There Is No Excuse For Nursing Home Negligence
Like much of the United States, Baltimore has an aging population, and the city’s older individuals often need full-time care to maintain a good quality of life. Nursing homes across Baltimore’s dozens of neighborhoods welcome the city’s aging individuals when the time comes, and most facilities provide top-notch nursing care.
Deciding to place your loved one in a nursing home is never easy and often comes only after spouses, other family members and friends have exhausted their abilities to care for an aging or infirm adult. Even then, choosing which skilled nursing facility to serve as your loved one’s new home comes with enormous uncertainty and anxiety. You do your best to choose the residential setting best suited to your loved one’s needs and budget and put your trust in the skill, diligence and good faith of the nursing home staff.
Despite your best efforts, however, sometimes the nursing home you select to care for your loved one falls short of the standard of care and treatment for which you hoped. In the worst of these cases, nursing home management and staff may engage in negligence that harms your loved one physically, emotionally and/or financially.
No one placed in the care of a Baltimore nursing facility should ever suffer any kind of injury because of negligence. Residents who fall victim to Baltimore nursing home negligence, as well as their families, need a skilled medical malpractice and nursing home negligence law firm on their side to fight for justice and compensation.
About The Spector Law Group
Spector Law Group is a Baltimore-based law firm that represents victims of medical malpractice and other types of injury-causing accidents and incidents, including nursing home negligence. We have recovered tens of millions of dollars in compensation for clients who have suffered severe, life-altering injuries in medical settings.
Representing victims of nursing home negligence constitutes an important and growing part of our law practice. As Baltimore’s population ages, more and more of our family members, friends and neighbors will move into nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. At Spector Law Group, we believe that every single nursing home resident deserves to receive proper medical and life care in a respectful, dignified and attentive setting.
We are ready to respond quickly to situations in which someone suspects that a resident of a nursing home has sustained injuries because of facility staff or management negligence. Contact us on our website for 24/7, real-time assistance. Located in Baltimore, we represent people in Maryland and Washington, D.C.
Nursing Home Negligence Overview
According to Maryland law, negligence occurs when someone who owes a duty of care not to put others in harm’s way engages in unreasonably dangerous conduct that, in fact, puts others in harm’s way and winds up causing others to suffer physical, emotional and/or financial injuries as a result.
The vast majority of the staff and management of Baltimore nursing homes aim to provide quality care to their residents, but that doesn’t mean that they always succeed. Negligence on the part of management and supervisors can lead to residents falling victim to abusive conduct by staff or residents. Even in the absence of intentional acts of abuse against residents, nursing home residents can suffer harm simply because the home’s staff fails to perform the basic requirements of its job duties with reasonable care and diligence.
For example, negligence at a nursing home that harms residents may involve:
- A failure to hire and retain qualified and competent nursing home staff
- A failure to train and support nursing home staff in basic job responsibilities
- A failure to provide enough equipment and staff for the nursing home to meet a basic standard of care
- A failure to maintain clean and sanitary facilities
- A failure to monitor or attend to nursing home residents
- A failure to assist residents in physical activities, such as getting out of bed or navigating a wheelchair
- A failure to keep nursing home residents safe from other residents
- A failure to follow necessary public health protocols to keep residents safe and healthy
- A failure to provide residents with adequate nutrition and hydration
- A failure to attend to nursing home residents’ ongoing and emergency medical needs by providing a minimum standard of medical care
Any of these acts of negligence can lead to a Baltimore nursing home resident sustaining severe harm such as:
- Worsening of an existing medical condition
- Physical injury
- Developing a dangerous illness or other health condition
- Declining mental health
- Suffering a financial loss
At Spector Law Group, we take all harm caused by Baltimore nursing home negligence seriously. Contact us today if a Baltimore nursing home resident you love has come to harm because of negligence.
Spotting Baltimore Nursing Home Negligence
It’s not always easy to tell when a resident at a Baltimore nursing home has suffered harm because of staff or management negligence. Aging and infirm nursing home residents, as a group, are in relatively poor health and already have a higher-than-average risk of suffering from a further physical or mental decline.
This poses a problem for friends and family members of loved ones residing in Baltimore nursing facilities. A loved one’s sudden turn for the worse could result from negligence, or it could simply reflect that person’s age and overall state of health. How can you tell one from the other?
We encourage friends and family members to visit loved ones in nursing facilities as frequently as possible, which makes it more likely that you will spot a sudden and unexpected change in a resident’s condition. We also tell people to trust their gut. That is, if something seems off at a nursing home, then that could indicate negligence on the part of staff or management.
For example, stay on the lookout for:
- A resident complaining about being left alone or of staff failing to respond to requests for help
- Evidence of a resident not having received regular doses of prescription medication
- An overall lack of cleanliness at a Baltimore nursing facility
- A resident’s lack of personal hygiene
- A sudden, unexpected change in a resident’s overall physical or mental health
- Evidence of physical injury on or around a resident, such as bruising or blood stains
- Nursing home staff who seem flustered, stressed-out or overwhelmed
- High turnover among nursing home staff
- Nursing home staff who seem to lack basic information about a resident or seem evasive when responding to reasonable questions about a resident’s care
- A sudden outbreak of a contagious illness at a nursing facility
- News reports of a nursing home failing health inspections
These are just a few examples of signs of potential negligence at a nursing home. If you see these or other indications that make you worry about your loved one’s health and safety in the care of a Baltimore nursing home, contact Spector Law Group right away.
Take These Three Steps If You Suspect Nursing Home Negligence
Realizing that a loved one may have suffered harm because of negligence at a Baltimore nursing home can cause extreme distress. Family members and friends of nursing home residents often struggle to figure out where to turn for help. Concerned individuals may land on the Maryland Department of Aging website, only to find a confusing array of options for how to report concerns.
At Spector Law Group, we empathize with this confusion and uncertainty. Every case is different, of course, but as a general matter, you can benefit from following a three-step approach to handling your suspicions about Baltimore nursing home negligence as discussed below.
Step One: Ensure Your Loved One’s Immediate Safety
Is your loved one in immediate danger of suffering serious harm? If so, then your first priority is to take reasonable steps to move your loved one out of harm’s way as soon as possible. This may require physically transporting your loved one to a new nursing facility or to your home, or calling first responders and law enforcement. Use your best judgment in making these kinds of decisions, and reserve the most aggressive actions for the most obviously dangerous emergencies. When in doubt, jump to step three and ask for immediate help.
Step Two: Follow Your Mandatory Reporter Obligations, If You Have Them
Maryland law requires law enforcement, health professionals and human service workers to report “willful deprivation of a vulnerable adult of adequate food, clothing, essential medical treatment or habilitative therapy, shelter or supervision” to local law enforcement or a regulatory agency. When in doubt, jump to step three and ask for immediate help.
Step Three: Contact An Experienced Baltimore Nursing Home Negligence Lawyer
Before taking any other step, speak with a lawyer who represents victims of nursing home negligence in Baltimore. Unless you are fully aware of your obligations as a mandatory reporter (discussed in Step Two), you should consult an attorney before you report any negligence to nursing home management, law enforcement, or any local or state agency. Here’s why.
Reporting suspected negligence at a Baltimore nursing home can have significant legal consequences, not just for the nursing home staff and management, but also for your loved one. A report to nursing home management might lead to positive changes that improve your loved one’s situation, but reporting abuse can just as easily prompt management and staff to destroy evidence, cover up wrongful behavior and retaliate against your loved one. A report to law enforcement or a government agency could pressure the nursing home to shape up right away, but it could just as easily trigger a lengthy investigation that leads nowhere and leaves your loved one’s legal rights in limbo.
An experienced Baltimore nursing home negligence law firm like Spector Law Group understands the legal and regulatory dynamics involved in raising complaints about nursing home negligence. A skilled lawyer can give you quick, accurate advice about the exact steps to take to protect your loved one from harm and to safeguard your loved one’s legal and financial rights to compensation.
Compensation For Baltimore Nursing Home Negligence
Victims of nursing home negligence in Baltimore qualify to pursue compensation for the harm they have suffered, whether the harm is physical, emotional or financial. Indeed, many victims endure all three types of harm. With the help of a skilled Baltimore nursing home negligence law firm like Spector Law Group, residents harmed by negligence at a nursing facility can take legal action seeking money damages and other forms of relief against individual staff members, contractors, management, owners and others legally accountable for acts of negligence.
As we said, every nursing home negligence case in Baltimore is unique, but damages potentially available as compensation may include payment for:
- Medical costs involved in treating nursing home residents for injuries or medical conditions stemming from negligence on the part of a nursing home, including the cost of hospitalization, surgeries and medications
- Other costs associated with addressing a case of negligence in a Baltimore nursing home, such as the cost of transferring a loved one to a different (and differently-priced) nursing facility
- Financial harms resulting from negligence at a nursing home, such as when management fails to take reasonable measures to prevent staff members from financially exploiting residents
- A resident’s pain and suffering caused by nursing home negligence, including physical discomfort, emotional anguish and an overall decline in the resident’s ability to enjoy life
- When appropriate, punitive damages, assessed by a court against a nursing home or an individual for engaging in extreme or outrageous conduct that harmed a Baltimore nursing home resident
At Spector Law Group, we work with nursing home residents and their families to identify the many ways in which negligence has caused harm and difficulty and to determine those individuals’ best path forward. We fight on behalf of our clients to secure maximum compensation.
Skilled, Responsive, Nursing Home Negligence Attorney
Nursing homes in Baltimore undertake a special duty to care for some of our community’s most vulnerable citizens. The team at Spector Law Group believes in holding nursing homes accountable when they fall short and endanger their residents.
If you know of or suspect harmful acts of negligence at a Baltimore nursing home, contact Spector Law Group online or by phone at 410-671-5605, as soon as possible for a free, confidential case consultation. We also accept case referrals from other Baltimore attorneys. If you are a lawyer with a medical malpractice case that you can’t handle, contact us; we’re happy to determine if we can take the case.