There are few decisions as gut-wrenching as sending your elderly or infirm loved one to live in a nursing home. Trusting that the nursing home staff and owners will give your family member the care and attention they deserve, you may never expect to get a call that they’ve wandered off the property unsupervised, also known as “elopement.” Residents can also be at serious risk when they stray into dangerous or unsupervised locations within the facility, which is called “wandering.”
Whether your senior loved one suffered wandering-related injuries inside or outside the facility, you may be entitled to pursue a civil lawsuit against the nursing home responsible for their losses.
At Brown & Barron, our Baltimore elopement and wandering injury attorneys are highly experienced in nursing home abuse and neglect cases. More than that, we are passionate about helping our clients seek justice – and willing to go the distance to fight for their rights.
Get in touch with a elopement and wandering lawyer serving Baltimore, (410) 698-1717 for a free case evaluation.
For the most part, seniors are admitted to nursing home facilities when they are unable to engage in activities of daily living (ADLs) on their own, typically due to dementia symptoms from advanced degenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s. Because dementia causes memory loss and confusion, wandering unsupervised throughout the facility can be extremely dangerous for seniors. When seniors escape the nursing home and wander outside of the property’s limits, this is called elopement.
Regardless of how far seniors wander off, wandering can result in a number of extremely serious outcomes, including:
- Pedestrian accidents
- Abuse and assault
- Slip and fall injuries
- Head wounds and brain injuries
- Extreme cold exposure
- Severe sunburn and heatstroke
How Can Nursing Homes Prevent elopement?
Although nursing homes could prevent most cases of wandering and elopement just by staffing to federally required levels and staying vigilant, there are lots of other ways that a nursing home should be trying to prevent this dangerous activity. From installing adequate security systems to informing staff about frequent wanderers, nursing homes need to be on the lookout for ways to protect seniors at all times.
Some of the most common ways nursing homes can prevent elopement:
- Implementing security systems in common areas, outdoor spaces, and walkways
- Installing appropriate exit alarms and locking systems
- Educating staff on the risk of elopement and wandering
- Allowing residents to enjoy supervised walks or enclosed outdoor spaces
- Using patient tracking devices when necessary for the resident’s safety
- Completing a resident “risk assessment” for wandering
- Providing front desk and security personnel with photos of frequent wanderers
How to Prove the Nursing Home Facility Was At-Fault
To be awarded damages, you must prove the nursing home was negligent in allowing your loved one to wander or elope. To file a claim against the nursing home facility, you must prove the following:
- Duty of care: The nursing home or individual staff member owed a duty of care to your loved one. Nursing home facilities do owe a duty of care to their residents.
- Duty of care was breached: This occurred when the nursing home staff member’s conduct failed to meet the applicable standard of care. This breach of duty allowed the resident to wander or elope from the facility. This includes any failure to meet the required standard of care.
- The failure to act resulted in harm: If your loved one was injured, it is possible to seek damages.
- Your loved one suffered damages: You must prove the injuries are related to the wandering or elopement incident.
Brown & Barron has taken on many similar cases and knows what it takes to settle these cases. If we cannot negotiate a fair settlement, we are prepared to represent you and your loved one in a trial.
Damages You Could Recover in an elopement and Wandering Injuries Claim
If your loved one was injured during the wandering or elopement incident, you could seek damages. The types of damages you could seek on behalf of your loved one in these cases include:
Pain and Suffering
This includes the physical discomfort your loved one may endure from injuries they sustained during the incident. Any pain, anguish, or inconvenience they endure can be included.
This includes any mental suffering your loved one endured because of the incident. Conditions associated with mental distress include anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
If the injuries your loved one sustained require any type of medical attention, those losses could be recovered. This includes any ambulance rides, emergency room bills, hospital stays, doctor’s visits, medications, or any rehabilitative care, such as occupational or physical therapy.
Our attorneys can calculate the value of your damages to determine how much your case could be worth.
Contact Brown & Barron online today to schedule a free case review with an elopement and wandering lawyer serving Baltimore.
The Attorneys at Brown & Barron Will Be on Your Side
If you want attorneys who will be on your side through every step of your lawsuit, choose Brown & Barron. Our team has over 137 years of combined trial experience and has recovered over $90 million for our clients. If you choose us as your development and wandering injuries attorney serving Baltimore, you can expect:
- Free consultations: We are available 24/7 to take your call to schedule a free consultation
- Dedicated attorneys: Our attorneys care about the work they do and finding justice for their clients. We are committed to every client and every case we take on.
- Always available: One of our staff members is available to answer your call 24/7. If you have a question or need a status update on your case, an attorney will give you a prompt answer.
We put a special focus on protecting the rights of those who have been abused and neglected in nursing home facilities.
Pursuing Justice for Your Baltimore Loved One
Brown & Barron has handled many cases involving elopement and wandering at nursing home facilities in Baltimore and Maryland. Our elopement and wandering injury attorneys can help you understand when you have a compensation claim with a strong commitment to our clients and a deep understanding of nursing home requirements.
By accounting for medical expenses and psychological trauma after a wandering incident, the damages in a civil lawsuit may give your family more peace of mind for the future.
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Whether you have questions or you’re ready to get started, our legal team is ready to help. Complete our form below or call us at (410) 698-1717.