Where can I Learn More About the Laws Applicable to People who Develop Bed Sores in Nursing Homes or Hospitals?

A bed sore happens when an area of the skin receives too much pressure for too long. Prolonged pressure or excessive friction on a bone protrusion, such as the heels of the feet or the hips, can eventually cause an ulcer, or skin lesion.

Bed sores arise because of loss of blood supply to the skin tissues. Bed sores are typically preventable if caregivers and nurses turn the patient periodically to avoid prolonged pressure. Nursing home negligence, elder abuse, and medical malpractice may contribute to the development of bed sores.

The Legal Side of Bed Sores

A bed sore could lead to a personal injury, medical malpractice, or wrongful death claim in certain situations. Since most bed sores are preventable, it means someone was most likely negligent in preventing them in hospital patients or nursing home residents. In all states, victims of personal injuries such as bed sores have the right to file claims against negligent parties that caused their injuries. Claims can reimburse a victim for damages such as:

  • Past and future medical bills
  • Disability or loss of limb costs
  • Lost wages and earning capacity
  • Physical pain and emotional suffering
  • Funeral or burial expenses in a wrongful death case
  • Lost quality of life
  • Lost enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium

If an individual with a bed sore can prove that someone else owed him or her a duty of care, breached this duty, and caused the sore, the individual will have the elements of a lawsuit. The lawsuit could take the form of a medical malpractice claim if the at-fault party is a hospital or healthcare practitioner, and if that person failed to fulfill his or her professional duties to the victim. Otherwise, the victim may have a standard personal injury claim against a negligent nursing home or caregiver.

Where to Find Information About Applicable Laws

One of the first steps a victim with a bed sore may take toward financial recovery is researching his or her situation. The internet can provide a wealth of accurate information, if the victim knows where to look. State and federal laws can apply to a nursing home neglect or medical malpractice claim. Learn more about the laws your bed sore case could involve using these three trustworthy sources:

  1. National Center on Elder Abuse. This federal agency website has a map with state resources on elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation. If you believe a loved one developed bed sores because of elder abuse or neglect, this website can connect you to resources, hotlines, and state government agencies that can help. You can report suspected elder abuse to local authorities, start an investigation, and protect your loved one’s rights.
  2. NOLO. The NOLO legal encyclopedia has several in-depth articles on nursing home abuse, medical malpractice, and laws relating to bed sore injuries in different states. Searching for bed sore topics on the NOLO homepage could result in many articles with helpful and reliable legal information. Keep in mind, however, that the information you find on NOLO will not constitute legal advice.
  3. Nursing Home Law Center LLC, LLC. Our attorneys have experience handling nursing home abuse and neglect cases, and medical malpractice lawsuits. If you wish to learn more about the laws relating to bed sore cases, request information via live chat, online evaluation request, or call (888) 424-5757. We can directly answer any questions you have for free, with no obligation to hire our firm for representation. Consultations with our attorneys are always confidential.

People who develop bed sores in nursing homes or hospitals could be eligible for financial compensation for their damages. Learn more about bed sores, elderly rights, and available legal processes with help from the right sources.


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