There is no average bedsore settlement. The settlement you will receive depends on the individual factors of your case. The more severe your losses are in a bedsore case, the more compensation may be available to you.
The Factors Involved in Bedsore Settlements
Each bedsore or pressure ulcer lawsuit will be unique in its details. This means that the compensation you or a loved one may receive will vary based on the involved party’s injuries and the losses both of the person and of their family. The factors that contribute to your average bedsore settlement include:
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The Severity of the Bedsore
Bedsores can develop when a patient does not receive consistent movement assistance. As a person sits or lays in one place for an extended period of time, a combination of gravity and positioning can cut off blood flow to certain parts of the body. As those body parts go without blood, they will begin to deteriorate. The compensation you may be entitled to will vary based on the severity of that deterioration.
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, bedsores tend to go through four stages of development:
- Stage 1: The skin under pressure will turn red and be sensitive to the touch, but it will remain intact.
- Stage 2: The skin under pressure will begin to wear away, revealing the epidermis.
- Stage 3: The skin under pressure will wear away in its entirety, revealing the muscles and nerves. The wound will be open, and the skin below the surface will be severely damaged
- Stage 4: It may be possible to see bone through the wound. The exposed muscle will suffer damage, and the involved party will need rehabilitation to move if the opportunity to heal arises.
As mentioned, compensation in a bedsore settlement will vary based on the severity of a party’s bedsores. That compensation can cover both a person’s removal from a negligent nursing home facility as well as for any surgeries or rehabilitation needed to restore a party’s original quality of life.
Patient’s Need for Rehabilitation and Additional Care
If a person does manage to recover from a bout with bedsores, they may need additional care and rehabilitation to restore her original quality of life. The degree of care and rehabilitation a patient needs will vary based on the original injury’s severity.
If the party in question suffers from paralysis, compensation can include measures to restore movement and tools needed to allow the involved party to move as needed. It may also consist of in-housing nurses and transportation.
Patient Pain and Suffering
While the severity of an injury can contribute to your compensation, pain and suffering often compose the bulk of bedsore settlements. Nursing home residents forced to contend with bedsores in the long-term suffer more than physical pain. Residents may come away from their experience in a nursing home with mental trauma that requires psychological therapy to contend with. With this in mind, the awards provided for the aforementioned suffering may outstrip the awards for a person’s injuries by a significant margin.
Matters grow more complex if you are faced with a wrongful death case involving bedsores. In these situations, you may also pursue compensation for the pain and suffering of a resident’s family in addition to that which the deceased party suffered.
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Applicable Punitive Damages
If you choose to pursue a bedsore settlement, the team you work with will need to consider the legislation in your area that dictates liability in cases of neglect, medical malpractice, or elder abuse. In determining the party liable for the damages your loved one suffered, the courts may determine the appropriateness of punitive damages to prevent other residents from suffering similar conditions.
Punitive damages describe additional compensation a liable party must provide when a case involves exemplary damages related to the gross neglect, recklessness, or intentional harm caused by said liable party. These expenses can come into play if legal representatives can prove intention in a bedsores case.
Nursing homes are required to provide their residents with a quality of care dictated by state and federal law. In failing to meet that quality of care, these homes and their employed caretakers open themselves up to legal cases involving neglect. If you believe that someone you love has developed bedsores as a result of malpractice or a lack of care in a nursing home, you can reach the team at Ben Crump Law, PLLC, at (800) 959-1444.