Maine Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Attorneys
Nursing home negligence in Maine is increasingly becoming a phenomenon in nursing homes for the sole reason of finances. Nursing homes typically operate with inadequate staffing levels and lack necessary services for residents due to the cost factor. Administrators would rather pack in as many residents as possible into a nursing home and forego any extra costs of hiring additional staff members or paying for more services to treat residents.
Medicare routinely inspect, investigate and surveys every nursing facility in Maine and uses the information to compare against all other homes nationwide. The federal agency found serious violations and deficiencies at twenty-three (23%) of the 100 Maine nursing homes that are now deemed below the national average because they provide their residents substandard care. If your loved one was injured, neglected, abused, mistreated or died unexpectedly while residing in a nursing facility in Maine, contact the Maine nursing home abuse attorneys at Nursing Home Law Center today to discuss your compensation claim during a free, initial case review.
Nursing home administrators are usually not aware that certain privileges can be taken away upon the recognition that abuse or neglect is occurring in the nursing home. They may no longer be able to accept Medicare or Medicaid patients into the facility. They may not be eligible to receive disbursements to cover the cost of patient care from Medicare or Medicaid.
If you suspect that the cutbacks of a nursing home are affecting the well-being of your loved one, then you may have legal recourse with the help of a Maine nursing home lawyer. A Maine nursing home lawyer can make sure that a loved one is taken out of an abusive situation as soon as possible. He or she can also begin the process of collecting information from administrators to further investigate any incidents of abuse, fraud, neglect or exploitation.Maine Nursing Home Injury Laws
Nursing home negligence in Maine is a serious issue that the law has been developed to handle. The Adult Protective Services Act has been modeled after other similar acts in other states that intend to provide harsh penalties for those who engage in abuse or knowingly fail to report abuse of nursing home residents. Nursing home workers may be criminally liable if they failed to report the abuse of your loved one, despite the fact that they knew it occurred on a regular basis. When you hire a nursing home lawyer for your case, he or she will be able to research the possibility that nursing home workers knew that your loved one was being abused.
Under the Act, there is a long list of individuals who have a responsibility to report the abuse of your loved one. This list includes professionals like doctors, social workers, psychologists, speech therapists, physical therapists, medical examiners, dentists, chiropractors, podiatrists and even more individuals.
When a case of abuse has been brought to the attention of the judiciary in Maine, it is possible for the court to enter an emergency order onto the record. The court may put forth an emergency record that requires the abused adult to be placed into a different nursing home. The court may take any reasonable action that will ensure the abused adult is protected from any further harm.Understand the Signs of Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse
It is vital that family members consider the signs of nursing home neglect and abuse that can impact a loved one. There are signs that a loved one is being victimized in an abusive situation, and family members must do whatever they can to remedy this situation. Some signs that a loved one may be suffering from neglect or abuse are the following:
- Spoiled clothing that remains unchanged
- Unchanged bed sheets and covers
- Unsanitary room conditions
- Unsanitary food
- Malnutrition and dehydration
- External bleeding
- Cuts and abrasions on the face
- Broken bones
- Poor hygiene
- Bed sores
- Emotional disturbance
If a family member notices any of these signs of abuse or neglect, then he or she should be immediately alerted that there is a strong likelihood of actual abuse and neglect. It will be vital that family members make a report of their suspicion to law enforcement. Law enforcement authorities can then investigate the case.Assert Your Loved One’s Legal Rights with Maine Nursing Home Lawyers
Nursing home lawyers in Maine are available to represent the rights of your loved one and receive a settlement. A settlement may cover the pain and suffering, medical expenses and other losses that a loved one has suffered as a result of abuse and neglect. Our attorneys are here to help families and residents throughout the State of Alabama in such areas as:
Speak with our lawyers today about moving forward in your life and helping your loved one move forward in his or her life. It is about time that justice be served in your situation.
When a nursing home patient remains in the same position in a wheelchair or bed for an extended time, they can easily develop a bedsore. The applied pressure restricts oxygen rich blood from reaching the area, which inflames the skin and surrounding tissue. After just a few hours of immobility, fluid filled blisters and red spots can develop into a pressure ulcer (bedsore; pressure sore; decubitus ulcer) requiring immediate treatment.
It is the duty of nursing home staff to readjust the position of bedridden patients at least one time every two hours to prevent the development of a pressure ulcer. In addition, the nurses and nursing aides are required to relieve the pressure of individuals in wheelchairs for the same reason. However, many nursing homes are filled to capacity without enough trained staff to ensure these adjustments are made in a timely manner. A Sign of Neglect When A Loved One Develops a Pressure Sore at a Maine Medical Facility
Based on the severity of the wound and the health of the patient, most pressure ulcers are easily identified in the early stages (Stages I & II). As a bedsore develops, significant damage in the underlying tissue has not yet formed. At this stage, if the staff is paying close attention to the skin integrity of every patient, many pressure sores can be avoided.
In 2007 the United States CMS (Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services) began labeling a Stage III & IV pressure ulcer (full thickness bedsore) as a “never event.” To the CMS, these types of highly advanced ulcers are completely preventable using reasonable proven protocols. This means that most advanced stages of pressure sores are avoidable and often caused by obvious neglect by the staff.
Far too many Maine nursing homes have not implemented effective programs to identify and treat patients with an increased risk of developing a pressure ulcer. These high-risk patients tend to be:
- Age 65 years or older who experience diminished capillary blood circulation and minimal fat underneath the skin
- Suffering a condition that affects their mobility including cognitive impairment, sedation, spinal cord injury, or a prolonged stay in a hospital
- Suffering extended exposure to some type of skin irritant including lying in their own feces, urine or moisture
- Suffering impaired capacity to properly heal a wound that might be the result of malnourishment, arterial disease or diabetes
Every nursing facility in the state of Maine is duty bound to follow federal and state regulations when providing patient care. Any failure to do so is considered negligence, where the facility can have their licensing revoked.
Negligence is often the root cause of nearly all facility-acquired bedsores. Sadly, pressure ulcers are often the underlying cause of many avoidable patient deaths in nursing facilities. Unfortunately, nursing home administrators often persuade family members that pressure sores are just a common occurrence of the aging population. However, that is not true.
When family members detect a bedsore on a loved one, it is essential to take legal action against the facility and hold all those at fault accountable for their negligence. In fact, many family members will hire a Maine pressure ulcer attorney to file a lawsuit or claim to stop the negligence. The attorney will also seek compensation to provide adequate funds to hire skilled medical specialists to properly treat the pressure ulcer of their loved one.Taking Legal Action for a Maine Bed Sore
Below is a list of reputable Maine pressure ulcer attorneys who specialize in negligent cases involving elderly, disabled and infirmed nursing home patients. The lawyers offer a variety of legal options to stop the negligence. They have instant access to medical professionals with special training to treat serious life-threatening pressure ulcers, and offer their services in cities throughout Maine including:
- South Portland
If your loved one is suffering a bedsore acquired in the nursing home, fill and submit the contact form here to schedule a no obligation free consultation with a legal specialist listed below. These Maine nursing home negligence lawyers accept cases on contingency, meaning no upfront fees are required to seek financial compensation for your family’s damages and losses.
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
- 3 years for adults, 6 years for minors. (MRS Title 14 §752 – Three years for adults, six years for minors)
- Medical Malpractice – 3 years. Minors must file claim within 6 years after cause of action or 3 years after minor reaches age of majority, whichever comes first. (MRS Title 24 §2902)
STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
2 years. In wrongful death matters stemming from nursing home negligence, the statute of limitations is 3 years.
(MRS Title 18 §2-804 – Actions for wrongful death – http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/statutes/18-A/title18-Asec2-804.html)
- $500,000 cap on non-economic damages (loss of comfort, society and companionship, emotional distress) and $75,000 cap on punitive damages. (MRS Title 18 §2-804 – Actions for wrongful death)
- Maine Department of Health and Human Services
- Office of Elder Services
- Adult Protective Services
- Long Term Care Ombudsman
- Adult Protective Services Act – (Me. Rev. Stat. Title 22 Health & Welfare, Subtitle 2, Pt. 2, Chpt. 958-A §§3470-3493)