, their risk level increases. When bedsores develop, it may be because caregivers fail to reposition and rotate patients, or provide proper skin care. This absence of proper treatment for bedsores can qualify as medical neglect.
Developed bed sores most commonly appear on the tailbone, hips, buttocks, heels, shoulder blades, the backs and sides of the knees, and the back of the head. As bedsores progress, they enter into new stages, each with an identifiable set of symptoms seen in patients.
At the initial stage of development, the affected area may appear red on light skin and blue or purple on dark skin. The area may itch, burn, or hurt and feel warm to the touch.
As the damage progresses, the area impacted by the bedsore may start to blister or open up. The skin around the wound will be discolored and significantly more painful.
At this stage, the damage to the skin will begin to reach deeper levels. The wound that forms at the area will have a crater-like appearance.
At the fourth stage of development, the wound will become large, and the skin is severely damaged. The area may become infected, and underlying tissue, muscles, tendons, bones, and joints can be impacted by the sore, causing significant pain.
What Are the Four Ds in Medical Negligence Lawsuits?
For medical negligence claims to be successful, claimants and their attorneys must prove four essential elements. These elements are known as the four Ds of medical malpractice. The four Ds of medical negligence are duty, deviation from the standard of care, damages, and direct cause.
The Healthcare Provider Owed a Duty of Care
Every healthcare provider owes a standard duty of care to his or her patients. For this duty to be established, a patient-provider relationship must exist. When a healthcare professional provides medical treatment, this relationship is established and the duty of care applies.
The Healthcare Provider Deviated from the Duty of Care
The expected standard of care established by the patient-provider relationship is equivalent to the care that an equally qualified provider would reasonably give. When a caregiver fails to provide care that meets this established standard, it is considered a deviation from the duty of care.
The Patient Suffered Damages
When a healthcare provider deviates from the expected standard of care, patients can sustain additional illness and injury. The impact of these injuries can cause a patient to suffer damages, such as additional medical costs, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, lost wages and lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, and costs for long term care.
The Healthcare Provider's Negligence Was the Direct Cause of the Damages
To prove a successful claim, a patient must show that the damages he or she suffered were caused by the caregiver’s deviation from the standard of care. While proving causation can be simple in some cases, it can quickly become one of the more complicated parts of a bedsore lawsuit.
The most difficult part to prove is that the provider knowingly deviated from the standard of care, rather than making an unavoidable medical mistake. A nursing home negligence lawyer can help victims prove bedsores are a result of a caregiver’s neglect.
Frequently Asked Questions About Medical Negligence Claims
What is the most difficult element of medical negligence to prove?
The most difficult element to prove in a medical negligence claim is direct cause. Medical negligence and malpractice happen when the treatment provided falls below the standard of care. Proving that the treatment was below an accepted standard of medical care is straightforward. However, the burden of proving that this treatment was the direct cause of the patient’s injuries falls to the claimant.
Can you sue a hospital over bedsores?
Bedsores can be a sign of negligence in hospitals and nursing home facilities. Patients can sue when medical caregivers fail to provide the appropriate level of care, and it results in the development of bedsores.
What is classed as neglect in a nursing home?
When a nursing home resident is not having his or her basic needs met by caregiving staff, this qualifies as neglect. Specific examples of actions that reflect patient neglect are failure to provide medical treatment, leaving patients in the same position for extended periods of time, not monitoring fall risks, leaving patients unbathed, and failing to provide proper nutrition or meet dietary needs.
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