Silver Spring Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
Has someone that you love suffered from abuse or neglect in a nursing home?
When residents are harmed, their families may be able to pursue compensation on their behalf. The Silver Spring nursing home abuse lawyers at the law offices of Goldberg Finnegan are here to help. Our firm has more than two decades of experience fighting for victims’ rights, successfully securing millions in compensation on behalf of our clients.
Partner Kevin Finnegan is a member of the Maryland State Bar Association and the Maryland Association for Justice. He has also been selected to the Super Lawyers list 13 times since 2008.
Request an initial consultation to get started. There is no cost to talk to a lawyer and get your claim reviewed. Our services are also provided on a contingency fee basis with at no upfront cost to you. We only receive payment at the end of the legal process if we help you obtain compensation.
Learn how we may be able to assist. Call 301-820-7815.
Am I Eligible to File a Case?
Nursing home abuse or neglect cases can be quite complex. To determine whether you may have a case, our legal team will need to better understand your loved one’s situation. This is something we are prepared to discuss in a free case review that we offer. It will allow you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have and allow us to go over your potential legal options.
We will need to prove that your loved one’s injury was the result of the negligent actions of a nursing home and/or its staff. Examples of this negligence could include:
- Staffing shortages (poor staff-to-resident ratios)
- Insufficient staff training and education
- Inadequate hiring practices
- Lack of supervision, management and accountability
- Failure to follow health and safety standards
A licensed Silver Spring nursing home abuse lawyer from our firm is ready to hold any at-fault parties accountable for the negligence that caused your loved one harm.
What Compensation May Be Available?
The compensation that may be available will depend on the extent and severity of the injuries and other damages that your loved one suffered. Although no outcome is guaranteed in any legal case, you may generally be able to recover compensation for economic and non-economic damages. This includes:
- Medical bills
- Emergency services
- Surgical procedures
- Doctor’s visits
- Physical therapy
- Pain and suffering
- Distress, both mental and emotional
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
In rare cases, punitive damages may be awarded. They are designed to punish the at-fault party for especially egregious behavior and to deter others from engaging in similar behavior. However, it must be proven that the nursing home acted with actual malice—an intent to commit harm. Maryland does not award punitive damages because a facility showed reckless indifference to a resident’s safety.
How Can Having a Lawyer Benefit Me?
Those who hire a lawyer often obtain more compensation than those who do not. If you have a case and we represent you, Goldberg Finnegan is prepared to do the following on your behalf:
- Conduct a detailed investigation into the incident that caused your loved one harm
- Gather evidence (i.e. medical records, witness statements, pictures of visible injuries, and video surveillance) to help build a strong and solid case
- Determine the value of your case by calculating all expenses and non-monetary losses
- Communicating with the facility, any witnesses, and third parties involved
- Keep you fully informed regarding the status of your claim
- Represent you in a court trial if it is absolutely necessary
There are time limits in Maryland to file a nursing home abuse claim.
Talk to a lawyer today at 301-820-7815.
Rights of Nursing Home Residents
Nursing home residents are guaranteed certain rights under federal and state law. These rights are protected by the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act and Maryland state law on Nursing Home Resident Rights.
Nursing homes must uphold residents’ rights, which includes the right to:
- Privacy and confidentiality
- Participate in one’s own care
- Consideration, dignity and respect
- Live free from physical and mental abuse
- Assess to unrestricted communications
- Freedom to make independent choices
- Voice grievances without retaliation
- Consent or refuse treatment
- Examine one’s own medical records
- Safe and secure transfer or discharge
When a facility or staff member violates these rights, residents have a right to take legal action. Our qualified nursing home abuse attorneys in Silver Spring are prepared to protect you and your loved one’s best interests. Our consultations are confidential and come at no cost or obligation to you.
Nursing Home Abuse Liability
If it can be proven that a nursing home has operated negligently, that nursing home may be held liable for any losses and damages suffered by the victim.
The following could be grounds for filing a nursing home abuse claim:
Breach of Regulatory or Statutory Rights
Nursing home residents are allowed their dignity, autonomy, and privacy. When a nursing home employee infringes on one of these rights, the nursing home may be held liable.
Inadequate Nursing Home Training
In some instances, the staff is not properly trained to work with disabled or vulnerable residents and do not provide adequate levels of care required by law and expected by family members. Inadequate training of staff may lead to neglect and injuries, where the nursing home will then be held liable.
Medication Mistakes and Medical Errors
Nursing homes have the accountability to administer the proper medications at the proper dose to the correct residents as prescribed. When a prescription drug error occurs and injures a patient, the victim and family may be able to sue the negligent party.
Negligent Hiring of Nurses and Staff
Nursing homes have an obligation to their residents to hire the most qualified personnel for the job. They should have the right training (degrees, certifications, professional experience) and no history of abuse. When a facility fails to perform an adequate background check and an injury occurs, it may be held liable.
Understaffing for Resident Care
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the average staff to resident ratio is one staff member to every two residents. When a nursing home is understaffed, residents may become neglected and more vulnerable.
Third Party Visitors or Workers
In Maryland, nursing homes are responsible for the acts of third parties within their walls. For example, if a resident becomes injured by another resident or a guest of another resident, the facility may be held liable if they did not provide adequate security to prevent the incident from occurring.
Free Case Review. Ph: 301-820-7815
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect
Oftentimes, it can be difficult to determine if your loved one is being abused or neglected in a nursing home. Victims may remain silent because they fear being retaliated against or they lack the mental capabilities to know or recollect when an act of abuse happened.
However there are signs of mistreatment that family members can be on the lookout for. Some of the most common signs of abuse or neglect include:
- Unusual bruises or bleeding
- Emotional withdrawal
- Rapid weight loss
- Refusal to eat or take medication
- Poor physical appearance or hygiene
- Bodily discomfort
- Increased irritability or agitation
- Sudden mood swings
- Avoiding eye contact
- Unusual changes in personality
- Unexplained infections or diseases
Additionally, a nurse or staff member may be hesitant to leave an abused or neglected resident alone with others. If you notice any unusual or intimidating behavior, it is important to immediately inform the proper authorities. If you suspect abuse, contact our Silver Spring nursing home abuse lawyers for legal help. We are available anytime, day or night, to take your call and discuss the merits of your claim.
Different Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse comes in many forms. Our legal team at Goldberg Finnegan is prepared to handle a variety of cases involving abuse and neglect, such as:
Physical abuse can happen when force is used against a resident that results in harm, injury or pain. Victims may also suffer bodily injury or physical trauma from being confined or restrained.
This type of abuse can include:
Emotional or Psychological Abuse
Emotional or psychological abuse can happen when residents are spoken to or treated in a way that causes them to feel stressed, anxious, or depressed. This type of abuse can be either verbal or non-verbal. Verbal abuse may include insults related to appearance or intelligence while non-verbal abuse may include isolating a resident from social activities or interactions. Other examples include:
- Threatening violence
Sexual abuse can happen when a resident is forced or manipulated into unwanted sexual contact. It can physically manifest as bruises, scratches or lesions around the genital area. These sexual acts are often committed while a resident is incapacitated or mentally ill. This type of abuse can include:
- Touching or groping without consent
- Intercourse, including rape
- Coerced nudity
- Sexually explicit pictures or videos
Financial abuse can happen when a resident is exploited or taken advantage of in order to get control of his or her finances, such as property or other assets. Examples include:
- Stealing money or valuable items
- Forging documents to obtain funds
- Misuse of power of attorney for personal gain
- Deceiving a resident to give up control of his or her money
- Switching or changing a resident’s will
Financial abuse can result in the loss of income and savings a resident needs to pay for continued care.
General neglect can happen when a resident is not given the proper care and safety. This includes failing to provide basic needs, such as food, water, medication and shelter. Other examples include:
- Leaving a resident unattended for long periods of time
- Failing to treat bedsores and skin ulcers
- Allowing a resident to live in filth
- Malnutrition and/or dehydration
- Recurring infections
Reporting Nursing Home Abuse in Maryland
If you suspect nursing home abuse, do not hesitate to contact the nursing home’s administrator. If you have concerns about your loved one’s immediate well-being, get in touch with the local authorities.
Some of these options include:
- Call 1-877-402-8218 to reach Maryland’s Office of Health Care Quality, a division of the state’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. This office governs the licensing of nursing homes and will conduct an investigation if a complaint is received that involves abuse or neglect.
- Call 1-800-332-6347 to reach Adult Protective Services. Anyone who reports suspected incidents of abuse or neglect is protected by state law. Professional services are also offered to protect the health, safety, and welfare of vulnerable adults.
- Call 240-777-3369 to reach the office of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman, which advocates for residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. You can report abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation. The Silver Spring office is located at 3950 Ferrara Drive, 2nd Floor.
- Call 1-800-AGE-DIAL to reach the Maryland Department of Aging. This office helps protect the rights and quality of life of residents in nursing homes and other adult care facilities in the state.
Our lawyers are prepared to help file a report of nursing home abuse on your behalf and begin taking the steps to ensure your loved one’s rights are being protected. It is important to document all relevant information as this can aid further investigations.
Call a Silver Spring Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
If your loved one has been abused or neglected in a Maryland nursing home, contact a Silver Spring nursing home abuse lawyer at Goldberg Finnegan to learn more about your potential legal options.
Our firm has been protecting the rights of injured victims and their families for over 20 years. Schedule a free consultation to get started. There is no risk in calling us and no obligation to hire us. We do not charge any upfront fees for our services unless we help you obtain compensation for your loved one.