Can You Sue a Nursing Home for Bed Sores or Neglect?
While it is possible to sue a nursing home for bed sores or neglect, doing so typically requires the assistance of an experienced elder abuse attorney, preferably one familiar with nursing home neglect and medical malpractice cases.
What is Nursing Home Neglect?
Nursing home neglect occurs when residents in nursing homes do not get proper care and suffer physical or mental health problems as a result. According to the CDC, elder neglect is the failure to meet an older adult’s basic needs. These needs include food, water, shelter, clothing, hygiene, and essential medical care.
Bedsores are only one of the many common signs of neglect in nursing homes. Other signs of neglect in nursing homes include:
- Broken bones;
- Inappropriate use of physical restraints;
- Drug overdose or injury from incorrect medication or dosage;
- New or untreated medical conditions;
- Personal hygiene issues;
- Significant personality changes;
- Rapid weight loss or gain;
- Exposure from wandering off-grounds due to lack of supervision; and
- Other unexplained injuries.
What are Bedsores?
Bedsores, or pressure ulcers, are preventable injuries to the skin and underlying tissue resulting from prolonged pressure on the skin. Bedsores most often develop on the skin covering bony body areas, such as the heels, ankles, hips, and tailbone.
Bedsores occur when a sedentary patient is kept in the same position without being moved or turned for an extended period of time. When left untreated, minor bedsores can quickly progress into larger and deeper ones and become infected.
Signs and symptoms of bedsores are as follows:
- Redness in the affected area;
- Skin that is tender or hot to the touch;
- A visible, open sore; and
- Swelling of the skin.
When are Nursing Homes Liable for Neglect?
Nursing homes are liable for neglect when they fail to meet specific standards accidentally or on purpose. Some actions that can make a nursing home liable for patient mistreatment include the following:
- Poor or negligent hiring practices;
- Lack of safety procedures and policies;
- Inadequate staff training;
- Lack of resident and staff supervision;
- Improper security measures;
- Providing insufficient medical care to patients;
- Failing to discipline staff who violate policies; and
- Lack of proper facility maintenance.
Steps to Take if You Suspect Nursing Home Neglect
If you suspect that your family member is being neglected or abused, there are steps you can take to ensure that appropriate care is being provided.
These steps are as follows:
- Raise these issues to the nursing home’s management;
- If you are unsatisfied with the management’s response, or if you do not see improvement by the next visit, you can contact the National Adult Protective Services Association to file a report. This is the time to contact a nursing home abuse lawyer; or
- You could call the National Center on Elder Abuse at (855) 500-3537 for additional guidance; and
- If you believe that your loved one, or any nursing home resident, is experiencing a serious and immediate threat of harm, do not hesitate to call 911 or your local emergency number for immediate assistance.
Contact an Experienced Phoenix Nursing Home Neglect Attorney Today
The nursing home abuse attorneys in Phoenix at Knapp & Roberts know how devastating nursing home neglect is to families and their loved ones. If you think a nursing home is neglecting your family member, contact our office today.
At Knapp & Roberts, we know the arguments nursing homes use to avoid liability. We will fight aggressively to defend your loved one’s rights and pursue your claim for fair and just compensation.
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The personal injury attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona at Knapp & Roberts have the compassion and trial lawyer skills to tell your story to a jury. We will get to know you and your family so that we can help the jury understand what has happened to you and your family and how it has changed your lives. Obtain the compensation necessary for the injuries and losses you have suffered.