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What You Need to Know About Bedsore Settlements in New York

New York’s Top Bedsore Attorneys Fighting for Victims of Nursing Home AbuseBedsores that develop at hospitals or nursing home facilities can become extremely painful and deadly if not handled with appropriate medical care. While bedsores are almost always preventable with proper medical treatment, sadly, many hospitals and nursing homes throughout New York neglect to provide the attention and care that residents and their family members depend on. Consequently, residents suffer unnecessarily from these painful wounds that can have destructive effects on their health. 

Dalli & Marino, LLP is New York’s premier elder abuse and personal

injury law firm committed to maximizing compensation in cases involving bedsores due to nursing home negligence and abuse. Our experienced New York bedsore lawyers have recovered millions of dollars for our clients in these cases in the five boroughs (Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Staten Island), Long Island, and Westchester and Rockland Counties since 1996. If you or someone you love has suffered bedsore injuries in a New York nursing home or assisted living facility, contact Dalli & Marino’s experienced elder abuse attorneys for effective legal support to hold negligent facilities responsible. 

What Are Bedsores?

Bedsores are also called pressure ulcers, pressure sores, or decubitus ulcers. The American Academy of Family Physicians defines bedsores are wounds caused by extended pressure to parts of the body where a bone sticks out under the skin, like the back, tailbone, hips, buttocks, and heels. 

Lying or sitting in one position for several hours, like in a wheelchair or bed, puts pressure on specific body areas and decreases the blood flow to the skin and underlying tissues. When you don’t move enough, the blood supply gets too low and eventually causes a sore to develop. If left untreated, bedsores can deteriorate to a deep wound affecting the tissue, muscle, and bone.

Nursing home residents at high risk for developing bedsores include:

  • Dehydrated or malnourished residents
  • Individuals with mobility difficulties
  • Residents on antipsychotic medications 
  • Residents restricted to their chair or bed for long periods 
  • Residents with urinary or fecal incontinence

If any of these situations apply to you or a loved one who lives in a New York nursing home or assisted living facility, it is vital to be vigilant for any signs of neglect that may lead to bedsores developing. 

How Common Are Bed Sore Injuries in Nursing Homes and Hospitals?

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that about two percent to 28 percent of nursing home residents experience pressure sores. Each year, an estimated 2.5 million people suffer from bedsore injuries, often occurring when a nursing home resident stays in one position for an extended time. If untreated, these injuries can become infected and create serious complications. According to one report, the National Pressure Injury Advisory Panel estimates that the development of bedsores claims more than 60,000 lives each year. 

Bedsores are the most preventable injury among the elderly. Their presence on a nursing home resident is a leading indicator of elder abuse, often caused by understaffing at these nursing facilities. Inadequate staffing means not enough trained personnel are available to take proper care of all residents. 

Stages of Bedsores

If you’re suffering from bedsores, it’s essential to consider the “stage” of your illness so that you can get the proper and necessary treatment. If found early, bedsores can heal in just a few days. However, bedsores that are left untreated can become open wounds and, in later stages, cause substantial tissue damage that may erode down to the bone. 

Medical professionals typically sort bedsores into four different stages:

  • Stage one: This is the mildest stage. You may notice that your skin is becoming red and itchy, and it may feel warm and spongy to the touch. It’s crucial at this point to stop the pressure from building up by changing positions or using foam pads, pillows, or mattresses. Wash the sore with mild soap and water and dry it gently.
  • Stage two: Once the bedsore reaches this stage, you may notice some loss of skin and open wounds filled with pus. Patients in stage two are likely to feel pain and discomfort. It would be beneficial to clean the wound with water and cover it with a see-through dressing. Recovery time can range from three days to three weeks.
  • Stage three: At this point, the bedsore will start to affect your second layer of skin, fat tissue, and muscles. The wound is now deepening, and you may show signs of an infection. At this point, a doctor will remove any dead tissue and prescribe antibiotics. Recovery time typically lasts between one and four months.
  • Stage four: This is the most severe stage, and the healing process could take up to a year. Your sore is deep and big, and the skin has turned black. There’s likely an infection, and you may be able to see tendons, muscles, and bone. At this point, surgery is likely required.

Bedsores can be extremely painful, which is why it’s so important to catch them in the early stages. If you think you or a loved one may be developing bedsores, seek medical attention immediately. 

Tips for Preventing Bedsores

Bedsores are an indicator of neglect and abuse and, more often than not, aren’t detected until it’s too late. In the future, there are many steps your loved one can take to help reduce the chances of getting bedsores. Here are a few:

  • Change positions often: Patients who lay in bed for an exceptionally long time without moving have a greater chance of getting bedsores. As a rule of thumb, patients should try to change positions every two hours. They should avoid laying directly on their hip bones and raising their head more than 30 degrees. Instead, it’s encouraged to lay at a 30-degree angle to ease pressure on the hips and reduce the risk of friction injuries.
  • Exercise daily: Exercising doesn’t necessarily constitute running a marathon. Staying active may just be a matter of taking a slow walk, stretching, or walking around your room. Moving your body will not only diminish your chances of getting bedsores, but will also increase your blood flow, encourage an optimistic mood, and improve your overall mental health.
  • Stay healthy: It’s essential to pay close attention to your diet, as malnutrition is one of the leading causes of bedsores and other illnesses. Having enough vitamins, minerals, fat, protein, and calories is necessary for good physical and mental health.
  • Examine your skin consistently: It’s essential to check your skin regularly, despite any other preventative steps you may be taking. Make sure your skin is clean, dry, and devoid of infections, smells, tenderness, or any other form of damage.

In cases where nursing staff neglect residents with mobility issues, bedsores can develop and proliferate at an alarming rate. Suppose nursing home staff ignore the first signs of a bedsore and conceal it from the victim’s family. In that case, a minor rash can quickly worsen and become an open wound extending to the muscle and bone with potentially fatal results if left untreated. If you or a loved one notices anything out of the ordinary, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Legal Obligations of New York Nursing Homes to Provide Quality Care

Nursing home staff and doctors have a legal responsibility to prevent bedsores from developing as they are much easier to prevent than to treat. Both federal and New York State laws, 42 CFR § 483.25 (b)(1) and 10 NYCRR § 415.12(c), require nursing home facilities to implement quality measures and protocols to prevent pressure ulcers from developing unless they are clinically unavoidable. 

Additionally, if a resident enters a nursing home facility with pressure sores, the facility must provide necessary treatment and services to promote healing and prevent new sores or infections from developing. 

What Legal Recourse Do Nursing Home Bedsore Victims Have in New York?

When nursing or assisted living facilities are responsible for new or worsening existing pressure ulcers, a bedsore injury lawsuit may be necessary to recover compensation for the damage. Residents can take legal action and seek compensation for their injuries if they have been denied any benefit or right established for their protection by contract with the facility, federal, or State laws or regulations. 

The elder abuse lawyers at Dalli & Marino advocate for clients throughout New York, helping them recover maximum compensation after sustaining bedsores caused by neglect. Damages from a nursing home abuse or neglect case are in two categories: compensatory damages and punitive damages. 

While punitive damages are awarded only in cases that involve outrageous conduct, compensatory damages include repayment for: 

  • Nursing home negligence
  • Pain and suffering
  • Medical costs
  • Physical abuse
  • Disfigurement
  • Dehydration and malnutrition

The severity of bedsore injuries is one of the most significant determining factors at which a lawsuit will progress. Dalli & Marino’s attorneys are prepared to assess your situation and explain your legal options. If you or a loved one have suffered due to a nursing facility’s abusive or negligent acts, you can rest assured our attorneys will fight for maximum damages and hold the facility accountable. 

Get Help from Experienced Bedsore Lawyers 

If your loved one has suffered from bedsores in a nursing or assisted living facility, they may be entitled to compensation for their pain and suffering. Dalli & Marino’s team focuses on helping hundreds of families confront the failure of nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and hospitals to provide their patients with exemplary care consistent with New York State and Federal regulations. We also have many decades of experience in supporting the process of evidence gathering for bedsore-related cases, with a clear understanding of the rules as well as the possible role of electronic medical records/electronic health records (EMR/EHR) and expert witnesses.

Our firm has handled hundreds of cases involving elderly residents of nursing homes who suffer injuries such as bedsores, falls, dehydration, medication errors, and sexual abuse. As a result, we have gained expertise navigating these highly sensitive matters, resulting in numerous successful verdicts and settlements.

New York Nursing Home Bedsore Settlements & Verdicts

For example, Dalli & Marino—specifically partner John Dalli—obtained a large jury verdict against a nursing home that failed to properly treat a resident’s bedsores over the course of several months. During the trial, we proved that the nursing home falsified medical records, and the client was awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Do not let your loved one suffer bedsores without receiving compensation for their pain and suffering. Even if your loved one has passed away, a lawsuit can be brought on behalf of the estate to recover for the suffering that bedsores caused.

Contact Dalli & Marino’s Experienced New York Bedsore Lawyers Today

If you or a loved one has been the victim of elder abuse, either through neglect in a nursing home or another type of negligent care, please do not hesitate to contact the law firm of Dalli & Marino, LLP. Our attorneys have vast experience settling cases involving bedsores in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and hospitals throughout New York. We are committed to helping our clients recover just compensation that they deserve.

Whenever you call Dalli & Marino, you’ll speak with an experienced legal professional about your case. Our attorneys have frequently recovered over a million dollars for our clients who have suffered due to a nursing home facility’s neglectful acts. Our team of highly skilled trial attorneys approaches each case individually to find an effective resolution that meets your best interests. 

To discuss your bedsore injury with a seasoned elder abuse attorney, schedule a free case evaluation today by calling 888-465-8790 or completing our contact form.

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