If you have a loved one who is currently residing in a nursing home in Maryland, it’s important to be aware of the signs of nursing home negligence. Unfortunately, many cases of neglect and abuse go unreported because family members don’t know what to look for. If you suspect your loved one is a victim of nursing home negligence, it may help to contact a lawyer as soon as possible.
Understanding nursing home negligence
Nursing home negligence can come in several forms, including physical abuse, emotional abuse, financial abuse and neglect. Physical abuse is any type of violence inflicted upon a resident, like slapping, kicking or anything else that causes bodily harm. Emotional abuse is any type of verbal or nonverbal communication that causes psychological distress. This can be yelling, name-calling, threats and intimidation. Financial abuse is any type of illegal or unauthorized use of a nursing home resident’s money or property. Failure to provide adequate care for a nursing home resident is neglect.
When to hire an attorney
You should consider getting a lawyer specializing in nursing home abuse once you notice the following signs on your loved one:
• Unexplained bruises, cuts, marks or welts
• Sudden changes in behavior, such as becoming withdrawn or agitated
• Sudden weight loss or gain
• Poor hygiene
• Bed sores
A lawyer can help you investigate the situation and determine if nursing home negligence is taking place. They can also help you file a complaint with the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene or take legal action against the nursing home.
What to expect during a suit
First, according to the law, you can only file a lawsuit if you have a standing relationship with the victim, meaning that you are the spouse, child, parent or guardian. You will also need to prove that the nursing home was negligent in the care of your loved one. For instance, if you have medical records showing that your loved one sustained bed sores, you can use this as proof of neglect.
If you win the case, the court will order the nursing home to pay damages. These damages can cover the cost of medical care, pain and suffering, emotional distress and more. In some cases, the judge may also mandate the nursing home to make changes to its policies and procedures to prevent future instances of negligence.