If you or a loved one have suffered from pressure sores (also known as bedsores or pressure ulcers) whilst in a hospital or from care home negligence, you may be eligible to make a pressure sores claim for compensation.
Pressure sores can be painful and lead to infections, blood poisoning and even gangrene. However, they are completely avoidable. Therefore, the most likely cause of pressure sores in a care environment is neglect. In this guide to pressure sores compensation claims, we’ll review when you might be eligible to begin a claim, how to file a claim, and how much compensation for pressure sores could be awarded.
We can help with pressure sore claims against the NHS or a private care provider so please get in touch today by calling us on 0800 6524 881. To learn more about pressure sore claims before calling, please continue reading.
Table of contents
- Am I Eligible To Make A Pressure Sores Claim?
- What Are Pressure Sores?
- The Process Of Making A Pressure Sores Claim
- How Much Compensation For Pressure Sores Could I Claim?
- Time Limits For Claiming Pressure Sores Compensation
- No Win No Fee Pressure Sores Claims
- Starting The Pressure Sore Claims Process
All medical professionals and care workers have a legal duty of care to try and care for you properly so that you’re as safe as possible. You could be eligible to claim pressure sores compensation if:
- The level of care you (or your loved one) received fell below what you could reasonably have expected (referred to as a breach of duty or negligence); and
- As a direct result of that negligence, you developed pressure sores (causation).
Even if you’re not sure whether you or your loved one was treated negligently, it may be worth calling our claims advisors to find out if you could be compensated. A specialist advisor will provide free legal advice and discuss your options whatever you decide to do.
Pressure sores can develop on any part of the body where pressure is placed on the skin for a prolonged period. Patients in wheelchairs or those confined to a bed or chair for a long time are most at risk. If you are incapacitated or at risk of pressure sores, your position should be changed regularly by medical staff to reduce the chances of them developing.
Medical professionals categorise pressure sores based on the severity of the injury. The 4 stages of pressure sores are:
- Stage one pressure sores: Where skin becomes discoloured, itchy or painful. Also, the affected skin may become hard, warm or spongy.
- Stage two pressure sores: Here a blister or open wound may develop.
- Stage three pressure sores: This is where the pressure sore affects the deeper layers of the skin.
- Stage four pressure sores: The most serious type of pressure ulcer where the bone and muscle can be affected.
If nothing is done about a pressure sore, it will more than likely become worse. Therefore, you should inform medical staff if you notice any symptoms as soon as possible.
Importantly, while pressure sores can be painful and cause problems on their own, they can also lead to much more serious complications. Issues such as avoidable infections, skin problems and muscle damage should also be considered if you do decide to claim pressure sores compensation. Please get in touch if you’d like to know more about claiming compensation for pressure sores.
If a medical negligence solicitor takes your pressure sores claim on, they’ll start the process by reviewing everything with you in detail. Then they’ll contact the defendant in the case to see whether they’ll accept liability for your pressure sores. If they do, your solicitor could ask them to pay interim payments so that you can receive private medical treatment for your injuries.
Should liability be denied initially, your solicitor will gather evidence to support your case including independent medical reports. A medical expert will assess your treatment to see if it was negligent and they’ll also review how your injuries might affect you in the future. Your solicitor will also collect copies of your medical records to support your case. Other evidence that might be used includes photographs of your injuries and witness statements.
Once the evidence has been collected, your solicitor will try to negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf. In most cases, pressure sores claims are settled out of court. This is desirable for all parties involved as it is time-consuming and expensive. However, if an amicable settlement cannot be reached, a court hearing may be needed to try and resolve the claim.
If you would like us to check whether you could be compensated for suffering caused by pressure sores, please get in touch.
Any compensation for pressure sores is designed to cover physical, psychological and financial suffering. Therefore, your pressure sore claim could cover:
- The pain and suffering that resulted from your pressure sores.
- Any impact your injuries had on your social life or hobbies. This is often referred to as loss of amenity.
- Care costs if somebody needed to take time out to look after you while you were suffering.
- Medical expenses including private remedial treatment.
- Travel expenses caused by your pressure ulcers and subsequent treatment.
- Loss of earnings and future loss of income if your bedsores have or will cause you to lose work.
- Changes to your home if your injuries leave you with some form of disability. For example, if you’re left in a wheelchair, you might claim the cost of installing ramps or widening doors.
Our team of solicitors will always try to secure as much pressure sores compensation as possible by reviewing how you’ve suffered in detail before filing your claim.
Any type of medical negligence claim must be started within the time limits set out by the Limitation Act 1980. For pressure sore claims this will generally be three years from the date your injuries were diagnosed.
While the 3-year limitation period is quite long, our advice is to begin your pressure sore compensation claim as soon as you can. That’s because it can take some time to collect all of the evidence needed to support your case. Starting your claim with only months to go might mean there’s not enough time for your solicitor to carry out all of their required tasks.
To remove as much of your stress and financial risk as possible, the solicitors on our team provide a No Win No Fee service for any pressure sores claim that’s taken on. That means they can begin working on your case without you paying their fees in advance.
A Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA) is used to formalise the agreement and it will list the criteria that must be met before you’ll pay your solicitor for their work. It will also explain what percentage of your compensation will be deducted as a success fee if your claim is won. You won’t pay the fee, however, if your claim fails.
To check if you could claim using a No Win No Fee solicitor, please get in touch today.
We hope our guide on claiming compensation for pressure sores has helped. If you’d like to start the pressure sore compensation claims process, the simplest way to do so is to call us on 0800 6524 881. During your initial free consultation, your chances of being compensated will be reviewed and you’ll receive legal advice about your next steps. We’ll provide this service whether you decide to proceed with a claim or not.
Remember, if a medical negligence solicitor from our team takes you on as a client, you’ll benefit from their legal experience and expertise on a No Win No Fee basis.
Our live chat service and telephone advice line are open 24 hours a day so please get in touch if you have any further questions about the pressure sores claims process.