Clearwater Bedsore Injury Lawyer
Few things are more frustrating than being confined to a hospital bed because of an injury that resulted in your inability to care for yourself. Depending on others for simple tasks like turning you over in bed can be frustrating, and if they ignore your calls, the results can cause additional pain and suffering.
If you or a loved one suffers from bedsores, holding the healthcare team accountable for their neglect may be possible. Clearwater bedsore injury lawyers Frank and Jennifer Fernandez at the Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys may be able to help victims of bedsores get compensated for the harm they have suffered.
Potential Financial Compensation for Bedsore Injuries
As with every personal injury lawsuit, we evaluate each case differently.
In the case of bedsore injuries in Clearwater, we will use the following to assess the viability of filing a medical negligence case for bedsore injuries:
- The severity of the injury
- The cost of treatment to recover from the bedsores
- The lost income the victim of bedsore injuries incurred
- The pain and suffering of the victim
- The level of negligence the healthcare team engaged in
Because bedsores result from someone being stationary for long periods, the level of financial recovery may be different than for victims of other types of negligence. However, in most cases, the victim can expect to claim the following monetary losses:
- Additional time of treatment required for bedsore injuries
- Any time lost from employment due to the injury
- Medications needed to treat bedsore injuries
There may be other areas of compensation that a victim may claim as part of their personal injury suit. The attorneys at Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys, Frank and Jennifer Fernandez, can help victims determine the total value of their claim.
How Do Bedsore Injuries Occur in Clearwater?
Bedsore injuries are common in those confined to a bed over the long term. Bedsores are also known as decubitus ulcers or pressure ulcers. They occur when caregivers do not properly care for someone who is in long-term care facilities like nursing homes or a hospital.
The easiest way to avoid bedsores is for the healthcare team to ensure caregivers turn patients frequently. Unfortunately, we know this does not always happen.
In Clearwater, the following facilities exist where someone can suffer a bedsore injury:
Not all bedsore injuries occur in seniors. Serious injuries from a car or slip-and-fall accident can confine someone to bed for weeks or months. If a healthcare team in Clearwater fails to care for a patient properly, bedsores can occur.
Bedsore Injuries and How They Occur
When someone is in the hospital and required to remain bedridden, has limited ability to move, and cannot change positions without assistance, they can develop bedsores. This is often considered medical negligence. Because hospitals owe their patients a duty of care, that duty of care is breached if a patient develops bedsores.
Bedsores can occur on the buttocks, inside the back of the legs, at the elbow, and on the shoulder blades, to name a few areas.
The contributing risk factors for a bedsore injury include:
- Friction. Our skin is subject to environmental concerns, including the fabrics which come in contact with our skin. Bedding and clothing can cause damage to our skin, which can ultimately lead to bedsores.
- Moisture. When the skin remains damp for extended periods, the result can be a bedsore injury. Left untreated, this can cause damage and ongoing skin breakdown, resulting in bedsores.
- Nutrition. Patients who do not get adequate nutrition can also develop bedsores. When protein, vitamin, and mineral deficiencies occur, weak skin and tissues are more prone to damage caused by bedsores.
- Medical risks. Patients with diabetes or other circulatory issues could be more prone to bedsores because of decreased blood flow to the skin.
Prevention of bedsores involves:
- Frequent turning and repositioning of bedridden patients.
- Keeping the skin clean and dry.
- Providing proper nutrition and hydration.
Early detection and treatment of bedsores can help prevent more serious complications. Everyone should be aware that bedsores can cause other health problems.
Clearwater Bedsore Injuries and Insurance Company Issues
Too often, patients or family members fail to realize they can receive compensation for bedsore injuries. It is important to understand the potential harm a bedsore injury can cause. Some of the complications of bedsores include cellulitis resulting in nerve damage, bone or joint infections, and in some cases, squamous cell cancers.
These severe complications could lead someone to file a claim against their care providers. However, they soon learn that dealing with insurance companies can be frustrating and complicated.
Before you contact an insurer about filing a bedsore injury claim, call us, because:
- Adjusters are not your friend. Insurance adjusters are not there to help serve those who are injured. They are there to protect an insurer from paying out claims. Their sole responsibility is to find ways for the insurer to avoid liability.
- We can establish health care team liability. Because of the typical tactics used by insurers, a victim must show how the health team was liable for a bedsore injury. This process can be frustrating because the hospital might not want to accept any responsibility for the harm caused while someone was under their care.
- They will minimize the damage their clients caused. Insurers will always find ways to mitigate the claims of pain, suffering, and damage the victim experienced. In many cases, they will look at the victim’s health record. Let us say a patient has diabetes. The insurer will use this fact to point to the potential that the patient would not have suffered bedsores had they not had diabetes.
When someone works with the Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys, Frank and Jennifer Fernandez will take every step necessary to hold the healthcare provider accountable for the harm a patient suffered due to bedsore injuries.
How a Victim Should Deal With Bedsore Injuries
Bedsore injuries require immediate care. Some steps that caregivers should take after a person has a bedsore include keeping the wounds clean, ensuring the skin is sufficiently cared for to avoid the injury from worsening, and providing a healthy diet. These may help guarantee a victim heals from a bedsore.
However, a victim or family of a bedsore injury in Clearwater can help their claim by:
- Documenting their progress or setbacks from a bedsore injury.
- Keeping copies of all receipts for treatment for a bedsore injury, including trips to the doctor, any medications required to treat the bedsore, and time lost from work.
- Maintaining a record of pain, medications, and treatments for bedsores.
- Obtaining a copy of the hospital policy for immobile patients. This may help provide some guidance as to what procedures caregivers should follow.
- Taking photographs of the progression of the bedsore for documentation.
The victim should retain all of this documentation, and they should contact a Clearwater bedsore injury lawyer from Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys. A team from Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys will carefully evaluate the evidence and help victims understand their legal rights to file a claim. They will also advise the victim of their legal options.
We all understand the claim of medical negligence is difficult to prove. In Florida, a medical negligence claim, which a bedsore injury could fall under, requires several steps. Unless a victim is well-versed in Florida law, they should turn it over to Frank and Jennifer Fernandez and allow them to use their experience to help the victim recover damages for their injury.
One of the most important things a victim of bedsore injuries can do is follow their doctor’s orders. This is essential because if the bedsores worsen because the victim failed to follow the doctor’s instructions, including keeping all follow-up appointments, it could jeopardize their claim.
Essential Timelines in Medical Negligence Bedsore Injury Claims
It is crucial to understand that while the statute of limitations in Florida for filing a medical negligence lawsuit is two years, filing a medical negligence claim uses a fair amount of this time.
Here’s the typical process an attorney will use when filing a medical negligence claim on behalf of a victim:
- Establishes evidence. The victim must show that because of the negligence of a healthcare team, they have suffered an injury. The victim must clearly demonstrate that the caregiver caused the bedsore injury, whether because of poor training, inadequate care, or other causes.
- Notifies defendants. The party responsible for the bedsore injury must be notified by certified mail at least 90 days before the victim files a lawsuit. Before the 90 days are up, the defendant must inform their insurer. At this time, they may accept liability and offer a settlement.
- Accept or reject settlement. A bedsore injury lawyer will then contact the client and explain the settlement offer. The client can accept or reject the offer which the insurer makes. The victim has 50 days to accept or reject the settlement.
A Clearwater personal injury lawyer will explain the pros and cons of accepting a settlement offer to the victim. This will give them the ability to decide whether to pursue additional compensation.
Should the victim’s lawyer reject the settlement offer on behalf of the client, they will then have to contact an expert witness who is willing to detail how the bedsore occurred, what steps the caregivers should have taken to avoid the bedsores, and what the long-term health ramifications could be for the victim.
Costs Involved in Bedsore Injury Lawsuits
Victims of bedsore injuries in hospitals and nursing homes are often reluctant to file a lawsuit because they are concerned about the costs involved. This is a legitimate concern, especially given the onerous requirement of hiring a witness. Hiring a medical witness is not an inexpensive endeavor. However, victims must understand the typical process a Clearwater bedsore injury lawyer follows when accepting a case.
Generally, a bedsore injury victim will meet with an experienced lawyer through a free consultation. During this consultation, the lawyer will review the medical records, receipts, and evidence of medical negligence obtained by the victim. The lawyer may also advise the victim on which legal rules apply to their case.
If the client and lawyer agree the best option is to pursue a medical negligence case, often, the lawyer accepts the case on a contingency fee basis. This means that unless and until the victim has accepted a settlement, the lawyer does not collect legal fees. The victim may be liable for other out-of-pocket expenses, which they should discuss with the lawyer.
Contact Clearwater Bedsore Injury Lawyers at Fernandez Firm Accident Injury Attorneys
People who have suffered a bedsore injury or have a loved one who has suffered a bedsore injury while being cared for by a medical team in a hospital or nursing home in Florida have the right to seek legal advice.
Clearwater personal injury attorneys Frank and Jennifer Fernandez have the experience and knowledge the victim will need to follow through on these complicated medical negligence cases. Contact their offices today at (813) 278-1032 and schedule a no-obligation free consultation.