legal resources necessary to hold negligent facilities accountable.
Maryland Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Lawsuit Case Values
Nationwide, our population demographics are shifting to a much older population, and Maryland is no different. Every day in the U.S., 10,000 people turn 65. With a growing elder population, the amount of elder abuse is also on the rise. Sadly, the full effect is not even known, as an estimated 93% of these cases go unreported.
In a nationwide study comparing the states, Maryland ranks right in the middle, at number 24 in elder care protections. This shows that a significant amount of elder abuse occurs in Maryland.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Found in Maryland Nursing Homes
Nursing home residents in Maryland could face several different types of abuse or neglect.
- Physical Abuse
Any type of physical hitting, slapping, striking or excessive force may constitute physical abuse.
- Sexual Abuse
Any form of sexual battery, rape, or forcing a resident to look at pornographic materials constitutes sexual abuse.
- Injuries From Inadequate Care
Nursing home residents may develop bedsores if staff members fail to properly reposition them on a regular basis. Patients who suffer from dementia can sustain injuries from wandering due to poor supervision. A Bethesda woman suffered severe bedsores and other injuries from neglect, resulting in felony charges of her caregiver.
- Falling Injuries
Nursing homes must assess each patient’s fall risk and take preventative measures against falling injuries. Cluttered and poorly maintained facilities also increase falling risk.
- Medication Errors
Nursing home staff must properly administer all medications in accordance with prescribing doctors’ orders.
- Financial Abuse
Elderly citizens can easily be exploited or taken advantage of financially by strangers or caregivers. This document provides a wealth of tips for identifying and preventing financial abuse in the elderly in Maryland.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Maryland state law requires some individuals to act as mandatory reporters should they encounter any signs of elder abuse in a professional capacity, but anyone who witnesses signs of elder abuse may file a report. Some of the most common signs of nursing home abuse and neglect include:
- Dirty and cluttered facilities. Dirty sheets and clothes are an unacceptable sign of neglect.
- Presence of obvious falling hazards in a facility, such as poor visibility, broken lighting, or unmarked slippery surfaces.
- Bedsores. If a patient develops bedsores, attending caregivers have failed to properly reposition him or her on an acceptable schedule.
- Unexplained injuries.
- Repeat falls, an indication the nursing home failed to assess individual fall risk.
- Sudden changes in personality. Depression, anxiety, or a withdrawn disposition may indicate a loved one is suffering consistent abuse or neglect.
Maryland law enforces strict penalties for the intentional abuse or neglect of a vulnerable adult, including up to ten years in prison and fines of $10,000 or more. In addition to these criminal penalties, offenders may face civil liability for victims’ damages. Baltimore County provides several resources available for identifying and reporting cases of abuse of elderly and vulnerable adults.
How Much Is My Maryland Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Case Worth?
Any incident of nursing home abuse or neglect can result in significant damages. Some economic damages include lost income of the family who provided care and other services following nursing home abuse or neglect and the cost of additional medical expenses.
A judge will also consider the pain and suffering experienced by the victim and his or her family resulting from the abuse or neglect. The type of case may also influence the final settlement or jury verdict. Some examples to help determine possible nursing home abuse and neglect case values include:
Other factors that influence the outcome of a nursing home abuse or neglect lawsuit may include the age of the victim and his or her overall medical status. For example, a younger victim who was relatively healthy before the abuse started will likely receive more recovery than an older victim in poorer overall health.
The conduct of the facility may also influence recovery. If a nursing home failed to perform an adequate background check on a staff member or had unacceptable hiring practices, the organization will absorb liability as well.
If you believe your elderly loved one suffered any type of abuse or neglect in a Maryland nursing home, you need to determine your legal options as soon as possible. Contact us today to learn more about your options for recovery and the potential compensation available for your claim.