Skip to Content
Bed Sores/ Pressure Ulcers

San Diego Bedsores/ Pressure Ulcers Attorney

Seeking Compensation for Neglect and Harm

Nursing home bedsores — also known as pressure sores, pressure ulcers, or decubitus ulcers — are caused by neglect. 

Pressure ulcers are caused by a lack of blood flow and oxygen to the skin, resulting from continuous pressure on a particular area of the body. They usually develop on areas with prominent bones beneath thin layers of skin, such as the coccyx, sacrum, lower back, and heels. The severity can range greatly, from mild bedsores appearing as just minor skin reddening, to severe bedsores appearing as deep wounds exposing muscle and bone.

Bedsores are very painful and uncomfortable, and your loved one should not have to suffer through them.  

Thus, if you believe an elderly loved one is suffering from a pressure ulcer, ​contact​ ​Joel R. Bryant by calling (619) 597-2577 today. You may have a case for nursing home neglect and should speak with a San Diego bed sores/ulcers attorney as soon as possible. We also serve clients in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California.

Can Bedsores Be Prevented in Elderly Care?

Bedsores or pressure ulcers are easily avoidable if the elder is cared for properly. They are caused by the pressure of the elder’s body pushing against the bed, wheelchair, or other furniture they are sitting or lying on for long periods of time (generally, two hours or more). Unfortunately, many elders are susceptible to pressure ulcers, as a majority of nursing home patients have severe physical limitations that inhibit them from moving around easily.

The primary thing that a nursing home care provider needs to do to keep an elder from getting a bedsore is rotate them to a different position about every two hours. In doing so, the area under pressure changes regularly, allowing for better blood flow to each region of the body and greatly reducing the chances of a pressure sore from developing.

No matter the severity, any development of a bedsore is a sure sign of neglect that should be addressed immediately. Nursing homes can even take steps to further reduce the risk for their most vulnerable patients developing bedsores by simply providing a specialty pressure relieving mattress or pad for the elder to lie or sit on. By doing so, pressure between the elder’s body and the bed, wheelchair, or furniture will be significantly reduced, lowering their risk of developing these painful and life-threatening sores.

What Are the Four Stages of Bedsores?

The four stages of pressure ulcers are progressively more serious. Each stage can quickly turn into the next if left untreated, so it is important to be able to recognize the signs, as described above, and quickly get medical attention for your loved one. 

Stage One

This is the least dangerous stage, but it can quickly become deadly if proper care is not immediately taken. 

Stage one can best be recognized by:

  • Mild irritation and redness of the skin (the redness does not blanch)
  • Skin temperature is warmer in the irritated area
  • Skin may also be more firm or softer in the irritated area than the surrounding skin

If recognized quickly, stage one treatment is very simple, as that specific area simply needs pressure relief, and the skin can be washed gently with soap and water. However, even in stage one, it is always best to consult with a medical professional to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment.

Stage Two

This stage is much more painful and severe than stage one, as it is defined by the skin breaking open.

Signs of stage two bedsores include:

  • Breaking open of the skin
  • Blistering of the skin
  • Open wounds that form ulcers

In each of these scenarios, the skin becomes very painful to the touch. Stage two is often treated by soaking the damaged skin in a saline solution. Unfortunately, the skin has already suffered irreversible damage, as the tissue has been starved of blood flow and other nutrients and has begun to die off. This skin is removed to allow the ulcer to be exposed to oxygen and heal itself. However, it can take weeks for the exposed ulcer to be sealed by the skin, as it takes longer for an elder’s body to repair itself.

Stage Three

This stage is defined by a much deeper wound than stage two; however, there appears to be no bone, tendon, or muscle involvement with the wound itself. 

Signs of stage three bedsores include:

  • Wounds extending into deep layers of broken skin
  • Deep, small, crater-like wounds that appear to have dead fatty tissue inside

Stage three pressure ulcers are very difficult to treat, especially if they occur somewhere that normally would be hard to keep pressure off of, such as the back. 

At this stage, bedsores can be treated with methods of debriding (removing the dead tissue to let the wound heal) that require surgery. After surgery, the wound is then covered to reduce the risk of infection.

Stage Four

Stage four bedsores represent the most severe and critical stage of pressure ulcers. The ulcer has extended even deeper at this stage, exposing underlying structures such as bones, tendons, or muscles.

Signs of stage four bedsores include:

  • Extensive tissue damage, often exposing bones, tendons, or muscles.
  • Large, deep craters in the skin with visible necrotic tissue.
  • There is a high risk of infection due to the extensive exposure of underlying structures.

Stage four bedsores require intensive medical intervention and specialized care. Treatment may involve surgical procedures to remove necrotic tissue and repair underlying structures. Wound management techniques, such as vacuum-assisted closure therapy, may also facilitate healing and reduce the risk of complications.

Due to the severity of stage four bedsores, patients often face prolonged recovery times and an increased risk of complications such as sepsis. Timely intervention and comprehensive medical care are essential to prevent further deterioration and promote healing.

What Causes Sepsis in Nursing Homes?

With stage three and four bedsores, sepsis can enter an elder’s bloodstream if the sore is left untreated or improperly treated. Sepsis is a clear sign of neglect in nursing homes, as it is an indication that an injury has persisted for a long enough time to become life-threatening.

Can Bedsores Lead to Death?

Bedsores and pressure ulcers can quickly become fatal if improperly treated and if a sepsis infection develops and becomes fatal. When a death occurs as a result of such neglect and mistreatment, it can be deemed a ​wrongful death​, which gives the deceased’s family a right to compensation.

Where Do Pressure Ulcers Typically Appear?

Bedsores will often appear in areas where the elder’s body weight is putting the most pressure against whatever it is that they are sitting or lying on for long time. 

The most common places a bedsore will form are:

  • Ankles/heels/toes
  • Back/shoulders
  • Tailbone/sacrum/coccyx
  • Elbows

What Are the Signs of Bedsore Formation?

Here are symptoms that indicate the formation of a bedsore, if occurring in a high-pressure area such as the ones listed above:

  • Painful or irritated skin
  • Reddish or discolored skin
  • Lack of blanching in the skin (skin does not lighten when pressure is applied, indicating lack of blood flow)
  • Blistering
  • Open wounds
  • Unusually soft or firm skin

When pressure from body weight is applied to an area of an elder’s skin for just two hours, blood flow can be reduced significantly, thereby cutting off oxygen to that area of the skin and causing the elder’s skin to die. When this occurs, deeper tissue begins to die if left untreated, which can lead to very severe pressure ulcers that result in exposed muscle and even bone. When the pressure sore grows, there is a higher risk of developing sepsis, a life-threatening bacterial infection in the bloodstream.

What Are Some Complications of Pressure Ulcers?

Bedsores can become a life-threatening condition if left untreated. This is particularly true when the pressure ulcer becomes infected and the resident develops sepsis. This is why it is crucial to contact an experienced, trusted attorney as soon as you discover that your loved one is suffering from bedsores.

What Damages Can Be Recovered in a Pressure Ulcer Claim in California?

In a pressure ulcer claim in California, you can recover several types of damages, including:

  • Medical Expenses: Covering the costs of treating the pressure ulcer, including hospital stays, surgeries, medications, and rehabilitation.
  • Pain and Suffering: Providing compensation for the physical discomfort and emotional distress resulting from the pressure ulcer and its treatment.
  • Lost Wages: The patient is reimbursed for income lost during the recovery period and potential future earnings if the condition affects their ability to work.
  • Loss of Consortium: Compensating for the adverse impact on the relationship between the patient and their spouse or family members.
  • Punitive Damages: In cases of severe negligence, punitive damages may be granted to deter similar behavior in the future and penalize the responsible party.
  • Non-Economic Damages: Offering compensation for diminished quality of life, emotional anguish, and other intangible losses.

Each case is unique, so the damages recoverable will depend on the details and extent of harm suffered. Consulting an experienced attorney can help determine the full range of damages applicable to your situation.

How Can Our San Diego Pressure Ulcer/Bedsore Attorney Help?

At Joel R. Bryant, our skilled pressure ulcer attorneys are committed to assisting victims and their families through the legal process to obtain the compensation they deserve. Here’s how we can help:

  • Case Assessment: We will review your case in detail to determine its validity and the best strategy.
  • Evidence Collection: Our team will gather all pertinent evidence, including medical records, witness statements, and expert opinions, to support your case.
  • Collaboration with Experts: We collaborate with medical professionals to understand the severity of the injury and establish a connection between the pressure ulcer and the negligence involved.
  • Legal Advice: We offer clear and comprehensive legal guidance to help you understand your rights and options throughout the case.
  • Settlement Negotiation: Our attorneys are adept at negotiating fair settlements with the responsible parties or insurance companies.
  • Court Representation: If a settlement cannot be reached, we will take your case to court to fight for your deserved compensation.
  • Compensation Maximization: We seek compensation for all relevant damages, including medical costs, pain and suffering, lost wages, and more.

At Joel R. Bryant, our commitment lies in offering compassionate and effective legal advocacy, striving for justice for individuals impacted by pressure ulcers resulting from negligence. Reach out to us today to discover how we can support you.

Contact Joel R. Bryant as soon as possible if one of your friends or family members has developed pressure ulcers. Mr. Bryant and his legal team hold nursing homes accountable and will take your case to trial if necessary. ​

Call (619) 597-2577​ for a free case consultation. By taking action today, you could prevent further abuse by the wrongdoers and hold them accountable.



In Their Own Words

  • "Mr. Bryant and his staff were always available to answer our questions and concerns."
    Eugenia A.
  • "Joel used creativity and attention to details of complex corporate matters to move the case to settlement within six months of filing."
    Robert H.
  • "They were very professional, honest, compassionate, and supportive."
    Brent R.

What Sets Us Apart

  • The Elder Litigation Team
    From nursing home neglect to financial elder abuse to will & trust fraud, we provide full-service litigation for elders and their families.
  • Ready to Win in Probate or Civil Court
    With extensive experience in all three areas of elder litigation, our team is equally comfortable in either probate or civil court.
  • Compassionate Attorneys
    Our fair and ethical team is committed to protecting elders' rights; we'll be your dedicated advocate during this difficult time.
  • Experience Sets Us Apart
    With over 30 years in the legal field, our breadth of experience in elder law litigation gives us a competitive edge and perspective.

Contact Us

Whether you have questions or you’re ready to get started, our Elder Litigation Team is ready to help. Complete our form below or call us at (619) 597-2577.

  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.
  • By submitting, you agree to be contacted about your request & other information using automated technology. Message frequency varies. Msg & data rates may apply. Text STOP to cancel. Acceptable Use Policy