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Can I Sue A Hospital For Bedsores In Miami?

What happens if you or someone you know develops bedsores (also known as pressure ulcers) at a hospital or medical facility in Miami?

You can sue the medical facility, care providers, and other liable parties for compensation and damages in a bedsore lawsuit.

When you discover a case of medical neglect so severe that it’s causing harm, then it’s time to take action. You need to find an attorney who can help you gather evidence and organize your case. Taking legal action is the best way to ensure you or your relative gets the proper care and reduces the chance of neglect happening to someone else.

You’d be surprised to find out just how common medical neglect is. The unfortunate reality is that older people or others who are bedridden often get overlooked.

Life gets busy, and suddenly months go by since we last checked in. While you’re taking care of things at work, home, and managing other obligations, it’s right to assume your loved one in a medical facility like a nursing home is well taken care of, right?

That’s what you’d think, but things get missed and mistakes happen that result in bodily harm to patients all of the time. Even worse, sometimes medical caregivers act with malicious intent. Either they have something against the patient, or they let the stress of the job and other frustrations overcome them.

When the stress outlet is a patient that gets neglected, bedsores and other horrible injuries happen.

If you develop bedsores while under the care of a medical professional or you notice bedsores on someone you love in a hospital, nursing home, or some other facility, you may have a case for compensation.

Here is some information on bedsores and how a lawyer can help you get the justice you deserve.

What Are Bedsores?

When someone is on a bed for any period of time of time, they can develop what is called bedsores. Bedsores are also referred to as pressure ulcers because it’s a sore that develops from constant pressure on one area of the skin.

Over time, the pressure causes blood to gather, resulting in bruises and even open sores on the skin. Usually, it happens on weight-bearing parts of the body like the back, under the arms, and legs.

Bedsores are why moving patients and staying clean are so important in a hospital, assisted living, or nursing home environment. Patients who are too weak to move need help adjusting to prevent bedsores.

When someone is confined to their bed, they have to rely on other people to move them and relieve pressure on their skin. This attention to moving patients is one of the many reasons why around-the-clock medical care can be so expensive. When we are laying in bed we normally move around and take pressure off of areas; when bedridden in a medical facility, it is part of the job of the staff to make sure that patients are not developing bedsores.

While you’re paying all that money in medical costs for a relative, for example, you expect that people caring for them are moving them and keeping their skin clean when they can’t do it for themselves. For patients in any extended periods in bed, their skin integrity should be regularly monitored and documented.

Spotting Signs of Neglect in a Medical Facility for a Bedsore Lawsuit

How can you tell if your loved one is a victim of neglect and if bedsores started to grow because they weren’t getting proper care?

Knowing some of the signs of neglect and watching for them vigilantly should be a priority for anyone paying for or receiving consistent medical care.

You need to know what’s normal and what’s out of bounds. Too many medical patients shrug off bedsores and sometimes worse injuries because they figure it’s part of being bedridden.

That’s a massive mistake. Your, or your loved one’s, injuries could be the result of neglect.

Here are some of the signs of medical neglect to look for in a medical setting:

Unsanitary Conditions

Are the sheets dirty? Is the person you’re visiting in the same clothes every time and do they look dirty? Does their hair look oily or their skin look dry? Unsanitary conditions in the facility are a major red flag.

Check to make sure the room, bathroom, and linens are clean. Notice how often your loved one is showering and, if possible, ask them about the treatment they are getting.

Bedsores can develop more quickly in unsanitary conditions and can worsen because there is a higher risk of infection.

Unexpected Weight Loss

If your loved one loses a lot of weight suddenly, it could be because of neglect. Sometimes patients or residents in a nursing home feel they have limited ability to air complaints.

Who is going to listen to them, and what will they do about it? As a result, they may stop eating or refuse to drink.

In what seems like a blink of an eye, they drop a lot of weight, leaving their immune system weaker and at risk of bedsores and infection.

Additionally, weight loss is a sign that a patient isn’t getting proper care. Perhaps their attendees aren’t giving them as much time as they need or paying attention to details to ensure they get enough to eat.  Patients who are dehydrated or malnourished have a much greater chance of developing pressure ulcers.

Lack of attention could mean they are not being moved or washed per protocol. When that type of neglect happens, bedsores could be an issue.

Poor Communication from the Facility

If you’re having a hard time getting a straight answer around care from your hospital or nursing home, it is cause for concern.

A hospital or medical care manager that doesn’t give you the time of day probably isn’t providing the level of care you expect for yourself, a friend, or a family member.

Watch how quickly the facility responds to requests or inquiries. If you notice any bedsores, ask them to explain what’s happened and take note of their response.

How they act will be a major clue around whether you have a bedsore lawsuit.

Building a Bedsore Lawsuit Case – What You Need to Know

When a hospital or any other medical facility fails to give the right amount of movement, cleaning, hydration, or nutrition to patients, they breach their duty of care.

Don’t get caught up in the question of whether the neglect or lack of care was intentional. The intentions matter little when you or a loved one is suffering from the consequences of bedsores or other medical complications.

This should never happen in a hospital, no matter how busy they are or how complicated the patient’s conditions are. When bedsores develop, the facility should be held accountable for neglect and the breach of their duty of care.

Suing for Compensation in a Bedsore Lawsuit

First, look for a lawyer who specializes in medical negligence and malpractice cases.

They should have a good track record of success representing medical neglect clients and instill confidence from the get-go the first time that you talk to them.

An experienced lawyer will know how to build your bedsore lawsuit and negotiate with insurance companies, hospitals, and any other parties involved. They will do this by:

Gathering evidence through discovery and an investigation

A seasoned attorney knows what questions to ask and where to look. They will interview witnesses, examine medical records, and call upon medical experts to give informed opinions that will be reviewed in court.

Projecting Damages in a Bedsore Lawsuit Case

The bedsore is bad enough, but you or your loved one may develop further injuries from malnutrition, poor sanitation, or lack of movement. Your lawyer will know how to assess the extent of your injuries and what type of long-term care will likely be necessary for treatment down the road.

Estimating Damages & Other Costs

A successful bedsore lawsuit will cover any rehabilitation costs, expenses incurred as a result of injuries, and cover things like pain and suffering. Your case may also be eligible for punitive damages to discourage repeat offenses.

Estimating your damages is critical. This will play a major part in what will likely be intense negotiations between the victim and the liable parties.

Don’t Wait – Get the Legal Help You Deserve

Don’t let anyone tell you that bedsores are normal and that it’s no big deal.

These injuries and conditions can turn into something worse and seriously affect the quality of life of patients and their loved ones.

The sooner you find a lawyer to represent you, the faster you can start working to hold the medical care provider responsible and ensure better care for your loved one. They’ll have the resources required to make things happen quickly.

The team at Leighton Law has decades of experience representing clients in medical neglect cases. We can help you know whether you have a bedsore lawsuit case and what your next steps should be.

Talk to us today and schedule a no-obligation consultation to hear how we can help. Take action and make sure you or someone you love gets the care they deserve.

 

Article by:

John Leighton

A nationally-recognized trial lawyer who handles catastrophic injury and death cases. He manages Leighton Law, P.A. trial lawyers, with offices in Miami and Orlando, Florida. He is President of The National Crime Victim Bar Association, author of the 2-volume textbook,Litigating Premises Security Cases, and past Chairman of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America’s Motor Vehicle, Highway & Premises Liability Section. Having won some of the largest verdicts in Florida history, Mr. Leighton is listed inThe Best Lawyers in America (14 years), “Top Lawyers” in the South Florida Legal Guide (15 years), Top 100 Florida SuperLawyer™ and Florida SuperLawyers (14 years), “Orlando Legal Elite” by Orlando Style magazine, and FloridaTrend magazine “Florida Legal Elite

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