A bedsore lawsuit shouldn’t have to occur because bedsores themselves don’t have to occur. Bedsores, also referred to as pressure injuries, pressure ulcers, or pressure sores are caused by the skin (and the tissue just under the skin) being subjected to prolonged pressure.
In fact, generally, when a healthcare provider at a hospital, assisted living facility, rehabilitation center, skilled nursing facility, or nursing home follows the rules related to their prevention, these painful and potentially dangerous injuries are almost entirely preventable.
Mr. Davis is an accomplished bedsore lawsuit attorney in Atlanta, Georgia. He has received virtually every award and honor available to Georgia trial attorneys. He is one of the foremost experts on bedsore and pressure injury law in Georgia. Published on March 16, 2017, last updated on June 21, 2019.
When a patient develops a bedsore, malpractice is typically the cause, and a bedsore lawsuit for medical malpractice should be filed. Patients most at risk for these injuries are those with a medical condition that restricts their ability to move freely and/or change positions. Most bedsores occur on bony areas of the body, including the heels, ankles, hips, and tailbone. A medical malpractice law firm with experience handling bedsore cases, like Davis Adams, should promptly review the medical file.
The difference between winning and losing pressure injury and bedsore lawsuits is always in the details: reviewing every page of voluminous medical charts, knowing exactly what to look for in nurses’ notes; understanding patients’ full and complete clinical picture so that defenses can be anticipated and avoided; and substantial experience handling bedsore cases that have resulted in favorable recoveries for patients.
Some general personal injury law firms that do not otherwise represent victims of medical negligence will sometimes attempt to handle bedsore cases. Their belief is that these cases can be settled quickly and easily with a letter and a phone call or two. But in medical malpractice litigation, a fast and easy recovery is rarely a good recovery.
When it comes to pressure injury and bedsore lawsuit cases, there is no substitute for relentless, high-quality legal work, which is why clients are more likely to obtain favorable recoveries when they choose a skilled attorney who specializes in medical malpractice and related practice areas and has a track record of significant recoveries for victims of bedsore injuries.
The family and loved ones of the patient often wonder, “How do bedsores form?” Two primary theories exist regarding the formation of bedsores.
The first and most accepted is the deep tissue injury theory, which theorizes that the ulcers begin at the deepest level, around the bone, and move outward until they reach the epidermis.
The second, less accepted theory is the top-to-bottom model, which speculates that skin first begins to deteriorate at the surface and then proceeds inward. Whichever theory is actually true is largely irrelevant for caregivers who are charged with preventing the formation of bedsores in their patients. Prevention may be the only way to avoid a bedsore lawsuit.
Most of the time, bedsores can be prevented. The single most important care for a patient at risk for bedsores is the periodic redistribution of pressure on the body. In the 1940s, British Neurologist Ludwig Guttmann began the practice of repositioning paraplegics every two hours, ensuring that pressure did not remain focused on one part of the body for an extended period of time. The result: patients who previously had a two-year life expectancy (given that they were routinely succumbing to blood and skin infections) were living longer and enjoyed much-improved prognosis.
Thus, for more than 75 years the most important medical rule that healthcare workers should obey when treating patients at risk for bedsores has been crystal clear: routinely rotate the position of the patient. Unfortunately, while this seems easy enough, the rule is all too often ignored. The sad reality is that patients develop bedsores every day due to assisted living facility negligence. A bedsore lawsuit is often the only recourse.
“My father had an elective surgery at a major Atlanta hospital. While he was recovering the nurses neglected to turn him to avoid a pressure injury. He developed a stage four bedsore, which became infected and killed him. The lawyers at Davis Adams combed through thousands of pages of medical records to find the information needed to prove the nurses’ negligence. The case settled for $1,000,000 before the lawsuit was even filed.”
E.T. of Fayetteville, Georgia
Normally, the statute of limitation for bedsore lawsuit cases in Georgia is just two years from the date of the negligent care. However, certain circumstances can extend the statute of limitation. For example, when a provider conceals negligent care that is later discovered, the time limit begins at discovery. Other scenarios can entail shorter amounts of time in which a case must be pursued. An example of this would be if the negligent carrier is used by a government entity, which can trigger claim notification deadlines as brief as six weeks from the date of the negligent care.
To make things more confusing, bedsore injuries are subject to a five-year statute of repose. This is meant to be a “final deadline,” beyond which a bedsore lawsuit cannot be registered for any reason. However, it does not necessarily work that way; there are a few exceptions.
Thus, the best answer is that it depends. Therefore, you shouldn’t attempt to ascertain the statute of limitation on your own. Rather, please contact Georgia attorneys Jess Davis or Chad Adams and we’ll be more than happy to collect and analyze the facts required to provide you with the right answer.
Most individuals who contact our firm because of sustaining bedsore in nursing homes do so reluctantly. They aren’t excited about the possibility of needing to sue an assisted living facility and its employees for negligence and malpractice. They understand that money will not address all their problems, and surely can’t cure their injury or the injury of their loved one.
Monetary compensation, however, is the only remedy available through the civil justice system. It’s the only type of justice the law allows under these conditions. We simply supply our clients with the necessary guidance regarding the fair value of their bedsore lawsuit after the case has been thoroughly researched.
Jess Davis and Chad Adams began their practice tackling the most complicated, high-stakes medical malpractice cases, generally considered one of the most complex of all personal injury issues. Racking up powerful results for their customers in cases other medical malpractice attorneys were turning down, their firm immediately became the obvious choice for bedsore lawsuit lawyers. They are the ones to whom other Georgia attorneys refer demanding cases.
We have the exceptional ability to rapidly digest and read volumes of health documents and to talk confidently to the treating doctors of our customers when discussing diagnoses and prognoses. We can also immediately reach the best medical experts at the best schools and hospitals in the world to consult on our clients’ cases in just about any medical area.
This rare depth of experience is a game changer for our customers and sets us apart from our competitors who only take on bedsore lawsuit cases in between handling automobile accidents. Contact us for quality advice and representation.
In addition to causing horrible wounds, the following complications frequently arise when healthcare workers fail to follow the medical safety rules and patients in the nursing home develop bed sores:
Sepsis: Bedsores commonly become infected, sometimes causing bacteria to enter the bloodstream and rapidly spread throughout the body (sepsis). If sepsis progresses to septic shock, blood pressure drops dramatically, which can be fatal. But even for those who survive, the wounds caused by severely infected bedsores are often large and gruesome and require extended medical care and lengthy recoveries.
Cellulitis: Cellulitis is another type of infection, primarily affecting the skin and underlying soft tissue. Like sepsis, cellulitis can be life-threatening without timely and appropriate medical care.
Bone and joint infections: Some bedsores cause infections that burrow into joints and bones, damaging cartilage and tissue, as well as the bone itself (osteomyelitis). Such complications are likely to cause significant injury, with fatality possible if the infection cannot be brought under control.
Cancer: Another, albeit rarer, complication from bedsores is the development of a type of squamous cell carcinoma. This aggressive cancer can develop in chronic, non-healing wounds, and typically requires prompt surgical intervention.
Of all the medical malpractice cases Davis Adams reviews each year in the Atlanta area and throughout Georgia, negligent care resulting in bedsores consistently causes the most heinous injuries.
A quick Google search for “bedsore” images reveals in graphic detail the nature and scope of the wounds that develop when an important—but simple—medical safety rule that has existed for 75 years is not followed. However, proving in a bedsore lawsuit precisely how a healthcare provider’s negligence caused the development of the injury is anything but simple.
Before a bedsore lawsuit is necessary, check out the sources below for additional information about bedsore prevention and treatment:
The National Pressure Ulcer Advisory Panel (NPUAP) serves as the authoritative voice for improved patient outcomes in pressure ulcer prevention and treatment through public policy, education, and research.
MedlinePlus is the National Institutes of Health’s website for patients and their families and friends. Produced by the National Library of Medicine, this website provides information about diseases, conditions and wellness issues in language easily understood.
Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit medical practice and medical research group based in Rochester, Minn. It is the first and largest integrated nonprofit medical group practice in the world, employing more than 3,800 physicians and scientists and 50,900 allied health staff.
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality‘s (AHRQ) mission is to produce evidence to make health care safer, higher quality, more accessible, equitable and affordable, and to work within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and with other partners to make sure that the evidence is understood and used.