Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers, are a significant risk in nursing homes and care facilities, yet they are often preventable with appropriate and diligent care. However, when a nursing home fails to provide this level of care—such as regular repositioning or adequate nutrition—serious and sometimes life-threatening complications can occur.
Shapiro Legal Group, PLLC, specializes in addressing the consequences of nursing home neglect in New Jersey. We understand the physical and emotional toll bedsores can take, and if you or a loved one has suffered from this injury, we can fight for your right to justice. We encourage you to schedule a free consultation with our New Jersey bedsore attorney to explore your legal options and take your first steps toward recovery.
Why Choose Our New Jersey Bedsore Lawyer?
- For years, our firm has been dedicated to protecting the rights of injured people nationwide. We have a deep understanding of the laws that govern nursing homes and will leverage our expertise to fight for your right to compensation.
- Bedsore lawsuits can be complex, which is why our firm will use the full extent of our resources and knowledge to build a compelling case in your favor. We will speak to experts, analyze evidence, and conduct a full investigation into the neglect or abuse.
- Bedsores are painful injuries that often require intensive treatment. At Shapiro Legal Group, PLLC, our attorneys will handle the legal aspects of your case so that you can focus on healing and recovery.
What Are Bedsores & Why Do They Occur?
Bedsores typically arise due to prolonged pressure against the skin, which impedes normal blood flow. Key areas vulnerable to these injuries include the elbows, shoulder blades, pelvis, tailbones, and heels. Bedsores are especially prevalent among elderly individuals who are unable to move independently due to frailty, immobility, or paralysis.
Nursing home standards dictate that bedridden patients should be regularly repositioned to prevent bedsores, as continuous pressure over time can lead to their development. Without prompt medical care, these injuries can progress from initial redness and swelling to open wounds that can expose underlying bones and muscles, potentially leading to life-threatening infections.
How Nursing Home Negligence Causes Bedsores
Nursing home negligence is a primary factor in the development of bedsores, especially among patients who are bedridden or confined to a wheelchair. This negligence can manifest in various ways, such as:
- Not repositioning patients regularly to alleviate pressure
- Overlooking the need for clean, dry bedding to maintain skin integrity
- Neglecting to provide adequate nutrition, which is crucial for skin health
- Ignoring early signs of pressure ulcers, especially in immobile residents
- Delaying medical attention for residents with developing bedsores
- Failing to communicate with family members about a resident’s condition
These acts of negligence can be exacerbated by factors like understaffing or lack of adequately trained personnel, which are unfortunately common in nursing homes. Although bedsores are treatable in their early stages, they can quickly progress into severe injuries that can manifest dangerous complications, such as infections.
Regulations Protecting Nursing Home Residents in New Jersey
In New Jersey, the Nursing Home Residents’ Bill of Rights plays a pivotal role in safeguarding the well-being of nursing home residents. This legislation upholds numerous rights, including:
- The right to receive appropriate medical care and to refuse treatment
- Protection from abuse and neglect, with assurances of a safe and respectful living environment
- Financial autonomy and protection against financial exploitation
- Personal freedoms concerning dress, social activities, and personal space
- Rights to privacy, including private communications and social interactions
- Rights regarding mail, telephone use, and the handling of personal affairs
At the federal level, acts like the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 and the Older Americans Act of 1965, along with specific sections of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, establish a national standard of care for nursing homes and a comprehensive Residents’ Bill of Rights. To enforce these standards, the government requires nursing homes to comply with these regulations in order to receive Medicare and Medicaid funding.
Pursuing a Lawsuit for Bedsores in New Jersey
When pursuing a lawsuit for bedsores in New Jersey, it’s essential to demonstrate that the nursing home or healthcare facility failed in its duty of care, leading to the resident’s harm. If you and your attorney are able to successfully prove the nursing home’s liability, you or your loved one can recover a settlement to help pay for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages caused by the bedsores.
Specifically, New Jersey law requires that, to prove a negligence-based lawsuit, you must supply enough evidence to establish four important facts:
- Duty of Care: The nursing home owed a duty of care to the victim. Under state and federal laws, nursing homes have a duty to uphold a certain standard of care when interacting with and caring for their residents.
- Breach of Duty: The nursing home breached the duty of care in some way, either through a negligent act or failure to act. In bedsore lawsuits, breaches of duty may include failure to provide adequate nutrition or reposition the resident as required.
- Causation: The breach of duty directly caused the bedsores and resulting damages. This is often the most difficult element to prove, often requiring medical records, expert testimony, and witness statements.
- Damages: The victim suffered damages as a result of the bedsores that he or she can claim in the lawsuit. These may include additional medical expenses to treat the condition as well as physical pain and emotional suffering.
Time Limits on Bedsore Injury Cases in New Jersey
New Jersey has established time limits, known as statutes of limitations, which apply to certain types of lawsuits. For nursing home abuse and neglect cases in New Jersey, this statute of limitations is typically two years from the date of the last act of neglect or the discovery of the injury. If you do not file by this deadline, the court will likely dismiss the lawsuit—which is why it is imperative to speak with a lawyer immediately.
Speak To Our New Jersey Bedsore Attorney Today
Shapiro Legal Group, PLLC, understands the challenges faced by bedsore victims in New Jersey. Our firm is dedicated to providing effective representation, making sure that your voice is heard and your rights are protected.
If you are dealing with the consequences of bedsore negligence, trust our New Jersey bedsore attorney for support. Contact us at (800) 220-0984 for a free consultation and start your path to justice today.