When a Maryland nursing home employee is subject to neglect or abuse, the local prosecuting authority has the discretion whether to pursue criminal charges against the accused. Typically, if criminal charges are filed, the victim of the abuse or neglect will wait until the resolution of the criminal case to pursue a civil claim for damages. If the accused is found guilty at a criminal trial, this may help the victim obtain a judgment against their abuser.
While a criminal conviction may make it easier for the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect to recover for their injuries in a personal injury lawsuit, it is important that Maryland nursing home residents and their families know that there is no requirement that the accused is found guilty – or even charged – with a criminal offense. This is due to the different standards of proof in civil and criminal cases.
To be found guilty of a criminal offense, a jury must establish that the accused is guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.” This is a very high standard. However, in a civil claim against a Maryland nursing home, the plaintiff need only prove that the defendant was liable by a “preponderance of the evidence.” Most jurists understand this standard to mean that it was “more likely than not” that the defendant is liable under the plaintiff’s theory.
Nursing Home Aide Arrested for Battery of a Disabled Person
Earlier this month, a caretaker at an assisted-living facility was arrested and charged with battery on a disabled person after a DNA test revealed he was the likely match to a child who was born to a disabled resident. According to a local news report, the resident – who police described as “mentally challenged” – gave birth to a baby boy back in 2015. However, at the time prosecutors were unable to determine which of three suspects was the likely father of the child because, while the resident identified three men who could have raped her, the resident’s story changed over time and the men denied involvement.
More recently, the resident reported that one of the three men who was initially suspected of the rape assaulted her again. The man denied the allegations, but this time, he agreed to a DNA test. When the results of the test came back, it was discovered that he was a 99.99% match for the father of the resident’s child. Police have since charged the aide with battery on a disabled person. It remains unclear if he will also be facing rape charges.
Is Your Loved One at Risk?
If you have a loved one in a Maryland nursing home and you are concerned that they are not receiving the treatment that they need and deserve, contact the dedicated Maryland personal injury law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC. At Lebowitz & Mzhen, we represent nursing home residents and their families in cases against those nursing home employees responsible for their injuries. We have decades of experience successfully representing clients in all types of nursing home abuse and neglect cases across Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. To learn more about how we can help you and your loved one pursue a claim for compensation based on their injuries, call 410-654-3600 today.
More Blog Posts:
Maryland Nursing Home Arbitration Agreements Must Be Clear to Be Enforceable, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published February 8, 2019.
Many Maryland Nursing Home Residents Have Difficulty Reporting Abuse, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published February 21, 2019.