Maryland Nursing Home Neglect Lawsuit

You may have had to place an elderly or disabled family member at a nursing home, either because as a practical matter there was no other choice or because your family member didn’t want to live alone any longer. It’s a common occurrence as more of the population ages and suffers from chronic health conditions, and families are more scattered and less able to care for elderly and disabled family members by themselves.

Baltimore Nursing Home LawyerPlacement may have happened because your family member was hospitalized and unable to live safely at home or the family member needs rehabilitation following a surgery or illness. You may have had some time to do some research and visit different nursing homes before decisions were made about where a family member should live. No matter your situation, you made the best choice you could under the circumstances. You put your trust in a nursing home and hoped your family member could live a long and comfortable life as long as possible there.


But your trust may have been misplaced. Your family member may have suffered from neglect at the hands of nursing home staff and management, sustaining an injury as a result.

Some find that what appeared to be a safe and caring facility where qualified and motivated employees work is actually a place that’s more like a warehouse for the elderly and disabled. Staff is stretched thin and employees can be stressed, uncaring and even abusive. Residents don’t receive proper care, suffer infections, fall because they aren’t properly supervised or fall precautions weren’t in place, wander off the property and may abuse one another. Management keeps a closer eye on the bottom line than on the care of patients.

If you and your family are in this situation, don’t feel embarrassed. You made the best decisions you could and relied on people who were supposed to help you. Instead you should take action to help your loved one end the neglect, find a safe place where he or she can live and contact our office. We can talk about how those responsible for the neglect can be held accountable and how compensation for injuries can be obtained.

Maryland Injury Consultation AttorneyIN THE NEWS

There are new rules regarding forced arbitration in nursing homes that go into effect in November 2016.

read more about those changes here

A Poorly Run Nursing Home Can Threaten the Health and Well-Being of a Resident

Your loved one could face many challenges in a poorly run nursing home:

  • Alzheimer’s patients: Those with this degenerative brain disease suffer dementia and loss of memory. They may be agitated and disoriented, become lost and wander off. Poorly trained or overwhelmed staff may not know how to properly handle someone with Alzheimer’s disease and inappropriately restrain them. If there’s insufficient security, the resident could wander away from the facility and become injured.
  • Dementia patients: These residents require special treatment because of their loss of memory, cognitive and physical functions. Untrained staff members may not be able to cope with the challenges dementia patients present, lash out at them, abuse them or simply avoid them and not give them the care they need.
  • Nutritional neglect: Nursing home residents need to maintain good nutrition in order to maintain their health. Food may be unpalatable or inappropriate for the resident. If the person can’t feed himself, staff members may not devote enough time to assisting at meals to ensure the person is getting enough nutrition.
  • Resident-on-resident abuse: Residents may not suffer just at the hands of nursing home employees. Resident-on-resident abuse can occur when someone who presents a danger to others is admitted, either by mistake or simply to fill a bed and generate income. This resident may not be sufficiently supervised or receive the proper care, resulting in his verbally, emotionally, physically or sexually abusing others.
  • Bedsores or pressure ulcers: If a resident has problems with mobility and spends a lot of time sitting or lying down, bedsores can develop. They’re caused by too much pressure on the resident’s skin and flesh because staff isn’t shifting or moving the person enough. These sores can become infected and can be potentially life threatening.
  • Physical injuries: A resident can suffer injuries for a number of reasons. He or she may have been assaulted by a staff member or resident. If a resident needs to be lifted out of their bed or chair and it is not done properly, the resident could fall and be injured.
  • Falls & liability: A person who is elderly or disabled may be more likely to fall, but that doesn’t mean a nursing home isn’t responsible for injuries caused by a fall. If the resident trips over something, is pushed by another resident or is overmedicated, loses balance and falls, the facility may be responsible. A facility must property care-plan to prevent falling.
  • Medical neglect: Nursing homes have an obligation to provide residents with proper medical care. Failure to recognize and/or appropriately treat a condition may result in lasting harm and even death.
  • Sexual abuse: Residents may fall victim to sexual predators who are employees, residents or visitors. These victims either didn’t consent to the sexual contact or lacked the mental capacity to consent. This kind of abuse can lead to fear, anxiety, and depression, and may cause physical injuries and sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Employee abuse: There are some people who simply shouldn’t be working in nursing homes. This includes those who vent their life’s frustrations on nursing home residents by abusing them or simply who enjoy inflicting pain on vulnerable and defenseless people. Abuse by employees can include physical, emotional and sexual abuse, as well as financial exploitation.
  • Medication mismanagement: It’s very common for nursing home residents to be given either the wrong medications or the correct medications but in the wrong dose or at the wrong time. This can lead to serious complications or progression of the condition that’s supposed to be treated.

If you fear your loved one has been subjected to neglect, there can be many signs and symptoms to look for. They can be physical (unexplained bruises, broken bones or weight loss) or psychological (being fearful, detached, and hesitant to answer questions). If you think neglect has happened you should report it to the facility’s management and call the Law Offices of Roger Weinberg, LLC.

How a Nursing Home Can Be Held Accountable for Its Actions and Failures to Act

A nursing home could be held legally responsible for harm to a patient if it can be shown that harm was caused by the facility’s negligence. Personal injury and medical malpractice lawsuits are types of negligence actions that can be filed against a nursing home operator. All negligence claims have four elements that the plaintiff has the burden to prove. In a case involving possible neglect by nursing home staff, the plaintiff would need to show these things:

  • The nursing home had a duty of care to the resident.
  • That duty was breached when the facility failed to act as a reasonable facility would have acted under similar circumstances.
  • The facility’s conduct caused the harm both legally and factually.
  • The patient suffered an injury or death that under the law can be compensated.

Common occurrences that can lead to a nursing home negligence lawsuit include the failure to do the following:

  • Provide appropriate medical or nursing treatmentNursing Home Medication Error Attorney
  • Maintain adequate health and safety policies
  • Keep the facility free of hazards which may cause falls
  • Hire a sufficient number of qualified employees
  • Adequately supervise residents and staff
  • Provide sufficient security in order to keep residents safe.

How We Can Help You and Your Family

If you believe your loved one has been injured at a nursing home it’s important to act. It may not be easy to know what happened, especially when your family member has difficulty communicating. After you contact our office we will start an investigation which may prevent evidence from being lost or destroyed and allow us to interview witnesses while they’re still available. This could lead to evidence that could be used to show what happened, what needs to be done to prevent it from happening again and whether the nursing home is at fault.

In Maryland the statute of limitations is a three-year time limit for when a plaintiff needs to file a personal injury case against a nursing home. A medical malpractice claim has a limit of three to five years, depending on when the injury was discovered.

You shouldn’t wait nearly that long to contact us about a possible legal claim. You should reach out to us as soon as possible so we can start an investigation and you can learn about your rights and what you should and should not do to protect your legal claims.

We are a recognized elder abuse litigation law firm that primarily focuses on holding nursing homes and assisted living facilities accountable for their negligent actions. Our founding attorney, Roger S. Weinberg, started the Maryland Trial Lawyer’s Association’s Nursing Home Litigation Section and has fought for people like you for more than 30 years.

Nursing Home Injury Attorney in BaltimoreCall the Law Offices of Roger Weinberg, LLC, at 1-866-529-5839 from anywhere in Maryland, or fill out this contact form. Our lawyers have been practicing in this area for decades. We know the rights of nursing home patients, the legal obligations of nursing homes and we understand how the nursing home industry works.

We can help get the justice and compensation that your loved one deserves. We recognize that while there are many facilities that do a respectable job, there are just as many that do not — and it’s the vulnerable, elderly residents who pay the price. We understand that representing neglected nursing home residents and their families is a heavy responsibility and that our clients hire us because they need someone they can trust after a nursing home violated the trust they put in them. We earn our clients’ trust every day.

 

 

 

  • NHTLA - Nursing Home Trail Lawayers Association
  • Avvo