Bedsores: Can a GA Nursing Home Be Held Liable?

Nursing Home Negligence and Pressure Sores Personal Injury

Bedsores are one of the most common injuries that occur in Georgia nursing homes.  When you place a loved one in a nursing home, it is typically because they can no longer care for themselves and you are not able to provide the care they need. When you choose a nursing home, you are entrusting the nursing home’s administrators and staff with one of the most important duties imaginable: caring for another human being, your loved one.

Finding out that your loved one has developed bedsores can understandably feel like a violation of that trust. In Georgia law, you may have a legal claim against the nursing home and/or some of its staff members for the harm.

Pressure Ulcers and Bedsores

Pressure ulcers and bedsores are two different terms for the same condition of skin sores that develop as a result of limited blood flow to an area. Blood flow is limited when a part of the body is pressed up against something, like a bed or wheelchair, for a long period of time. Bedsores are more likely to develop on the skin atop bony areas such as the hip, ankle, back of head, and tailbone.

Bedsores range in severity from a red, swollen area on the skin’s surface to a deep open wound that may never fully heal. Their severity is identified by stages; stage 1 is the least severe and stage 4 is the most severe. More severe cases can lead to severe complications including sepsis, which is a body-wide infection, and even death.

Causes of Pressure Ulcers

Bedsores are a common problem in nursing facilities, particularly among patients with limited or no independent mobility. These patients are often spending the bulk or all of their days in bed or between a bed and a wheelchair. Being in the same position creates pressure at certain spots, which cuts off blood flow and causes bedsores.

Nursing homes sometimes argue that pressure ulcers and bedsores are unavoidable, but this is deceptive. It is true that even with the best nursing home care, pressure ulcers and bedsores sometimes develop. However, there are ways to significantly reduce the risk of bedsores. In fact, the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center estimates that 95% of all pressures sores are preventable.

Legal Liability for Pressure Ulcers and Bedsores

Two of the most important steps for preventing bedsores in nursing home patients are repositioning the patient frequently and make sure skin is kept dry.   This means nursing home staff must promptly clean up any urine or feces for bedridden patients. Nursing homes are obligated to take these and other steps to prevent pressure sores. They must also provide adequate medical care for any bedsores that do develop. Unfortunately, nursing homes do not always live up to these responsibilities.

Get Legal Help for Nursing Home Malpractice and Negligence

There are far too many cases where a Georgia nursing home resident’s bedsores could have been avoided or complications minimized if the nursing facility provided the care it was ethically and legally required to. Fortunately, nursing homes and their staff can be held liable for their misconduct.  

Proving that pressure ulcers and bedsores are the result of negligent or intentional misconduct by a nursing home or its staff members and not an unavoidable consequence of being largely bedridden, can be difficult. Having counsel experienced in nursing home lawsuits can improve your likelihood of successfully obtaining fair compensation. If you would like more information or would like to discuss your case, contact Williams Elleby today to schedule a free consultation by calling 833-LEGALGA.

Georgia’s Dram Shop Law & Drunk Driving

Drunk Driving and Dram Shop Statute in Georgia

If you have been injured in a vehicle collision with a drunk driver in Georgia, you may be able to pursue a claim against the restaurant or bar that over served the drunk. In Georgia dram shop lawsuits, the drunk driver isn’t the only party you can hold responsible. If an establishment knowingly over served the driver with alcohol prior to the accident, you may also have a claim against that establishment   . This claim may be brought thanks to what’s known as Georgia’s dram shop liability laws.

What Is a Dram Shop Law?

Georgia is one of 30 states nationwide to adopt some form of dram shop liability. While dram shop lawsuits are somewhat uncommon, Georgia juries have previously rendered significant verdicts against establishments that overserved drivers.

If a proprietor of a bar or one of their employees knowingly serves alcohol to a visibly intoxicated person, they may face liability if the intoxicated person goes on to injure someone in an alcohol-related accident.

In addition to visibly intoxicated patrons, dram shop laws also apply to anyone who serves a person less than 21 years of age. It makes no difference if the minor used a convincing fake ID to obtain alcohol; it is up to the establishment to determine when an ID is valid.

However, there are some exceptions to the rule. If the drunk driver consumes their own alcohol at the establishment, there is no liability on behalf of the owner or any employees. This is especially true in cases where an establishment does not sell alcohol at all. Additionally, there is an exception if the proprietor or employee has reason to believe the driver would not be driving later. Examples include if the driver had walked to the bar or had a cab waiting. Dram shop laws don’t apply in these situations.

Enforcement

It is up to business owners and employees to act with care when serving alcoholic beverages. The Georgia Department of Revenue is empowered to regulate alcohol license infractions, one of which has restrictions on overserving alcohol to patrons. But an investigative report has shown that they make little effort in actively policing bars and restaurants in an effort to curb overserving. While other states actively investigate bars to determine if they avoid overserving, the Georgia Department of Revenue has a reputation for not being as vigilant.

Discuss Georgia Dram Shop Laws With Our Georgia Dram Shop Lawyers

If you or a loved one have been injured in a Georgia traffic collision by a drunk driver, you may be entitled to seek monetary compensation from the responsible party. That compensation may include your medical bills, pain and suffering, property damage bills, lost wages, and punitive damages. And if the drunk driver that struck you was over-served by a Georgia bar or night club, you may be able to seek recovery from the establishment as well as the driver.

Attorney Joel Williams has a proven track record of recovering significant damages on behalf of his clients. Our experienced Georgia personal injury attorney, Joel carefully investigates every case to identify any legal issues and to provide his clients with an understanding of what to expect with an injury lawsuit. Contact Williams Elleby today at 833-LEGALGA today for a free consultation.