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Terrible, life-threatening bedsores can result from neglect of residents in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Recently, I went to the home of a woman in Northeast North Carolina whose elderly husband had contacted our law firm to look into a claim of nursing home negligence resulting in huge bedsores. I saw the large areas of ulceration and dead skin on this older gentleman that was caused by or made worse by two different nursing homes, one in North Carolina (NC) and one in Virginia (VA) that had failed to attend to the problem properly. The patient had had grafts done to cover some of the problem surgically. The wife was terribly upset that the nursing home staff had ignored the proper medical procedures for turning her husband in a way so as to prevent this bad outcome for him. It was sad that the family had not gotten the care and attention they deserved probably as a result of the healthcare facility being understaffed. The family and the nursing home were both lucky that they had not killed this man, which can be the tragic result of improperly treated bedsores.

Many times the bad outcomes in nursing homes are not just the result of overworked staff. Often, we find that the owners of these facilities deliberately put profits ahead of people and do not spend the money to have adequate and properly trained nurses and nurses’ assistants in the homes. For these companies, it is just a matter of dollars and cents that they want their corporation to be profitable forgetting that there is a human being that will suffer in the end by their cutting costs and cutting corners. At this level of corporate abuse, it is often a conscious decision by the administration to mistreat the elderly patients who they are supposed to be helping. Then, to add insult to injury, the companies who set up these underfunded nursing homes will also provide little or no malpractice insurance to cover the claims of serious injury or wrongful death that occur. It is very difficult for the State of North Carolina or local authorities to monitor and effectively prevent nursing home neglect and abuse. Thus, it falls on the individual family to try to make sure that the facilities that they put their loved ones in are safe and provide good care, to monitor the family member while they are in the nursing home, and to bring evidence of abuse or neglect to the attention of a personal injury lawyer who has a focus on nursing home cases if problems do arise.

Shapiro, Cooper Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm is based in Virginia, with offices in northeast NC and Virginia Beach (VA), practicing primarily in the southeastern U.S. and handles only injury law, including car, truck, railroad, and medical negligence cases and more. The firm’s website is:, the firm edits three injury law blogs: Virginia Beach Injuryboard & Norfolk Injuryboard, as well as the Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard and also hosts a video library covering many FAQ’s on personal injury subjects.

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