Maryland Nursing Home Lawyers
Maryland Lawyers Handling Cases Nursing Home Abuse, Neglect and Medical Malpractice
An investigation by the U.S. General Accounting Office showed that 25% of this country's nursing homes "had serious deficiencies that caused actual harm to residents or placed them at risk of death or serious injury." With more and more people living in nursing homes as Maryland and the rest of the country continues to age, there have been stunning reports of abuse and neglect in Maryland nursing homes. There has been a stunning increase in reports from clients of a subset of medical malpractice: nursing home neglect, abuse and malpractice cases. Our nursing home lawyers have heard many cases that we simply did not believe at first because the story of neglect and abuse seemed too farfetched. But upon further investigation, our lawyers have learned that far too many nursing home horror stories that cannot be true are in fact true.
A nursing home advocacy group called Members of the Family has created a Nursing Home Honor Roll. These are nursing homes identified by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (as of February 27, 2008) as meeting the minimum government standards of care, having no violations on the last three annual surveys, and no substantiated complaints during the same time span. Incredibly, only 1.4% of nursing homes in the United States qualify. In this are, there are no nursing homes in Maryland or Washington, D.C. that qualify. This speaks volumes to the quality of nursing home care in this country.
Types of Nursing Home Cases
There are two fundamental types of nursing home cases: abuse, neglect, and medical malpractice.
Nursing home abuse is defined by federal law (42 C.F.R. 488.301) as the "willful infliction of injury, unreasonable confinement, intimidation or punishment with resulting physical harm, pain or mental anguish." It may involve:
- Assault and battery (including sexual assault and battery)
- Virtual imprisonment or unreasonable or unnecessary restraints
- Deprivation of food, drink, medicine, or other basis necessities
- Use of drugs not approved by a medical doctor or the knowing prescription of improper medication (usually some type of sedative in nursing home cases)
- Mental and emotional abuse
Neglect differs from abuse. The primary distinction is that abuse is done with intent; neglect is the result of negligence and indifference. The standard for nursing home neglect is whether the caregiver acted (given the nursing home patient's situation or condition) as the ordinary reasonable provider in the same position would. It can be defined as failing to care for a resident to the degree, which a reasonable person in the same position would exercise. Federal law (42 C.F.R. 488.301) defines nursing home neglect as the "failure to provide goods and services necessary to avoid physical harm, mental anguish or mental illness." Neglect may include any of the following:
- Negligent physical or mental neglect
- Negligent failure to prevent infection or bed sores (which require the patient to be monitored and regularly adjusted)
- Negligent or abusive use of restraints on patients
- Negligent failure to alert medical doctors of medical problems
- Negligent failure to prevent dehydration and malnutrition
The number of doctors who care for nursing home patients is inadequate. But this does not give doctors and other health care providers the right to ignore or not fully care for nursing home patients. The truth is that a small minority of medical doctors do not provide the same level of care to someone who is elderly and in a nursing home than they would to other patients.
Settlement/Trial Value of Nursing Home Cases
We have come a long way in the fight against nursing home abuse and neglect. Twenty years ago, few lawyers were bringing nursing home neglect and abuse cases. According to a report by Jury Verdict Research, The 5 Myths of Nursing Home Litigation, premises liability accounts for 8% of all long-term care liability cases. Furthermore, plaintiffs have a recovery probability of over 50% in nursing home cases compared with approximately 30% for medical malpractice cases. The median verdict for nursing home negligence approaches $200,000 and can rise to $13 million when the verdict includes punitive damages. Punitive damage awards accompanied 19% of all plaintiff verdicts with a median award of $900,000. Plaintiffs in Maryland will not receive punitive damages in nursing home neglect cases but punitive damages are available in nursing home abuse cases.
This data, of course, tells nursing home lawyers little about the value of any specific nursing home case but it does give some background as to the general idea of the value of nursing home cases.
Discussing the Case with a Nursing Home Lawyer
There are 216 nursing homes in Maryland. Too many of them are causing If someone you love has injuries or unknown origin, bed sores, a broken hip or frequent falls and you are suspicions of elder abuse or nursing home negligence, a personal injury lawsuit may be filed on their behalf. If you believe that you or someone you love has suffered a serious injury as the result of nursing home abuse or nursing home neglect, call our nursing home attorneys at 800-553-8082 for a free no obligation Internet consultation to discuss a potential lawsuit. There are no fees or expenses unless a recovery is obtained.
More Maryland Nursing Home Lawsuit Information
- How much are nursing home lawsuits worth in Maryland? [Select here]
- Bed Sore Injuries in Maryland Nursing Homes (an avoidable plague) [Select here]
- Decubitus Ulcers and Deformities (background and Maryland law) [Select here]
- Frequent Flyer Defendants in Maryland Nursing Home Cases
- Sample Nursing Home Complaint (sample lawsuit against Manor Care in death case) [Select here]
- Expert Report (sample certificate of merit and expert report defending Manor Care in a nursing home case) [Select here]
- Plaintiff's Expert Report (expert report used by our nursing home lawyers in a lawsuit against Manor Care)
- Sample Scheduling Order in a Nursing Home Case [Select here]
- Sample Release of Claims in Nursing Home Case [Select here]
- Sample Mediation Statement in a Nursing Home Case (example mediation statement in an effort to settle a nursing home case) [Select here]
- Maryland Nursing Home Blog (blog subcategory) [Select here]
- Seniors for Sale (report underscoring problems with nursing home care we face in 2011) [Select here]
- Maryland Nursing Home Law Update (a recent Maryland high court opinion dealing with a nursing home arbitration clause) [Select here]
Overview of Malpractice Claims Generally
- Medical Malpractice Claims in Maryland (an overview nursing home and medical malpractice cases) [Select here]
- Medical Malpractice Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs for victims) [Select here]
- Sample Malpractice Suit [Select here]
- Sample Attorney Deposition of Medical Malpractice Doctor [Select here]
- Our Nursing Home/Malpractice Blog [Select here]
- Sample Attorney Deposition of Defendant Doctor's Medical Expert [Select here]
- Requirements for Certificate of Merit in Maryland Nursing Home Malpractice Cases [Select here]