Bed sores, also called pressure sores or decubitus ulcers, are a big problem in California nursing homes. Typically, they begin as blisters but can quickly spread into the underlying bone, nearby tissue, and surrounding areas. They occur from prolonged pressure, friction, or skin shearing and can have deadly consequences.
If you or a loved one suffer from bedsores caused by a negligent nursing home or care facility, you should first talk to an attorney. A skilled attorney can review your case and estimate how much they think it’s worth. The answer depends on several different factors. Nursing home neglect settlements in California have ranged from thousands to millions of dollars. Every person’s injury is unique, and every case carries different factors that affect a monetary settlement or jury verdict.
Factors Affecting Settlement Amount
A 2019 study examined medical malpractice claims associated with bedsores between 1987 and 2019. It found that of the bedsore cases resulting in a bedsore lawsuit settlement or verdict, 75.9% of cases were for negligence and 22.7% were related to medical malpractice. The study also found a mean payout of $400,000 for claims involving individual providers, $1.59 to $2.48 million for claims against hospitals, and $4 to $7.75 million for claims involving a nursing home.
While there is no average bedsore settlement amount, it’s not uncommon for nursing home bedsore lawsuits to be worth $1 million or more when gross negligence, wrongful death, and significant disfigurement and pain are involved.
Let’s touch on some other factors that affect a settlement.
A care facility has a duty to treat patients according to a specific standard of care. When a nursing home’s negligence results in otherwise preventable bedsores, they can be held liable. The more evidence a victim secures to support a caregiver’s negligence, the more their case is likely worth. Clear evidence of liability also lets insurance companies know that the case will go to court and will likely be successful for the victim. This awareness often results in larger before-court settlement offers as insurance companies seek to avoid high legal fees and a potentially higher jury award.
The Extent and Stage of the Bedsore Injury
Once bedsores develop, they can quickly worsen as they spread to surrounding tissue. Identifying a bedsore early on is the best way to prevent it from increasing in size.
A bedsore has four stages:
- Stage I—Little to no skin loss showing redness, sensitivity, and heat;
- Stage II—Skin loss that extends through all the layers of the epidermis, often resulting in a severe infection;
- Stage III—Destruction of the skin and necrosis of the underlying tissue; and
- Stage IV—Destruction of the underlying muscle tissue and bone degeneration, often resulting in extensive nerve damage and paralysis.
The later the stage of the bedsore, the greater the chances are that serious negligence caused or contributed to the injury. In other words, if a bedsore is in the later stages, it’s easier to show that the nursing home was negligent in not noticing it and helping a patient to seek medical care.
Future Rehabilitation and Disability Care Costs
Bedsores often result in long-term injuries and permanent disability, including paralysis. Bedsore victims can require months if not years of around-the-clock nursing care, transportation, and rehabilitation care costing tens of thousands per year. The higher the cost of care, the more a bedsore lawsuit is worth.
A Victim’s Pain and Suffering
Victims often suffer from agonizing pain and mental distress from bedsores. When this occurs, juries can award pain and suffering damages worth more than the actual damages incurred. A victim’s family will often obtain a higher settlement when the case involves wrongful death.
Does the Case Warrant Punitive Damages?
If the nursing home or care provider displayed a reckless disregard for your loved one’s health and safety, a court might order them to pay punitive damages. This is especially true in wrongful death cases.
Silva Injury Law Is Here to Help You with Your Bedsore Injury
If you or a loved one are suffering from a bedsore injury, the skilled attorneys at Silva Injury Law will fight tirelessly to secure the justice you deserve. From the moment you contact us, we treat you like family. We pride ourselves on looking out for your best interests and are committed to achieving the best resolution for you. We offer free in-person or remote consultations, and you won’t pay us a penny until you collect a settlement or verdict. Call us now at 209-580-3973 or contact us online to get started.
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At Silva Injury Law we promote healing through compassionate advocacy. With each case tailored to the individual, we look our for your best interests by evaluating your unique circumstances. Contact us today for a FREE in person or remote consultation.