You’d be surprised how many times we hear the following from clients…”the nursing home said our dad’s skin condition was broken down and poor health led to bedsores”, or some similar version of this. These comments inappropriately lead people to believe they or there loved ones do not have legal rights when it comes to bedsores or pressure sores (decubitus ulcers). Of course they are not the fault of the bedsore victim. Especially when they are in the care of professionals of a hospital, medical or nursing facility. Patients, elders, unhealthy or not do have legal rights–which also includes the right to sue for bedsores. Read more about the Rights of Bedsore Victims below:
The defendants insurance company may ask you for a recorded statement describing the appearance of bedsores and your treatment. Remember you have no obligation to give them such a statement, nor is it wise to do so.
The defendant’s insurance company will ask you for authorizations to obtain your medical records. Let your attorney release your records after he or she has reviewed them. It’s best not to offer information by yourself.
Some insurance companies will offer you money to settle the case before you contact an attorney. In this situation the insurance company knows they will have to pay out money and they hope to settle the claim before you hire an attorney who can negotiate and demand a higher amount. Always consult an attorney if an insurance company is offering you money. By doing so you will in all likelihood increase your net recovery even after taking out the lawyers fee.
Once a bedsore case is settled and the defendant is released, regardless of whether you make a full recovery or not, the money you received cannot be taken away, it is your money…tax free.
If you need surgery, it is important to go forward with that before you settle your pressure sore or bedsore lawsuit.
If you are persuaded by a hospital or nursing home and settle a case on your own, only to find out 6 months later you have more serious conditions than first thought, you have forfeited your rights to recover additional money. That is why it is so important to contact an experienced bedsore attorney before you sign anything.
- You are able to sue for and recover a monetary award from new injuries and infections and the aggravation of old ones caused by bedsores or pressure ulcers.
Additional Bedsore information & Guides:
THE DOCTOR WEIGHS IN BEDSORE ARTICLE by Attorney Brian A. Raphan
Grades of pressure sores
If a person is bedridden for long enough, the areas of skin constantly in contact with the mattress
or chair will start to discolor. This shows that the skin is in danger of ulcerating.
Pressure sores are graded to four levels, including:
• Grade I – skin discoloration, usually red, blue, purple or black
• Grade II – some skin loss or damage involving the top-most skin layers
• Grade III – necrosis (death) or damage to the skin patch, limited to the skin layers
• Grade IV – necrosis (death) or damage to the skin patch and underlying structures, such as tendon, joint or bone.
Complications of pressure sores
Untreated pressure sores can lead to a wide variety of secondary conditions, including: • Sepsis (bacteria entering the bloodstream)
• Cellulitis (inflammation of body tissue, causing swelling and redness)
• Bone and joint infections
• Abscess (a collection of pus).
For more helpful information or a free consultation you may contact me by email here: Contact
Regards, Brian A. Raphan