Baltimore Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Attorneys
Put 75+ Years of Combined Experience in Your Corner
A loved one may be taken to a nursing home after a hospital stay, due to a health condition, or inability to care for themselves at home. Families trust nursing homes to properly care for their loved ones and meet their health and safety needs. However, sometimes that trust is misplaced and the home is not providing the proper standard of care.
At Brown & Barron, our Baltimore nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys represent elderly victims and their families who have suffered in Maryland. Call (410) 698-1717 today to schedule a free consultation with our firm.
Why Should You Call Brown & Barron?
- We have 75+ years of combined legal experience
- We offer free, no-obligation consultations
- We've recovered millions of dollars for our clients
Signs of Nursing Home Neglect & Abuse
Families may initially believe that the place they have chosen for their loved one is a safe and caring facility. Later, they may discover that the staff at the facility is not providing appropriate care, their loved one is being neglected, or even abused by employees or another patient.
Signs that may indicate nursing home abuse or neglect:
- A lack of appropriate care for Alzheimer’s or dementia patients
- Physical injuries
- Abuse from staff
- Abuse from another patient
- Nutritional neglect
- Bed sores
- Medical neglect
- Medication mismanagement
Problems in nursing homes often stem from understaffing, poor training, or failure to properly supervise staff and residents. In some places, there is a complete failure to provide appropriate medical treatment or nursing care. Safety hazards may result in falls and injuries, due to the facility failing to maintain proper safety policies and safe conditions.
Potential Warning Signs of Financial Abuse
There are some situations in which the abuse isn’t done in a physical or emotional manner; rather, it’s done financially. As a family member, it’s important to know the signs of financial exploitation in order to better protect your loved one.
Some of the most common signs of financial exploitation include:
- Missing property: While it may not be a direct financial loss, missing property can be a clear sign that someone is taking from your loved one and potentially selling the items for profit. Belongings, day-to-day items, or even medications that go missing could prove to be a sign of financial elder abuse.
- Verbal complaints: If your loved one recognizes that there are some missing items, belongings, credit cards, cash, or even bank statements, it could be something you may want to look into deeper. You may also notice that there are some items being hidden because your loved one is worried that someone will take something.
- Financial losses: If you have access to your loved one’s bank statements and recognize that there are funds missing or there is some spending that seems out of the ordinary, you may want to see if there are signatures to accompany the purchases. You may also recognize bills or expenses that did not exist before.
Another form of financial abuse could involve the abuser convincing the elderly person to sign certain documents, giving the abuser control of their finances. This is typically done with elderly individuals who have declining mental health.
What Are the Most Common Types of Elder Abuse?
Most nursing home residents rely on facility staff for nearly all their needs, unfortunately leaving them vulnerable to multiple types of abuse and neglect. Incidences of nursing home abuse and neglect are usually grouped into seven different categories: General, physical, medical, nutritional, emotional, sexual, and financial.
The common types of nursing home abuse and neglect are defined as:
- General — Caregivers who fail to provide their patients with daily care or assistance with tasks are guilty of general nursing home neglect. An example of general neglect is failing to help with hygiene. General neglect can result in infections, illnesses, and/or bedsores.
- Physical — Physical abuse involves incidences of hitting, kicking, pushing, restraining, or any actions that are meant to cause physical harm to a patient. Signs of physical abuse may include bruises, broken bones, or burns.
- Medical — Many elderly people are dependent on caregivers for medical attention. Nursing home staff who administer incorrect treatment or do not address injury and illness are neglecting their patients.
- Nutritional — Nursing home staff can endanger the patients’ health by not feeding them or providing water. Signs of malnutrition and dehydration may include illness, exhaustion, or confusion.
- Emotional — Emotional abuse may include yelling, insulting, threatening, controlling, or isolating a patient. A nursing home resident who is acting anxious, depressed, insecure, or irritable could be experiencing emotional abuse.
- Sexual — Signs of sexual abuse of a nursing home resident can include physical injuries or illnesses, as well as emotional distress.
- Financial — Financial abuse is when nursing home staff exert control over a resident’s finances by stealing, withholding funds, accessing bank information, or forging documents. Any unusual changes in an elderly person’s financial situation or power of attorney could be signs of financial abuse.
What Should I Do If I Suspect Nursing Home Abuse?
Some signs of nursing home abuse and neglect are more obvious (such as in cases of physical injury), while other signs are more subtle, like emotional effects. Any change in appearance or strange behavior that makes you concerned about a loved one’s well-being should be monitored.
If you believe your family member is facing abuse and neglect in a nursing home, transfer them to a safe location as soon as possible. Then, contact our nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys in Baltimore. As we get started on your case, you should preserve any evidence of the abuse, including photographs, documents, and correspondence with the facility’s administration and staff.
How Can a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Help My Case?
Discovering that a member of your family was abused in a nursing home is an extremely overwhelming feeling. You may be unsure of where to turn and what you can do when the people who were supposed to care for your loved one harmed them instead. Hiring an experienced attorney is essential in cases of nursing home abuse and neglect.
Our legal team can help you ensure your loved one is safe and that the negligent workers are held accountable for their actions. In addition to filing your claim, our lawyers can answer your questions about the legal process. Plus, we can help recover substantial evidence by accessing records and completing a thorough investigation of the nursing home’s actions.
If applicable, we can also help report the facility to regulatory agencies and other authorities.
How Do You Prove Liability of Nursing Facilities?
The nursing home may be legally responsible for harm caused to a patient when negligence can be proven. In order to prevail in court, the plaintiff and their Baltimore nursing home abuse attorney must prove that:
- The nursing home had a duty to care for the resident
- Failed to act in a reasonable manner, and
- The failure to act resulted in harm, such as injury or death.
Holding Staff Members Accountable
Typically, staff members are most commonly accused of elder abuse because they are the ones directly caring for the residents in the home. Staff members, such as caregivers, directly interact with patients on a daily basis.
When caregivers or other staff members fail to properly care for an elderly resident, they may cause significant harm. Holding a staff member accountable for abuse means showing that their actions—or inaction—led to the injury. It would be necessary to prove that they did not properly care for their resident in a manner designed to keep them safe.
The Nursing Home Owners Can Be Responsible
Even if they do not directly work with the residents in the nursing home, owners and managers can be held responsible for abuse that occurs in their facility. This is because they are expected to provide training, perform background checks on new hires, and monitor the staff. They must also ensure that daily necessities are provided, security and safety measures are in place, and that they hire individuals who are properly and adequately trained to care for elderly residents.
When Can Third Parties Be Liable?
While elder abuse in a nursing home is most often the fault of the nursing home and staff, there are instances in which a third party may be held accountable. This is when items used in the nursing home cause the injury; for instance, if a wheelchair or walker is not manufactured properly, causing the individual to fall, or medications are not properly supplied.
How to Report Nursing Home Abuse
Maryland has a number of state government agencies that you can contact to report the abuse. You will want to ensure the report as accurate as possible so the agency looking into the incident knows what to look for and their findings are properly documented. You can also use these reports to help build a case. The Maryland Department of Aging and Maryland Department of Health can investigate these claims to help hold the nursing home accountable for the damages.
Don't Wait to Get Started – Call (410) 698-1717
You should not wait to act in cases of nursing home abuse and neglect. Maryland law has time limits for personal injury and medical malpractice claims. As soon as you notice signs of abuse or neglect, contact a Baltimore nursing home attorney from our team, so we can begin an investigation, preserve evidence, interview witnesses, and prepare a strong case.
Get help with your case today. Contact our firm at (410) 698-1717 to schedule a free consultation and learn more about your legal options for abuse or neglect suffered in a nursing home in Baltimore.
“I would recommend Brown & Barron to anyone who needs a lawyer for a medical malpractice case.”- D. D.
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