Liability in a Virginia Nursing Home Bedsore Case

Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers, are a common sign of neglect in nursing homes. They typically form when a mobility-impaired patient remains in the same position for an extended period of time. As the person lays in the same position, pressure between the surface they are laying on and their own body causes ulcers to form on their skin. These ulcers are painful, and can progress, leading to more dangerous and potentially life-threatening conditions.

Unfortunately, when bedsores are ignored by nursing home staff members, they can cause additional medical conditions. Tissue infections, sepsis, and even skin cancer can be caused by untreated bedsores, which can be easily prevented by preventing a patient from remaining in the same position for hours at a time.

If you or a loved one developed bedsores in a nursing home, you may need a lawyer who knows how to establish liability in a Virginia nursing home bedsore case.

Establishing Liability in Court

To establish liability in a Virginia nursing home bedsore case, or any personal injury case for that matter, an attorney for the injured party must prove certain elements are present in a case. In other words, an attorney must establish the following:

  • That the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff.
  • That the duty of care owed the plaintiff was breached in some manner.
  • That the injuries sustained by the plaintiff are a direct result of the established breach.
  • That the plaintiff suffered a financial and/or personal loss as a result of their injuries.

Nursing homes are legally and morally required to provide their patients with the best care possible, regardless of the circumstances. If the staff or administration of a nursing home fails to provide this care to its patients, and as a result, a patient develops bedsores, they may be held liable in a civil court.

When examining a case, the court will also seek to determine if the outcome of the actions or inaction of the defendant was foreseeable. For example, if a patient is bedridden for an extended period of time, a reasonable person could foresee the development of bedsores and should turn the patient periodically to prevent them.

Holding Negligent Nursing Homes Liable

When a patient develops bedsores, it can be easy to lay all the blame on lazy or negligent nursing home attendants. This is understandable, but in reality, many well-meaning attendants are simply overworked and unable to provide patients with the level of care they need. It is a commonly known fact that many nursing homes refuse to hire an adequate number of staff members so they can save money. This is dangerous to both patients and their current staff members.

It is also the responsibility of the nursing home to hire attendants and medical staff members who understand the danger present by bedsores. Nursing home administrators should double-check to ensure attendants have sufficient medical training and are willing to assist mobility-impaired patients. They should also take measures to ensure none of their hires has a history of neglectful or abusive behavior.

Physicians and nurses also have an obligation to report bedsores to nursing home administrators when necessary.

Call an Attorney to Establish Liability in a Virginia Nursing Home Bedsore Case

Bedsores can result in a myriad of medical complications, and for the most part, no nursing home patient should ever have to worry about developing such injuries. They are easily preventable, and if a patient develops bedsores, they should have the right to hold the responsible party liable if their injuries are the result of negligence.

There is no excuse for negligence and abuse in nursing homes. Call an attorney who knows how to establish liability in a Virginia nursing home bedsore case.