If you or someone you love has suffered complications due to bedsores (“pressure ulcers”) acquired in a hospital or nursing home, you may be entitled to compensation. Though common, bedsores are almost always preventable when healthcare providers follow accepted standards of care. These standards involve moving bedridden patients regularly to alleviate pressure on the skin. Failing to do so may be considered negligent, and the affected patients (or their surviving family members) may have grounds for a medical malpractice claim.
At Harmonson Law Firm, we have extensive experience helping injured patients and their loved ones file claims against healthcare providers and the facilities that employ them. We can thoroughly investigate your case, gather all available evidence, and help you pursue the highest compensation possible. Call (915) 228-4140 to schedule a free consultation.
Read on to learn the answers to three FAQs about pressure ulcer medical malpractice lawsuits:
1. Do I Have Grounds for a Claim?
There are several elements that must exist for a person to have grounds for a medical malpractice claim. Those elements are:
- Duty of Care: The defendant must have owed you (or your deceased loved one) a duty of care. This duty of care exists as soon as the healthcare provider-patient relationship is established.
- Breach of the Duty of Care: If the healthcare provider failed to follow accepted standards of care, this may be considered a breach of the duty of care. In bedsore cases, this breach typically involves failing to monitor and reposition the patient regularly to relieve pressure on the skin.
- Causation: You must be able to prove how the healthcare provider’s breach of duty caused the pressure ulcers.
- Damages: Finally, you must demonstrate the damages you have incurred as a result of the bedsores, which may include healthcare bills, lost income, pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of consortium, physical impairment, and loss of enjoyment in life.
2. How Much Is My Claim Worth?
No attorney can guarantee a particular outcome for your claim, no matter how strong it appears to be. But if your case is successful, the amount of compensation you might recover will depend on a variety of factors including:
- The cost of any medical treatment you received for your bedsores;
- Whether you had to take time off work due to your bedsores;
- The extent of any pain and suffering caused by your bedsores; and
- The cost of other expenses related to your injury like domestic help and transportation to doctor’s appointments.
3. How Can a Medical Malpractice Attorney Help with My Case?
Filing a successful medical malpractice claim is a complicated endeavor. The defendant and their insurance company will go to great lengths to find reasons to dispute your claim, and it may be necessary to bring in medical and financial experts to provide testimony regarding the cause of your injury and the value of your damages.
A skilled medical malpractice lawyer will have the resources and experience to help you navigate every step of the proceedings and avoid critical errors. Such an attorney will know the types of evidence needed to give your claim the best chance of success and will be able to employ proven strategies during settlement negotiations and any litigation that may follow.
Medicaid No Longer Reimbursing Healthcare Providers for Bedsores and Other PPC/HACs
Not long ago, many healthcare providers accepted bedsores as normal complications that sick patients were just likely to get. Patients would be monitored for pressure ulcers and would receive treatment when one was identified, but many hospitals and nursing homes failed to take the necessary measures to prevent them from forming in the first place.
Since 2011, state Medicaid programs have been required to deny reimbursement to healthcare providers for claims involving certain preventable hospital-acquired conditions (HACs), including Stage III and IV pressure ulcers. This policy incentivized healthcare providers to implement new initiatives to prevent HACs. It also established stronger legal grounds for patients diagnosed with Stage III or IV pressure ulcers to file medical malpractice claims against their providers.
Speak with an El Paso Medical Malpractice Attorney About Your Case
At Harmonson Law Firm, we have successfully used New Mexico codes and Medicaid regulations to help a patient get a substantial recovery after developing bedsores while in a medically induced coma. In recent years, there have been several multimillion-dollar awards in similar cases in New Mexico.
To discuss your case in a free consultation, call (915) 228-4140. You can also send us a message on our Contact Page.