Areas of Practice

Maryland Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers

Nursing homes are entrusted with the care and well-being of our elderly loved ones. However, nursing home abuse and neglect remains prevalent in many long-term care facilities in Maryland .

If someone you love has suffered from nursing home abuse or neglect, you should immediately consult a qualified attorney to help your loved one receive the justice he or she deserves.

The Maryland nursing home abuse lawyers at The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl understand the difficulties that families go through when an elderly loved one is abused by the very people providing him or her care. For more than 30 years, our team of award-wining personal injury attorneys in Maryland has defended the rights of nursing home abuse victims against negligent healthcare facilities. Our firm’s found Peter T. Nicholl is an AV© Rating from Martindale-Hubbell, a distinction presented to attorneys with the highest level of professional excellence. We will provide you with a free, no obligation consultation to review the circumstances of your claim and determine your legal options. Our attorneys will aggressively pursue your claim on a contingency fee basis at no upfront cost. You will not have any fees or costs unless we recover compensation for your claim.

Call 410-244-7005 to get started today.

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse

Identifying the signs of nursing home abuse is not always simple. Often, victims remain silent after suffering abuse out of fear of retaliation from their abuser or because they lack the cognitive abilities to understand or remember when an act of abuse occurred.

It is often left to the victim’s family members and close loved ones to recognize changes in his or her personality, appearance or behavior that may indicate signs of abuse. These include:

  • Unusual injuries, such as bruises, cuts, burns or abrasions
  • Unexplained or unlikely explanations for sudden injuries
  • Low self-esteem
  • Bed sores
  • Refusal to eat or take medication
  • Reclusiveness or refusal to speak
  • Signs of dehydration
  • Poor physical appearance, such as dirty clothing or poor hygiene
  • Avoiding eye contact
  • Hesitating to speak openly about the abuse out of fear other residents or staff will inform the abuser
  • Sudden mood swings
  • Unusual changes in personality
  • Increased irritability or agitation
  • Seeming hopeless, depressed or scared
  • Rapid weight loss

Often, nursing home staff members are reluctant to leave an abused resident alone with others. If you notice any unusual or intimidating behavior or interactions between a staff member and a resident, immediately inform the nursing home’s administrator.

If you suspect abuse, contact our Maryland nursing home abuse attorneys to discuss your legal options. A One of our nursing home abuse lawyers in Maryland will provide you with a free, no obligation review of your claim to find out if you have a case against the abuser or nursing home facility.

Complete our Free Case Evaluation form to schedule a free consultation.

Types of Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing home abuse can take many forms, including:

Physical Abuse

Abuse against nursing home residents often takes the form of physical violence that results in harming, injuring or causing the victim pain. Often, victims suffer physical abuse in nursing homes through non-consensual contact or restraint.

The types of physical abuse toward nursing home residents can include:

  • Scratching
  • Biting
  • Hitting
  • Kicking
  • Violently shaking
  • Pushing or shoving
  • Unreasonable physical restraint or seclusion
  • Burning
  • Threatening or assaulting a resident with a weapon or heavy object

Emotional or Psychological Abuse

Emotional abuse occurs when a nursing home resident is subjected to behavior that may result in psychological trauma, such as anxiety, depression, irritability or post-traumatic stress disorder.

In cases of nursing home abuse, emotional abuse can be verbal or non-verbal, such as:

  • Intimidating a resident
  • Yelling at or threatening a resident
  • Isolating a resident from social activities or interactions
  • Humiliating a resident
  • Belittling or demeaning a resident
  • Blaming a resident for simple mistakes
  • Using a resident as a scapegoat
  • Ignoring a resident’s needs or requests
  • Psychologically terrorizing or menacing a resident

Sexual Abuse

One of the most tragic forms of abuse that occurs in nursing homes is sexual assault. This occurs when a resident is forced, coerced, manipulated or tricked into unwanted sexual contact with a staff member, caregiver or other resident. Often, the victims of sexual abuse in nursing homes suffer from severe cognitive impairments and are not able to understand or remember when the assault occurred.

Unfortunately, sexual abuse in nursing homes is much more common than previously thought. Since 2000, more than 16,000 cases of sexual assaults in nursing homes have been reported, according to a CNN investigation. More than 25 percent of cases involving nursing home sexual abuse involved a staff member or caregiver named as the abuser.

Financial Abuse

Financial abuse occurs when the person responsible for monitoring an elderly person’s finances takes advantage of his or her position by misusing or stealing the victim’s funds, property or other assets.

Often, elder financial abuse is committed by the victim’s caregiver, nursing home staff, or members of his or her family. Indications of elder financial abuse include:

  • Unexplained changes in the victim’s financial condition
  • Significant withdrawals from the victim’s accounts
  • Valuable items or cash missing from the victim’s room or home
  • Suspicious changes to the victim’s will or power of attorney
  • Unpaid bills or lack of medical care
  • Unnecessary purchases of goods, services or prescriptions

Neglect

Elder neglect occurs in a nursing home when a resident is denied the care and services that he or she needs from staff members or caregivers. Elder neglect is one of the most common forms of nursing home abuse and is often overlooked. Nursing home neglect can take many forms, including:

  • Poor hygiene
  • Dirty or unkempt clothing and appearance
  • Malnutrition
  • Dehydration
  • Rapid weight loss or gain
  • Bed sores or injuries
  • Instances of wandering or eloping
  • Frequent sickness or illnesses
  • Unsanitary environment

Complete our Free Case Evaluation form.

When is a Nursing Home Liable for Abuse?

If it can be proven that a nursing home or its employees acted negligently to prevent or reprimand an act of abuse, it may be held liable for any damages suffered by the victim.

Our Maryland nursing home abuse attorneys will investigate your claim to determine if any of the following factors led to your loved one’s abuse or neglect. If one of these situations is present and contributed to the abuse, we will work to hold the nursing home liable.

Negligent Hiring

Nursing homes are required to hire individuals who have the proper qualifications to provide quality care to elderly residents. Staff members should have the proper medical degrees, training and experience, along with no record of abuse or violence.

If a nursing home hires a candidate without these credentials, or fails to conduct a thorough background check, it is putting its residents at risk and could be held liable for abuse or neglect.

Understaffing

Nursing homes should employ enough staff and caregivers to adequately care for its residents and address their specific needs. When a nursing home fails to employ a reasonable amount of staff members, it leaves residents susceptible to neglect and abuse.

Many nursing home residents depend on caregivers for food, bathing, medication and grooming. If a resident is deprived of these needs, he or she may develop sores, infections and other adverse health conditions. Understaffed nurses and caregivers may not have time to feed and administer medications to residents, which results in malnutrition and serious medical complications.

Inadequate Training

Nursing home staff members should be qualified to provide residents with the adequate level of care they need.

In many cases of nursing home negligence, staff members are improperly trained to recognize when a resident’s health is at risk. Additionally, many cases of abuse are committed by staff members with inadequate training and qualifications.

Breach of Nursing Home Residents’ Rights

Nursing home residents are guaranteed certain rights that entitle them to enjoy individual dignity and self-determination.

Nursing homes must meet federal standards to uphold residents’ rights, which include the right to:

  • Privacy and confidentiality
  • Participate in one’s own care
  • Dignity, respect and freedom. 

A nursing home could be held liable if a staff member violates a resident’s rights.

Medication Errors

Nursing home residents are often prescribed several medications to treat their ailments or illnesses. Administering the wrong type or dosage of medication to a resident can result in him or her suffering from serious health effects or death.

If a resident is harmed or killed by staff member or caregiver’s medication error, the nursing home could be found liable for the resident’s damages.

Third-Party Abuse

Nursing homes have an obligation to create a safe environment for their residents. If a resident is injured by a third party, such as an intruder, visitor or another resident, the nursing home can be found liable if it failed to provide adequate security to prevent such an act from occurring.

Call 410-244-7005 to speak with a member of our legal team.

How Our Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Can Help

If you believe your loved one has been neglected, injured or abused while residing in a nursing home, contact The Law Officers of Peter T. Nicholl as soon as possible.

Our Maryland nursing home abuse lawyers will handle all details of your claim against the resident’s abuser. We have more than 30 years of experience protecting victims of negligence and abuse. We understand how to represent these cases to reach fair and effective results for victims and their families.

Our nursing home abuse attorneys in Maryland will safely guide you through the legal process while ensuring your best interests are kept at the front of every decision and negotiation. We will take the necessary steps to ensure your loved one’s rights are protected.

For qualified legal help with your case, call 410-244-7005

How to Report Nursing Home Abuse in Maryland

If you suspect that someone you love is suffering from nursing home abuse, do not hesitate to inform the facility’s administrative staff. If the abuse continues or you believe a resident is being physically threatened or assaulted, you should immediately call 9-1-1 or the local police.

Maryland also provides additional programs and resources for victims of nursing home abuse to receive the help they need. These sources include:

  • Adult Protective Services: This program serves people over the age of 18 who lack the physical or mental capacity to provide for their daily needs. The program is designed to prevent or remedy the abuse, neglect, self-neglect or exploitation of adults who are unable to protect themselves and are at risk of immediate harm.
  • Long-Term Care Ombudsman: The Long-Term Care Ombudsman are advocates for residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities. They work to resolve problems of individual residents while supporting change that will improve residents’ care and quality of life.
  • The Office of Health Care Quality (OHCQ): This agency is charged with monitoring the quality of care in Maryland’s health care facilities. The OHCQ also licenses and certifies facilities to participate in Medicare and Medicaid programs and surveys nursing homes to make sure they are following state and federal regulations.
  • Maryland Department of Aging: This state agency advocates to ensure the rights of older adults and their families and to prevent elder abuse, neglect and exploitation.

Our nursing home abuse attorneys in Maryland are familiar with the agencies that protect older adults and victims of nursing home abuse. We will work to ensure that your loved one’s allegations of abuse are reported to the proper authorities and effectively handled. 

Contact our Maryland Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers

Nursing homes are trusted to care for some of our most vulnerable citizens. When this obligation is breached, the facility should be held accountable.

At The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl, our Maryland nursing home abuse lawyers will fight to protect the rights of nursing home residents who have been abused or neglected while residing in a nursing home. We have a strong record of successfully representing victims of injury and neglect and will fight to protect your loved one’s interests.

Do not hesitate to schedule a free, no obligation consultation with a member of our accomplished legal team. Our nursing home abuse attorneys in Maryland provide all of our services at no upfront cost. There will be no fees or costs unless we succeed in securing justice and compensation for your elderly loved one.

Call 410-244-7005 for experienced help with a nursing home abuse claim. 

Contact our personal injury lawyers for a free consultation if you have been injured by another’s negligence. You may be entitled to compensation.

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410-244-7005

Our Offices

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Local phone 410-244-7005
36 South Charles Street, Suite 1700
Baltimore, MD 21201

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Portsmouth, VA 23704