Can You Sue a Nursing Home for Bed Sores?

Bedsores are not uncommon amongst the elderly populations. However, those who care for any persons susceptible to bedsores must do everything in their power to prevent this type of injury from occurring. Contrary to popular belief, bedsores are not an inevitability inside of a nursing home. Here, we want to discuss what bedsores are as well as whether or not you may be able to file a lawsuit if you discover that your loved one has developed bedsores. Proving liability in these cases can be challenging, but we understand that it is crucial for nursing home staff members and facilities to be held accountable for their actions.

Understanding What Bedsores Are

Bedsores are also referred to as pressure ulcers. These injuries arise when the outer layers of the skin and the underlying tissue are damaged because of long-term pressure against that area of a person’s body. Bedsores are more likely to occur on areas of the body where there is a lesser amount of tissue between the skin and the bones, particularly around the shoulders, hips, heels, and tailbone area.

Bedsores are classified by stages that vary based on severity, with stage one bedsores being the least superficial to stage four bedsores being the complete degradation of the outer layer of skin and the surrounding tissue underneath.

There are various causes of bedsores, and residents inside nursing homes are usually at higher risk of sustaining these injuries than others. Some factors that increase the likelihood of nursing home residents developing bedsores include the following:

  • A lack of proper hygiene
  • Poor circulation
  • Nursing home staff failure to reposition a resident
  • Improper handling of a nursing home resident, leading to shearing or friction on the skin
  • Moisture buildup, commonly caused by bodily secretions that are not cleaned
  • Poor nutrition
  • Immobility of a resident because of a lack of exercise

Can a Nursing Home Be Held Accountable for Bedsores?

It is certainly possible to hold nursing homes accountable if their negligence is the reason that bedsores have developed. The success of any lawsuit in these cases will depend on a variety of factors, including the care that a resident received as well as contributing factors to the bedsores. Some of the factors that contribute to recovering compensation in these cases will depend on establishing the four elements of negligence. This includes:

  • Showing that there was a duty of care between the resident and the nursing home
  • Proving that the nursing home and staff members breached their duty of care to the resident
  • Showing that the breach of duty directly caused the bedsores to occur
  • Showing that the resident suffered compensable damages

If you have discovered that your family member has bedsores in a nursing home, and if you believe that the negligence of the nursing home staff contributed to these injuries, it is important to work with a skilled attorney who could help you through this process. At Callahan & Blaine, our nursing home abuse attorneys in Irvine have the resources and experience necessary to conduct a complete investigation into the incident and determine whether or not the bedsores developed due to the negligence of the nursing home staff. You can contact us for a free consultation by calling (714) 241-4444.