legal resources necessary to hold negligent facilities accountable.
Frederick Maryland Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Sometimes, staff members may be rough with a resident or deliberately ignore their needs. Other times, carelessness may occur if nurses or aides don't keep patients clean or appropriately fed. Sometimes, staff members may steal from patients or even sexually assault them.
Your family has legal options. The affiliate Maryland personal injury attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center, LLC, can help you fight for compensation and justice. We've been standing up for the rights of nursing home residents for years, and we're ready to put our experience to work for you.
Contact our Frederick, MD nursing home abuse lawyers at (800) 926-7565 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for immediate legal advice and schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.What Is Nursing Home Abuse?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines nursing home abuse and neglect as “an intentional act, or failure to act, by a caregiver or another person in a relationship involving an expectation of trust that causes or creates a risk of harm to an older adult” over 60.
The National Center for Elder Abuse (NCEA) states that there are five types:
- Physical Abuse could involve hitting, slapping, shoving, or any other type of force that results in physical pain or injury. Many cases of physical assault go unreported when involving people who cannot speak up for themselves.
- Emotional Abuse could involve verbal or nonverbal attacks that cause emotional pain or distress, such as name-calling, shaming, and threats. Emotional abuse often leaves disabled, cognitively impaired, and elderly people with psychological scars.
- Sexual Abuse is any type of sexual contact or activity without the resident's consent that could involve rape, sexual misconduct, harassment, unwanted touching, and other inappropriate activities. Individuals are at risk of sexual misconduct from caregivers, employees, contract workers, visitors, friends, family members, and other patients.
- Financial Abuse could involve the unauthorized use of a resident's money or property for personal gain. Financial abuse can include stealing cash, forging checks, and using a power of attorney to access bank accounts by caregivers, family members, friends, visitors, employees, and other patients.
- Negligence is a failure to provide the necessities of life, such as food, water, shelter, and medical care. Negligent behavior by caregivers includes not providing proper supervision to prevent accidents or injuries.
According to the NCEA, neglect is the most common type of mistreatment experienced by nursing home residents, followed by financial exploitation. Physical abuse and sexual assault are less common but still occur frequently.
Unfortunately, the problem of nursing home negligence and abuse problem is nationwide. Every year, millions of seniors are abused, neglected, or mistreated in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.
A 2019 US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) study found that nearly one in three individuals in nursing homes or long-term care facilities experience some form of nursing home negligence, abuse, or mistreatment.
In Maryland, the Office of Health Care Quality (OHCQ) is responsible for investigating claims of patients experiencing abuse and disregard for established protocols in nursing homes.
Between October 1, 2017, and September 30, 2018, the OHCQ received 1,816 complaints of nursing home negligence and abuse in the state. Of those complaints, 579 were substantiated after investigation.How Do I Know if My Loved One is Being Abused or Neglected?
Signs of nursing home negligence or mistreatment could involve physical, emotional, behavioral, or financial problems. Unfortunately, many victims cannot speak up for themselves due to cognitive impairments or other disabilities.
However, there are still ways to tell if something is wrong. Family members and friends should look for apparent warning signs of abuse or neglect if they suspect their loved one is being mistreated.
The warning signs of physical abuse may include bruises, cuts, bed sores, and broken bones. Emotional abuse may be signaled by sudden behavioral changes, such as withdrawn or aggressive behavior.
Financial exploitation can be indicated by unexpected withdrawals from bank accounts or credit cards, missing personal property, or sudden changes in wills or power of attorney documents.
If you see any of these warning signs with your loved one, it is vital to take action immediately. Contact an experienced nursing home neglect lawyer to discuss your legal options and help protect your loved one's rights.What Should I Do if I Suspect Abuse or Neglect?
Do you suspect a nursing home patient is suffering? Do you want to stop the mistreatment and take steps to legally hold those responsible accountable? There are steps you can take, including:
- Contact the facility administrator and file a formal complaint. Under state law, the administrator must immediately notify state and federal agencies to initiate an investigation that will likely start the following business day.
- Call the Maryland Adult Protective Services (MAPS) to report a vulnerable adult's suspected ill-treatment, neglect, or self-neglect. The hotline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at (800) 223-3164.
- Notify law enforcement if you suspect a crime has been committed, including physical abuse or sexual misconduct. The police will investigate and may make an arrest.
- Contact an experienced Frederick nursing home abuse attorney to discuss your options and legal representation to help protect your loved one's rights.
At Nursing Home Law Center, LLC, our dedicated Frederick nursing home injury attorneys have helped many victims of nursing home neglect and abuse get the justice they deserve.
Our lawyers will fight to hold those responsible for the mistreatment accountable and help you get the compensation your loved one needs and deserves. Contact our affiliate law firm to schedule a free consultation to learn more.Why Facility-Acquired Bedsores Are Considered Negligence
According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), patients in hospitals and nursing homes who develop bedsores are usually victims of caregiver negligence.
The CMS categorizes bedsores (pressure sores, pressure wounds, pressure ulcers, decubitus ulcers) as "never events" because they should never develop if the nursing staff follows established skin care protocols.
Pressure wounds develop when patients are left in the same position for too long without repositioning. The weight of the patient's body pressing down on the skin cuts off blood flow to the area, causing the tissue to break down, forming sores and compromising the resident’s physical health.
Bedsores are dangerous because of how easily they can become infected. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), infections only need three factors to become infected, including:\
- A source where the germs live and multiply
- Susceptible people such as elderly people or those disabled, and
- Transmission such as through the blood between individuals.
Bedsores are most likely to develop on bony areas of the body such as the hips, tailbone, shoulders, ankles, and heels. However, they can occur anywhere on the body where there is decreased blood flow due to prolonged pressure.
Patients who are immobile or have limited mobility are at a higher risk for developing bedsores because they cannot reposition themselves. Other risk factors include incontinence, poor nutrition, dehydration, and certain medical conditions such as diabetes.Why Nursing Home Residents Falling Is a Sign of Mistreatment
When formulating a care plan, nursing staff members must assess the resident's medical condition to identify health and safety concerns. This assessment is reevaluated at least once every three months.
The nurses must follow procedure and protocol to follow the patient's care plan, including:
- Review the medical chart for fall risks
- Perform a physical health assessment of the patient
- Observe the resident's activities and ambulation
- Monitor for changes in the resident's condition that could increase the risk of falling
Nurses and nursing aides must provide ongoing supervision for patients at risk of falling. Failure to do so is considered nursing home negligence. The patients with the highest fall risk might include:
- Patients in nursing homes with a history of falls
- Individuals who are confused or have dementia
- People who are taking medications that could cause dizziness or instability
- Elderly patients with vision problems
- Individuals who are unsteady when walking or have difficulty ambulating
Falls can lead to severe injuries such as broken bones, head injuries, and even death. In some elder abuse cases, the fall might be caused by the nursing home's neglect.
For example, if your loved one is not adequately supervised and wanders off, the nursing home could be held liable if the patient is injured in a fall. Our affiliate lawyers will help ensure you receive full reimbursement for any injuries or losses.How Negligence Leading to Medication Errors Can Harm and Kill Residents
The nursing home staff must follow strict guidelines when administering medications to patients. Medication errors can occur when the staff does not properly assess the resident's condition, does not correctly interpret the doctor's orders, or does not administer the medication correctly.
Medication errors caused by the nursing home’s negligence have severe consequences for patients, including:
- Misidentification of medications leads to the wrong medication being given to the patient or medication being delivered twice.
- An improper dosage that is too high or too low could cause severe health complications for the resident.
- Wrong time of day - Medications should be given at certain times as prescribed to ensure they are effective. Administering a drug at the wrong time can negate its benefits or even be dangerous.
- Interactions with other medications - Some medications interact and can cause severe health problems for the patient.
Some common side effects of medication errors include:
- Nausea and vomiting
Are you or a beloved family member a victim of nursing home negligence or elder abuse? You might be entitled to receive financial compensation for your injuries by filing a claim against the nursing home/assisted living facility and the person who abused you.
Damages that you may be able to recover include:
- Medical expenses - This includes past and future medical expenses related to the mistreatment.
- Pain and suffering - You may be able to receive damages for the pain and suffering you have endured as a result of an assault or oversite.
- Emotional distress - You can also receive damages for the emotional pain and mental anguish caused by one or multiple events of mistreatment.
- Loss of enjoyment of life - If the ill-treatment has caused you to lose joy in life, you can receive damages for that loss.
- Punitive damages - In some cases, you may be able to receive punitive damages, which are meant to punish the nursing home or abuser for their actions.
All lawyers will tell you that not every case will result in a successful recovery of damages. An experienced nursing home negligence lawyer can advise you during your free consultation of your best course of action and help you or a disabled or elderly loved one file a claim.Contact Our Maryland Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys Today to Resolve Your Injury Claim
Nursing home abuse and neglect can have severe consequences for residents, including injury and even death, tearing your family apart. If you or a beloved family member has been the victim of nursing home neglect or abuse, you may be entitled to receive financial compensation by filing a claim against the nursing home.Free Consultation
The affiliate Frederick nursing home abuse attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center, LLC, have years of experience handling nursing home abuse cases and can help you obtain the justice you deserve. Contact an abuse lawyer today for a free consultation at (800) 926-7565 or use the contact form on our website.
As nursing home abuse lawyers, we accept all negligence and abuse cases and provide legal representation on a contingency fee arrangement. This agreement ensures you pay nothing until our personal injury lawyers obtain compensation on your behalf through a negotiated settlement or jury award.
Anything you disclose as a new client to our lawyers will remain confidential through your attorney-client relationship.Resources: