Also called pressure sores, bedsores are the result of prolonged pressure on a particular body part. The pressure from being in the same position for a long time cuts off the blood flow to that region, resulting in an irritation, then a blister, and then a crater. The most serious bedsores are Stage 4 bedsores, which damage the muscle and bone beneath. They only occur after there has been a crater in the skin for a long period. Often, when they are neglected and not moved as much as they should be, elderly residents of nursing homes in Michigan suffer from bedsores. If you or a loved one finds yourself in this difficult situation, you should consult the experienced Detroit, Traverse City, and Grand Rapids nursing home negligence attorneys at Neumann Law Group. We work hard to help victims seek the compensation that they deserve. Each year for the past several years, our principal, Kelly Neumann, has regularly secured more than $3 million in personal injury cases.Pursuing Damages for Injuries Caused by Bedsores
Stage 4 bedsores are very often the result of prolonged neglect by a caregiver. If there is an infection, it can be life threatening, and if it penetrates the bone, it may cause osteomyelitis or sepsis. Skin grafts may be necessary, but even if this treatment is provided, the infection may recur later. As a family member of a nursing home resident who experiences a Stage 4 bedsore, you should seriously consider the possibility that the nursing home has been negligent or even abusive.
Both federal and state laws prohibit nursing home neglect, abuse, and exploitation. Most often, bedsores are the result of neglect or abuse, rather than exploitation. Neglect happens when an elderly person does not receive necessary care, while abuse occurs when an elderly person's wellbeing is endangered. In addition to complying with their obligations of care, nursing homes are also required to abide by the terms of the contract signed when an elderly person enters the facility.
Often, cases involving bedsores are also medical malpractice cases. Medical professionals, including nurses, are required to follow the accepted standard of care. Failing to move a patient is likely to be considered a breach of the accepted standard of care for medical professionals. You will need to establish the defendant's duty of care, a breach of duty, an actual and legal cause, and damages. An act or omission is considered an actual cause of an injury like a bedsore if the bedsore would not have occurred but for the act or omission.
In medical malpractice cases, an attorney will need to file an affidavit of merit by an expert along with the complaint. The affidavit must certify that a health care professional reviewed the medical records and the notice provided by the attorney. The affidavit must also state the applicable standard of care, the opinion that the standard of care was breached by the defendant, the actions that the defendant should have taken to comply with the standard of care, and the way in which the breach of care was the legal cause of the injury set forth in the notice. For example, if the breach of care was failing to move a nursing home resident on a regular basis, the affidavit must specify that this failure was the legal cause of the patient's bedsores and related complications.Enlist a Nursing Home Negligence Attorney in Traverse City, Grand Rapids, or Detroit
When you place a loved one in a nursing home, you expect that he or she will receive at least the same level of care that you would have provided at home. But nursing home neglect and abuse are sadly prevalent in Michigan and elsewhere. If you or a loved one suffers from bedsores in a licensed care facility, you should consider consulting the Detroit, Grand Rapids, and Traverse City lawyers at Neumann Law Group. We can assist people in Petoskey, Warren, Holland, Midland, Muskegon, Saginaw, Wyoming, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Flint, Ann Arbor, and communities throughout the Upper Peninsula, as well as in Massachusetts and California. Contact us at 800-525-NEUMANN or via our online form to set up a free consultation with a nursing home negligence or medical malpractice attorney.