In Maryland Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Cases, Criminal Charges do Very Little to Help a Family

Maryland nursing home abuse and neglect is a pervasive problem, affecting many residents and their families each year. In some cases, the abuse and neglect, once discovered, is so severe that law enforcement gets involved, potentially filing criminal charges against the bad actors. This is especially likely to happen when an individual living in a nursing home dies as a result of the abuse or neglect they experienced.

Take, for example, a case where a 69-year-old woman died at her assisted living facility. According to a local news article, the woman developed an ulcer on her right heel in 2017. Her case manager at the facility, a registered nurse, failed to properly assess the ulcer. As a result, a plan of care was never developed and the ulcer worsened into a wound. The woman had to undergo emergency surgery on her right foot, which had become septic and gangrenous. She eventually died, a tragic loss for her family and loved ones. Her case manager has since been charged with elder abuse by neglect and could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

While some may think a criminal charge is a sign of justice in the aftermath of these incidents, and that the wrongs caused will be righted, families who have experienced the loss of a loved one this way often note that the criminal charges do nothing to actually help them recover. That is why many consider filing a civil negligence lawsuit, even when criminal charges are pending, to help them recover for their losses and begin to move on.

What Is the Difference Between a Civil and Criminal Lawsuit?

Civil lawsuits have a different focus than criminal ones—instead of aiming to punish the defendant for their actions, civil lawsuits have the goal of compensating the victims for the harm they suffered. Rather than imposing criminal penalties such as prison time and fines, which get paid to the government, civil lawsuits result in monetary damages awarded directly to the plaintiff. For instance, if the family of the loved one who tragically died in the story above was to sue, they may be awarded thousands, even hundreds of thousands, in damages to cover their loved one’s medical bills, funeral and burial costs, and pain and suffering. Because of the high stakes of these lawsuits, many families choose to work with a personal injury attorney rather than attempting to file it themselves. One of the benefits of working with an attorney is knowing that someone you can trust and who knows this area of law is handling your case, so that you can focus on healing.

Has Your Loved One Suffered in a Maryland Nursing Home?

If your loved one has suffered illness, injuries, or even death in a Maryland nursing home, you may be surprised to know that you can bring suit against the nursing home to recover financially for the harm caused. The personal injury attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, know exactly how to do this—in fact, they do it all the time for Maryland clients. Trust your case with someone experienced in this area with a proven track record of getting results. Call now to learn more at 800-654-1949.

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