9 Crucial Things to Know About Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect

Brown & Barron specializes in cases of nursing home abuse or neglect, leading to a serious permanent injury or death, in the state of Maryland and Washington, DC. Here are 9 of the most frequently asked questions we get, along with easy-to-understand answers.

1. What are the most common types of nursing home abuse/neglect cases?

There are many ways a person can be the victim of a serious injury or death at a nursing home due to abuse or neglect. However, if any of the following situations occurred, you should contact an attorney immediately:

  • Severe bed sores
  • A fall leading to a broken bone (or worse)
  • A choking incident
  • Serious urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • Severe malnourishment or dehydration
  • Sexual assault
  • Sepsis
  • Elopement (i.e., resident wanders off or otherwise leaves nursing home without supervision)

2. How do I know if there has been abuse or neglect?

If a loved one is the victim of a serious injury or death, it can be difficult to get answers from the nursing home, especially if abuse or neglect was a factor. Choose a law firm that specializes in nursing home abuse/neglect cases, such as Brown & Barron, which can help you report your incident, find out what happened, and get justice for your loved one.

3. Can I sue a nursing home if my loved one died in a nursing home due to coronavirus, also called COVID-19?

COVID-19 cases are complicated, and it remains to be seen if families will be able to file lawsuits successfully against nursing homes for the COVID-19 deaths of their loved ones. However, at Brown & Barron, we believe many COVID-related deaths in nursing homes were avoidable, and so we are actively working on these cases at this time. If your loved one died of COVID-19 in a nursing home in Maryland or D.C., please contact us to discuss your case.

4. How long do I have to file a lawsuit in a case of nursing home abuse or neglect?

The statute of limitations in Maryland typically requires that the plaintiff file the lawsuit against a nursing home within three years from the date of the injury.

5. How common is nursing home abuse and neglect?

Sadly, nursing home abuse and neglect is far too common. It is difficult to say for certain how often it occurs because much of it goes unreported. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), roughly 95% of nursing home residents have been neglected or have witnessed neglect. By and large, the nursing home industry is a for-profit business, and most of these nursing homes are focused more on profits than the well-being of their residents. To increase profits, they cut back on all the resources that are vital to the safety elderly residents. The result is that many of the regulations set forth to protect residents are broken or ignored on a regular basis, leading to preventable injuries and death. You need to choose a law firm specializing in nursing home abuse and neglect, one that understands nursing home regulations and how to establish if they were followed in the case of your loved one.

6. If I live in a different state than my loved one in a nursing home, in which state is the lawsuit filed?

The lawsuit is filed in the state where your loved one’s nursing home is located. Your loved one’s nursing home must be located in the state of Maryland or in Washington, D.C. for Brown & Barron to represent your case. We handle cases in every Maryland County, as well as in D.C.

7. What types of facilities qualify as a “nursing home”?

We often refer to nursing homes, but this can mean long-term care nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and rehabilitation facilities. Brown & Barron can help you seek answers and justice for cases of abuse or neglect in any of these long-term care facilities located in Maryland or D.C.

8. Who can file a lawsuit against a nursing home?

If the resident is still living, only the resident or the resident’s legal representative (guardian, power of attorney, etc.) can file suit. If your loved one has died due to abuse or negligence of the nursing home, the loved one’s estate may file a lawsuit for the deceased resident’s pain, suffering, and expenses (e.g., funeral expenses), and the deceased resident’s parents, spouse, and children can sue for wrongful death, including economic losses and non-economic losses (e.g., emotional damage).

9. What if the law firm cannot take my nursing home abuse or neglect case?

If you have a complaint against a nursing home, the Maryland Ombudsman Program is a valuable advocate for issues pertaining to long-term care (LTC) facilities, including nursing homes, board/care homes, and assisted-living facilities. The service is free. An ombudsman is a civil servant, who is trained to resolve problems related to the health, safety, welfare, and rights of individuals who live in LTC facilities. The services provided by the ombudsman are free and confidential. An ombudsman will help to investigate and resolve any LTC issue with the help of the resident or on their behalf. For a Maryland ombudsman in your county click here.

Our attorneys at Brown & Barron, LLC focus on representing nursing home residents who have been neglected or abused. We know first-hand how these facilities function, and just how vulnerable residents are to injuries. If you believe you or a family member has suffered as a result of nursing home negligence, we invite you to contact our team as soon as possible to learn more about your rights and options.

To learn more about how the coronavirus is affecting nursing homes and their residents, visit our COVID Resource Center. To contact our team, call (410) 698-1717 today for a consultation.

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