Obtaining Compensation For Bedsore Injuries
Prevention and early detection are the two most effective defenses to serious bedsore injuries. Unfortunately, both these defenses are missing at many Tampa long-term care facilities.
Pressure ulcers usually develop on bony parts of the body, such as the ankles or elbows, which remain stationary in bed. So, as long as the person changes positions about once every two hours, bedsores never have a chance to develop. Unfortunately, many residents are too infirm to rotate positions themselves. The nursing home staff must help. But many nursing homes are too short-staffed, especially on nights, weekends, and holidays, to provide this help.
Staffers also have a chance to spot early stage bedsores. If the person changes positions, the pressure ulcer usually disappears on its own. However, many understaffed nursing homes send under qualified individuals, like patient care technicians, on nightly rounds. These professionals can’t always spot early stage bedsores, especially in low-light conditions.
These victims need compensation and justice. As outlined below, a Tampa personal injury attorney can obtain both these things.
Nursing home owners are financially responsible for bedsore damages. So, to obtain compensation, attorneys usually send demand letters to nursing home owners. These letters give the nursing home a chance to settle the matter before it goes to court.
These early resolutions significantly benefit victims. They get the compensation they need much sooner and without going through the time-consuming judicial process. As for justice, although the settlement usually doesn’t include an admission of legal liability, the admission of moral responsibility is clearly there.
If liability is clear-cut, long-term care facility owners have a duty to settle these claims in a matter of weeks. However, there’s almost always some question about liability, which in this case involves a lack of care as opposed to a simple accident. So, most bedsore claims go to the next level.
Filing Legal Action
This next step usually involves filing legal paperwork in district or county court. This moves pressures the insurance company to settle the claim and also preserves the victim/plaintiff’s legal rights. These claims usually have a very short statute of limitations.
Legal actions in state court usually involve a flurry of activity. Nursing home owners usually file procedural motions which try to convince the judge to throw the claim out of court. Generally, as long as there is any evidence which supports the victim/plaintiff’s claim, judges overrule these motions.
At this point, evidence in a bedsore claim usually includes medical records and the victim’s or family’s testimony. Additional evidence becomes available later, during the discovery period. The judge oversees this process as well.
If bedsore injury claims remain unresolved when discovery ends, most Hillsborough County judges send them to mediation.
For this alternative dispute resolution forum, the judge appoints a neutral mediator, who is usually an unaffiliated Tampa personal injury attorney. The mediator reviews the file and schedules a settlement conference. After each side presents opening arguments, the mediator conveys settlement offers and counter-offers between the parties.
If both sides negotiate in good faith, mediation is usually successful. In this context, “good faith” usually means that both sides are willing to make compromises to reach an agreement.
Reach Out to an Energetic Lawyer
Bedsore injury victims are normally entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced Tampa bedsores lawyer, contact Mark H. Wright, PLLC. We routinely handle matters in Hillsborough County and nearby jurisdictions.