Atlanta Bedsore Lawyer

A bedsore, also referred to as a pressure ulcer, is more than just a painful medical condition; it can be the basis of a lawsuit, especially when bedsores result from neglect or improper care. If you or a loved one is suffering from bedsores due to someone else’s negligence, it’s vital to talk to a lawyer. At Butler Kahn, we focus on helping bedsore victims bring legal claims to obtain compensation and justice. Don’t let your rights be overlooked. Reach out to Butler Kahn at (678) 940-1444 or connect with us online to consult with an experienced bedsore lawyer.

Understanding the details of bedsores is important for victims and their families. Below, we explore important information about bedsores, including the types and causes as well as who might be liable for the condition.

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Types Of Bedsores

Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers or pressure sores, affect the skin and the underlying tissue and are the result of prolonged pressure on the affected area. These sores typically develop on skin that cover bony sections of the body, such as the hips, ankles, heels, and tailbone.

The first type is Stage 1 Bedsores. At this stage, the skin is not broken but may appear red on people with lighter skin tones. The area may be firm, soft, painful, cooler, or warmer compared to the surrounding skin. In darker skin tones, the bedsore might not look red but can appear blue or purple or differ in color from the surrounding area.

Stage 2 Bedsores involve part of the underlying layer of skin (dermis) and the outer layer of skin (epidermis). The bedsore at this stage looks like an open sore or blister and can be painful. The area around the sore may be discolored.

Stage 3 Bedsores are more severe, with the loss of skin typically revealing some of the fat beneath. The sore may look like a crater, and there might be damage to the surrounding tissue. At this stage, the depth of the wound is more significant, and the risk of infection is higher.

The most severe type is Stage 4 Bedsores. These bedsores result in a large-scale loss of tissue, possibly exposing muscles, bones, or tendons. The damage often extends beyond the primary wound below layers of healthy skin. This stage can result in significant complications, such as infections of the bone (osteomyelitis) or blood (sepsis).

The more advanced a bedsore situation becomes, the more likely it is that negligence or intentional abuse led to the victim’s suffering.

Causes Of Bedsores

  • Bedsores are caused by prolonged pressure on the skin. People most at risk are those who have a medical condition that limits their ability to change positions or spend most of the time in a bed or chair.
  • Pressure is the most common cause of bedsores. Constant pressure on any part of your body can lessen the blood flow to tissues. Blood flow is required for sending nutrients and oxygen to tissues. Lacking these required nutrients, tissues and skin may become damaged and may eventually die.
  • Friction is another cause. Friction occurs when the skin rubs against clothing or bedding. This can cause skin that is fragile more susceptible to injury, especially if the affected skin is moist.
  • Shear happens when surfaces move in opposing directions. For example, when a bed is elevated at the head, you might slide down slightly. As you move down, so does the tailbone, but the skin covering bone may stay in place – thereby pulling in an opposing direction.

Common Locations In Atlanta, Georgia, Where Bedsores Occur

In Atlanta, Georgia, bedsores are most commonly found in healthcare settings where patients are immobile or bedridden for extended periods. These environments include hospitals, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, and even in-home care situations. The risk of bedsores increases in any setting where individuals are unable to move frequently due to illness, age, or injury.

Hospitals are one of the primary locations where bedsores can develop. Patients in intensive care units (ICUs) or those with long-term hospital stays are particularly vulnerable. These patients might be unable to move due to their medical condition, surgery recovery, or sedation. Hospitals have protocols to prevent bedsores, but these sores can still occur, especially in cases of inadequate staff or insufficient patient care.

Nursing homes and long-term care facilities in Atlanta also see a significant number of bedsores cases. Residents in these facilities often have limited mobility and may depend entirely on caregivers for repositioning. If the staff is not adequately trained or if the facility is understaffed, residents may not receive the necessary care, leading to the development of bedsores.

In-home care is another setting where bedsores can occur. Individuals receiving care at home, particularly the elderly or those with severe disabilities, are at risk if they are bedridden or wheelchair bound. In these cases, it’s important that home health aides are vigilant in providing proper care, including regular repositioning and monitoring for signs of bedsores.

Lastly, rehabilitation centers in Atlanta might also serve as a location where patient develop bedsores. Patients recovering from surgeries or injuries might be immobile for long periods, increasing their risk of developing bedsores.

Who Could Be Liable For Bedsores

In cases involving bedsores, several parties could potentially be liable. The most common liable parties are healthcare facilities, such as hospitals, nursing homes, and in-home care agencies. These facilities and their staff have a duty to provide adequate care to prevent bedsores from developing. If a patient develops bedsores due to neglect or improper care, the healthcare provider may be held responsible.

Doctors and nurses can also be liable if they fail to properly assess a patient’s risk for bedsores, do not implement preventive measures, or fail to treat bedsores effectively once they develop. In some cases, the liability may extend to other staff members, like aides or caregivers, particularly if their negligence contributed to the development or worsening of the bedsores.

In the case of in-home care, liability might fall on the agency providing the caregivers or, in some situations, on the individual caregivers themselves. It’s important to determine who was responsible for the care and monitoring of the patient when the bedsores developed or worsened, as this knowledge will influence a victim’s legal options.

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Filing A Lawsuit Or Insurance Claim Based On Bedsores

Pursuing a lawsuit or insurance claim based on bedsores involves proving that the care provided in question was negligent or abusive and that this conduct led to the bedsores. The first step is typically to gather medical records and any other evidence that shows the development and progression of the bedsores. Witness statements from family members or other healthcare providers can also be important.

An attorney who routinely handles personal injury or medical malpractice can assess the situation and determine the viability of a lawsuit or claim. They will investigate the standards of care provided, compare them to what is reasonably expected in similar situations, and identify any breaches in these standards.

In some cases, a settlement may be reached with the healthcare provider or their insurance company. If a settlement cannot be reached, the case may proceed to court. In Georgia civil cases, a jury reviews the evidence and determines whether the defendant injured the individual or otherwise failed to fulfill their legal obligations to the individual. The jury also determines the compensation that the plaintiff should be entitled to.

Damages In Bedsores Cases

Damages in bedsore cases can include both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages cover the costs associated with medical treatment for the bedsores, including hospital stays, medications, wound care supplies, and any additional care or surgery needed. If the bedsores lead to long-term or permanent damage, the damages might also cover future medical care and any necessary modifications to the home.

Non-economic damages cover the pain and suffering endured by the patient. This includes physical pain as well as emotional distress caused by the bedsores and their treatment. Even punitive damages could be possible for a plaintiff to recover in cases of a defendant’s willful misconduct.

In severe cases, where bedsores contribute to a patient’s death, damages can also include compensation for the patient’s family, covering loss of companionship and emotional anguish. Family members in these situations bring wrongful death claims.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I File A Lawsuit For A Bedsore Developed In A Hospital Or Nursing Home?

Yes, you can potentially file a lawsuit if you developed bedsores in a hospital, nursing home, or under other types of medical care. The lawsuit would typically be based on the healthcare provider failing to provide an adequate standard of care, leading to the bedsores.

Proving negligence in a bedsore case involves demonstrating that the care provided fell below the professional standard expected and that this failure directly led to the development or worsening of the bedsores. Medical records, expert testimony, photographs of the sores, and witness statements can all be used as evidence.

Compensation in bedsore cases can include costs for medical treatment, pain and suffering, related losses, and possibly punitive damages if the negligence was particularly egregious.

The time limit to file a lawsuit, known as the statute of limitations, is typically two years from the time the bedsore was discovered or should have been discovered.

Many bedsore cases are settled out of court. However, if a settlement cannot be reached, the case may go to trial. The decision to settle or go to trial will depend on various factors, including the strength of the evidence and the willingness of the parties to negotiate.

Yes, if the patient with bedsores passes away, their family or representatives can file a lawsuit. This type of claim is usually filed as a wrongful death lawsuit.

Many personal injury attorneys, including those at Butler Kahn, work on a contingency fee basis. This means they only get paid if they win the case, with the understanding that their fee will be a percentage of the settlement or award.

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Consult With An Atlanta Bedsores Attorney At Butler Kahn

If you or a loved one has suffered from bedsores due to negligence in a medical setting, it’s important to seek legal counsel. At Butler Kahn, our experienced bedsore lawyers are dedicated to helping victims get the justice and compensation they deserve. Don’t let your suffering go unaddressed. Contact Butler Kahn at (678) 940-1444 or reach out to us online to schedule a consultation with a skilled bedsore lawyer. We are here to help ensure that your rights are fully protected.

To learn more about nursing home claims, click here.

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Meet Jeb Butler

/ PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY

It’s pretty simple: a lawyer should be good at what he does, care about his clients, and live up to his word. That is how we have built this firm.

I’ve been handling exclusively personal injury and wrongful death cases for over ten years. Before that, I worked as a prosecutor, public defender, federal law clerk, and (briefly) as a civil defense lawyer. In law school I argued on the National Moot Court team, published on the Law Review, and graduated magna cum laude. Doing well in law school opened lots of doors for me but it was not until I started my own law firm handling serious injury cases that I opened the right one.

What I learned before law school has mattered the most. I learned to work hard, for a long time, at jobs that were not glamorous. I shoveled sod, mucked stalls, fed horses and cows, cut grass, and ran a weed-eater. I learned to weld and drive a tractor. I learned about pride in a job well done.

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Meet Matt Kahn

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Meet Matt Kahn

PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY

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