Does Your Loved One Reside in a Maryland Nursing Home?
Nursing home residents in Maryland have a right to be right to be treated with dignity and respect by doctors and nursing home staff. If you believe a nursing home resident is being abused or neglected there is abuse or neglect, it is important to consult with an a Maryland attorney who has experience representing nursing home residents who have been abused or neglected..
What are your family’s legal rights if a family member is abused or neglected in a Maryland nursing home? What steps can you take? When should you consider taking legal action, and when should you contact a Pikesville nursing home abuse attorney?
You will find answers to those questions below, but if your family is dealing with the neglect or abuse of a loved one in a Maryland nursing home facility, you should contact a lawyer skilled in nursing home abuse and neglect cases as quickly as possible.
What Constitutes Abuse or Neglect in a Maryland Nursing Home?
According to data provided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and compiled by ProPublica, for the three-year period from November 2019 through November 2022, of 225 Maryland nursing homes, “serious” deficiencies were found by regulators at 59 of the facilities.
Even though Maryland’s finest nursing home facilities have proven that owners can earn profits without reducing the level of nursing home care, many nursing homes throughout Maryland cut down on staffing and necessary resources to increase profits.
When profits are a higher priority than the health and safety of the residents, abuse and neglect can occur, including but not limited to:
- infections, malnutrition, or dehydration
- medical malpractice or negligence
- verbal, physical, or emotional abuse
- failure to monitor residents adequately
- a resident’s unnecessary restraint, neglect, or isolation
What Are the Signs of Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect?
Bedsores are a clear sign that a nursing home resident is likely being neglected because they can be easily prevented by regularly turning a patient. Overlooking something so basic may constitute neglect and signals that neglect might be widespread at the facility. Other signs of abuse and neglect include:
- burns, bruises, cuts, and falls
- hunger, thirst, and/or a rapid weight loss
- inadequate personal hygiene and/or dental care
- sudden personality, attitude, or mood shifts including severe depression and self-isolation
Nursing home residents in Maryland are protected by both state and federal laws that make nursing homes liable if they fail to protect the rights, health, and safety of their residents.
The Maryland Department of Health regulates nursing homes and Maryland law requires nursing homes to have established procedures and policies to prevent the neglect and abuse of nursing home residents.
What Other Forms Does Nursing Home Abuse Take?
Financial exploitation is on the rise at nursing homes in Maryland. Financial exploitation includes forging signatures, manipulating or bullying a nursing home resident into signing a check, a contract, or a will, and the theft of debit and credit cards, jewelry, and cash.
On several occasions, assaults have been reported. In 2020, for instance, a man was viciously assaulted at a Detroit-area nursing home. The incident was caught on video and stunned the nation. While violent incidents are rare, abuse and neglect still happen far too often.
Nursing home abuse and neglect may be difficult to identify because some of the victims may not understand that they are being neglected or abused. Nursing home residents who suffer with Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, or dementia are especially vulnerable to neglect or abuse.
If you uncover any evidence that your loved one is being neglected, abused, or exploited at a Maryland nursing home facility, you must take action immediately and arrange to speak with a Maryland nursing home abuse attorney.
Make Sure Your Loved One Isn’t Neglected or Abused
Before you place a family member in a nursing home, be certain that the facility is sufficiently staffed. Across the nation, nursing homes and their residents are suffering from a shortage of qualified personnel, and that shortage severely impacts the care that residents receive.
The way to ensure that a loved one is properly cared for is to visit the nursing home frequently, get to know the staff, and pay close attention to details. Do any of the patients appear to have bed sores? Is the clothing and bedding clean? Are residents getting the medical attention they need?
Nursing homes that place their residents at risk for injury and diseases, ignore their rights, or deny their dignity may constitute nursing home negligence or abuse. Under Maryland law, a person who is injured as due to someone else’s negligence may be entitled to recover compensation.
If you or your family believes that your loved one is the victim of abuse or negligence at a Maryland nursing home facility, speak to a nursing home abuse attorney who will fight on your loved one’s behalf.
How Will Your Nursing Home Negligence or Abuse Claim Be Handled?
Your lawyer will launch an immediate investigation, seek evidence and testimony to support your claims, and fight for justice for your loved one. If the abuse or negligence constitutes a criminal offense such as assault or forgery, your lawyer may recommend contacting the police.
Should you move forward with a legal claim, your lawyer will negotiate with the owners of the nursing home (and their insurance company and lawyers) to recover compensation for your loved one’s pain and suffering, additional medical expenses, and other related damages.
Is a Trial Required?
If your claim is denied or disputed, or if no acceptable settlement amount is offered in the private negotiations, your lawyer may recommend filing a lawsuit. If the case proceeds to trial, the lawyer will tell the jury your loved one’s story by explaining the manner in which your loved one was abused and/or neglected and the pain and suffering your loved one suffered as a result of the abuse and/or neglect. The lawyer will then ask the jurors to order the nursing home owners to compensate your loved one.
The process begins with a free case evaluation that is offered with no obligation. Your free case evaluation is your chance to learn how Maryland law applies to your case and to your loved one’s particular situation, so that you’ll be making an informed decision if you take legal action.
There is no reason for any nursing home resident to receive anything but the highest-quality care or to be treated with anything less than full respect and dignity.
If you move forward with a negligence or abuse claim, your Baltimore-area attorney will fight for the compensation – and even more importantly, for the justice – that your loved one is entitled to under Maryland law.