Maryland nursing home plaintiffs must prove that the nursing home staff or management was somehow negligent or involved in some type of wrongdoing before they are able to recover compensation for their loved one’s injuries through a Maryland nursing home case. However, this can be difficult in some cases. For example, residents often have mental incapacities that prevent or restrict them from reporting or testifying about abuse, and it can be hard to uncover evidence corroborating the abuse. That being said, there are a number of ways in which abuse can be corroborated.
For example, a facility may have resident records that make reference to an incident. In fact, federal law requires that nursing facilities maintain clinical records for all residents, and the records must be kept for at least five years. A facility’s failure to keep records may be used against the facility in court. Another potential source of information is other nursing home records apart from the resident’s records, such as employee schedules or training manuals that show whether a facility had adequate staff, training, and procedures in place at the time of the incident.
A resident’s statements about the incidents to others may also be admissible in some situations. Other residents or guests may have observed incidents or other issues within the facility. Expert witnesses can also testify about the facility’s training and procedures or a resident’s injuries, for example. Sometimes, there is video inside the facility or photographs that were taken after the incident.
Federal Investigation Reveals Unreported Cases of Serious Nursing Home Abuse
According to federal investigators, serious nursing home abuse is often not reported to the police. State and federal laws require serious nursing home abuse cases to be reported to the police. However, according to one news source, the Office of the Inspector General in the Department of Health and Human Services recently conducted an investigation and found that over a quarter of serious nursing home abuse cases are not reported to the police.
The report was part of an ongoing investigation into nursing home abuse and neglect, but the investigators decided to release the report now to alert the public and implement solutions. Serious nursing home abuse cases are those severe enough to send a resident to the emergency room.
In the report, the investigators found that at one nursing home, a woman had been sexually assaulted and left badly bruised, but it was not reported to the police within two hours, as required by federal law. Instead, the nursing home “cleaned off the victim,” thereby destroying the evidence of a potential crime. On the following day, the resident told her family about the assault, and the family reported the assault to the police. The nursing home then tried to cover up the incident by contacting the police department to tell them they did not need to come to the nursing home to conduct an investigation.
From just the past two years, the investigators found 134 serious nursing home abuse cases, which mostly involved sexual assault. Twenty-eight percent of those cases were not reported to the police within two hours.
Do You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse?
If you have a loved one whom you suspect may have suffered from abuse or neglect at a Maryland nursing home or another facility, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. At Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, our attorneys have nearly two decades of experience representing victims throughout Maryland and Washington, D.C. Our firm approaches each case with empathy and professionalism in order to provide you with the individualized attention you deserve. To set up a free consultation, call us at 800-654-1949 or 410-654-3600 or contact us online.
More Blog Posts:
Social Media’s Role in Perpetuating Nursing Home Abuse, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published August 7, 2017.
Family Sues Nursing Home After Failing to Revive Resident for Over 30 Minutes, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published July 14, 2017.