Compensation for Bedsorefs: What Victims and Families Should Know

nursing home neglect attorney

Choosing to place an elderly loved one into a long-term care facility or nursing home is never an easy decision. When that individual develops dangerous bedsores, you will likely find yourself with new and difficult choices to make regarding legal action. As you consider litigation, you might have many questions regarding a possible neglect case. Our attorneys at Gordon & Partners can guide you through building a viable bedsore case and provide the answers you and your loved one need.

Are All Bedsores Grounds for Compensation? 

Developing bedsores can cause damage to the skin and the surrounding tissue. Without treatment, they grow worse in four classified stages, including:

  • Stage 1, with an area of discolored or painful skin 
  • Stage 2, where an open sore develops 
  • Stage 3, where sores develop into craters 
  • Stage 4, where the sore damages tissue, tendon and muscle 

Nursing home employees should remain vigilant about identifying bedsores, as proper treatment can prevent a developing sore from worsening. In most cases, stage 3 and 4 bedsores point to signs of neglect, and our attorneys can help you build a case that offers you and your injured loved one proper compensation.

What Is An Unstageable Bed Sore? 

These types of bedsores include damage that goes beyond what you might see in a stage 4 bedsore injury. When a bedsore goes untreated or ignored, it eventually damages the body to this degree, which includes necrosis, or the death of skin tissue and muscle. The area surrounding an unstageable bedsore is extremely prone to infection, which often leads to septic shock and even death.

How Does Neglect Cause Preventable Bedsores? 

Elderly individuals are at high risk for developing bedsores because of their limited mobility once they enter a nursing facility. They spend much of their time in bed, in chairs or wheelchairs. The longer they stay in one position, the greater the risk of developing these sores. The pressure of sitting or lying on a surface this way can cause a bedsore to develop within a matter of hours.

Bedsores point to neglect on behalf of a nursing home staff because these wounds only happen when a patient is left in one position too long, resulting in a pressure wound. Neglecting to move or turn the patient, as well as failing to notice a developing bedsore, suggests that facility staff are not doing all they can to prevent these injuries.

Do Bedsores Lead To Secondary Illnesses? 

As our attorneys build your bedsore case, they examine your loved one’s medical history and whether a bedsore caused a secondary issue that resulted in severe illness or death. While some people think of bedsores as a common result of inactivity or immobility, they can cause serious medical issues.


When bedsores reach stage 2 and the affected area becomes an open sore, an infection can set in quickly and cause a high fever. Once the infection begins to spread, it affects the tissue around the sore. Ultimately, bedsores can lead to sepsis and septic shock, which can cause major organs in the body to shut down.

Bacterial Meningitis 

The bacteria generated by bedsores multiply rapidly in the body, which can lead to bacterial meningitis. This is a serious medical issue that affects the protective layer of the spinal cord and the brain, which leads to swelling in those areas.


When stage 4 bedsores are allowed to develop, the bacteria created by the resulting infection can lead to osteomyelitis, a deadly bone infection. In some cases, this infection could lead to a necessary amputation of a limb to prevent further spread of bacteria.

Our attorneys will investigate your loved one’s case based on medical reports and whether these secondary illnesses contributed to severe illness or death.

What Is a Bedsore Injury Case Worth? 

Because bedsores can cause many different types of medical problems, the value of your case may depend on the severity of the bedsore injury, whether that injury resulted in life-threatening surgeries and even death. Our attorneys can build a case based on a variety of losses, including:

  • The cost of treating bedsores and secondary problems
  • Pain and suffering 
  • The cost of medication
  • The cost of rehabilitation treatment 
  • The cost of funeral expenses if your loved one died from bedsores

Discussing the individual details of a possible nursing home neglect case with our attorneys can help them build a strong foundation for meeting the burden of proof in court.

Does a Bedsore Injury Case Include Punitive Damages? 

When nursing homes and other facilities that care for elderly patients fail to notice bedsores or do not shift bedbound patients often enough to prevent them, this causes unnecessary pain and suffering for those who develop bedsores. Our attorneys can request punitive damages that punish the defendant for neglectful or careless behavior, as bedsores are preventable in immobile nursing home patients.

What If I Believe Bedsores Caused My Loved One’s Death? 

Bedsores often develop quickly once affected individuals cannot move on their own or shift their weight to prevent them. Since infection worsens with each bedsore stage, the risk of death increases steadily.

When you bring your injury case to our attorneys, they can review facility records and autopsy reports to prove neglect caused bedsores that led to your family member’s death. Other conditions caused by neglect often have a connection with how quickly bedsores develop and worsen.

What Types of Neglect Can Contribute to Nursing Home Bedsores? 

While failing to move or shift an immobile patient is the main cause of bedsores, other types of staff neglect can lead to their development as well.

Poor Nutrition 

A lack of healthy food can cause bedsores to worsen quickly. The body cannot fight infections caused by pressure sores when it suffers from malnutrition. If your loved one passed, a medical examiner can provide our attorneys with evidence, such as an autopsy report, that proves the lack of a healthy diet contributed to how quickly bedsores developed.


Nursing facility patients who can still take in liquids orally may suffer from dehydration when the staff fails to offer hydrating liquids or fails to notice the signs of dehydration, such as darker urine. A lack of fluids can weaken the body and the infections caused by bedsores.

Poor Hygiene

When the staff at a nursing facility fails to keep its patients clean with daily assisted showers, frequent clothing changes and sponge baths, the resulting poor hygiene can contribute to the worsening of bedsores. Areas prone to moisture, such as the genital and buttocks, require absorbent padding products to reduce the risk of infection.

An Unclean Environment

Dirty bed or wheelchair trays, soiled bedding and unclean floors can all lead to the introduction of dangerous bacteria. When a facility staff does not put much of a focus on cleaning and your loved one develops a bedsore, the unsanitary environment could cause it to degenerate faster.

Let Us Handle Your Nursing Home Neglect Case 

When you entrust the care of your elderly loved one to a nursing facility, you expect high-quality care that provides a safe and comfortable environment. When neglect causes bedsores and your family member suffers, turn to our attorneys at Gordon & Partners for answers, assistance and peace of mind. Call us 24/7 at 1-855-722-2552 or contact us online for a free case evaluation.

Gordon & Partners - For The Injured®


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