Columbia: Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer
Fighting for the Rights of Victims & Their Families
Often, due to advanced health and specialized healthcare needs, families trust nursing homes to care for their elderly family members. Sadly, these facilities often fail to provide proper care and, in some cases, inflict indescribable horrors on vulnerable elderly adults.
Cases involving nursing home negligence are legally and factually complex. Along with this, due to the intense emotions these cases generate and the potential for a high financial verdict, insurance companies waste no resources in defending these claims. Accordingly, it’s important that victims of nursing home abuse and neglect in Maryland and/or their loved ones seek the representation of an experienced Columbia nursing home neglect lawyer. The attorneys at Portner & Shure, P.A. have been successfully representing nursing home neglect victims in Howard County, Maryland for over 25 years.
Contact us online or call (855) 954-4141 to schedule a free, confidential consultation today.
How to Identify Nursing Home Neglect
Vulnerable adults are often unwilling or unable to communicate the abuse they are suffering to their families. As such, family members should be vigilant for signs of nursing home abuse.
Some of the common signs of nursing home abuse and neglect include:
- Sudden weight loss
- Changes in behavior
- Decreased social interaction
- Poor hygiene
- Unexplained injuries or bruises
These are just some of the signs of nursing home abuse and neglect; if you notice other issues or anything that seems off, you can raise concerns to the nursing home administrator or your loved one’s doctor. If necessary, report suspected abuse to the local authorities or call 9-1-1 if you believe your loved one is in immediate danger.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
There are generally four types of nursing home claims: abuse, neglect, medical malpractice, and financial abuse.
Below, we cover each of these in more detail:
- Abuse: Abuse is an all-encompassing term. Federal law defines abuse as the “willful infliction of injury, unreasonable confinement, intimidation or punishment with resulting physical harm, pain or mental anguish." Abuse generally includes physical and sexual abuse. Additionally, abuse also includes mental and emotional abuse. Generally speaking, abuse has an element of intent.
- Neglect: Neglect occurs due to indifference or negligence. Federal law defines neglect as the “failure to provide goods and services necessary to avoid physical harm, mental anguish or mental illness." Neglect also includes failure to prevent bedsores, dehydration, and malnutrition.
- Medical Malpractice: Medical malpractice is an entirely separate claim. Medical malpractice occurs when a medical provider failed to provide care in accordance with the applicable standard of care that is required of a medical provider in their field. Medical malpractice includes failing to diagnose a patient and medication errors.
- Financial Abuse: Financial abuse occurs when an elderly adult’s money is exploited or stolen.
Causes of Nursing Home Negligence
Nursing home abuse often occurs due to staffing issues. Nursing homes hire staff members who are inadequately trained or who are unqualified for their position. Worse yet, nursing homes sometimes do not conduct proper background checks and hire staff members with criminal records. Finally, in an effort to save money, nursing homes often fail to hire sufficient numbers of staff needed to properly operate a nursing home.
Nursing Home Negligence & COVID-19
Recently, we have seen accusations of nursing home negligence appearing in coronavirus/COVID-19 cases. In these instances, nursing home residents may have been exposed to coronavirus, contracted coronavirus, or even died due to complications arising from coronavirus due to nursing homes’ failures to adhere to mandatory guidelines. In fact, nursing homes are currently being cited throughout the state of Maryland for coronavirus health violations during this pandemic. If you believe your elderly loved one was exposed to or contracted COVID-19 due to nursing home negligence, contact Portner & Shure, P.A. to learn how we can help.
Injuries & Damages in Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect
Under Maryland law, nursing home abuse and neglect victims can claim economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are meant to compensate victims for specific financial losses caused by someone else’s negligence or wrongful behavior. Financial losses can include things like medical bills and for the cost of future medical care. Non-economic damages, meanwhile, are meant to compensate victims for intangible losses caused by the neglect or abuse, such as pain and suffering. Now, due to coronavirus/COVID-19, death benefits may also come into play more frequently in nursing home neglect cases.
Theory of Negligence
A nursing home can be sued under a general theory of negligence. Under this theory, the nursing home is considered negligent based on their failure to provide a reasonable level of care. Expert testimony is very often required in these types of cases. Additionally, Maryland state law requires nursing homes to have written rules and procedures in place to prevent abuse and neglect. Their failure to follow these rules can be used as evidence of negligence. Due to the intensive nature of these claims, it is strongly recommended that you obtain representation from a qualified Columbia nursing home abuse lawyer.
Why Hire Portner & Shure, P.A.?
The attorneys at Portner & Shure, P.A. have been successfully representing nursing home victims in Howard County courts for over 25 years. During this time, our attorneys have obtained excellent results, as seen in the many five-star reviews written by our prior clients. Portner & Shure, P.A. receives no fee unless you receive compensation in the form of a settlement or judgment in court. We are currently screening and taking Maryland nursing home coronavirus cases.
To schedule a free consultation regarding your Howard County nursing home abuse case, give us a call at (855) 954-4141 or contact us online today.