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Silver Spring Maryland Personal Injury Legal Blog

Senate committee hears accounts of nursing home negligence

When loved ones are no longer able to care for themselves, many Maryland residents make the decision to seek care from skilled nursing facilities. Certainly, the expectation is that their family members will receive appropriate medical treatment, assistance in daily life activities and respect from all staff members. Sadly, this is not the case for some facilities. In fact, the incidents of reported nursing home negligence and abuse has prompted a recent hearing before a Senate committee.

The nation's Senate Committee on Finance heard detailed accounts of neglect and abuse that had occurred at nursing homes from several states all across the country. One woman shared how her mother, an Alzheimer's sufferer, had been sexually assaulted. Another woman testified that a skilled care facility had received high rankings from their state, yet had to pay fines for verbally and abusing patients just one year before her mother passed away there.

Passengers in motor vehicle accidents often collect damages

In Maryland and other states, when there is a one-vehicle accident there may nonetheless be a claim for injury or death damages arising out of the accident. That would be the case when a passenger in the vehicle was seriously injured or killed due to the driver's negligence. Although negligent drivers cannot normally collect personal injury or death damages from motor vehicle accidents involving solely their own vehicles, a claim may accrue to an innocent passenger in the vehicle.

The foregoing principle will likely hold true in connection with an accident that occurred on Feb. 19 on Appleton Road near Elkton. A 19-year-old female operator of a sedan inexplicably veered over the center line of the highway and traveled off the other side of the road where it thereafter collided violently into a tree, according to the Maryland State Police. The impact left a devastating picture of a thoroughly mangled vehicle reduced to rubble and shattered into several separate sections.

Lack of informed consent can trigger a medical malpractice claim

Do doctors in Maryland or any other state have a duty to inform an organ transplant donor regarding the chances of the organ recipient surviving with the new organ? That is the main issue raised in a medical malpractice lawsuit by a deceased donor's estate against the three surgeons who performed the transplant operation. The donor was a 56-year-old male who donated 60 percent of his liver for transplantation to his brother-in-law who suffered from both end-stage liver disease and liver cancer.

The lawsuit alleges that the donor would not likely have offered his liver if he had known that the recipient had stage 3 cancer and would probably die anyway. The trial recently began in a state court in another state. An expert on health law and ethics testified that the defending surgeons did not give the donor sufficient information on which to make an informed decision.

Physician, clinic facing multiple claims of medical malpractice

The promise of fewer wrinkles, a more distinguished nose or a flatter stomach has often attracted Maryland residents and others around the country to seek plastic surgery. Certainly, no one who seeks to make improvements to their appearance expects to encounter major complications. Unfortunately, a facility in another state has been plagued by a number of deaths and serious problems, following procedures that have led to numerous medical malpractice allegations.

Over the last six years, eight people died at a nationally advertised plastic surgery clinic, while others had severe complications arise, following their procedures. According to reports, the clinic performed as many procedures as possible every day, taking roughly half the time typically spent on each operation. With more apparent focus on quantity than quality, problems continued to mount for the clinic.

Medical errors the nation’s third-most common cause of death

When something ails you or makes you feel unlike yourself, you likely place a call to your doctor hoping he or she will tell you what is wrong and what you can do to make it better. Chances are, you then follow your doctor’s recommendations, and with any luck, your symptoms begin to subside.

Unfortunately, however, doctors, like everyone else, sometimes make errors. Others who make their living in health care settings, such as nurses, aides and pharmacy technicians, often do the same. The stakes are particularly high, however, when doctors and other health care workers make mistakes, as their errors can have a sizable impact on the chances of your condition improving. For example, if you have cancer and your doctor fails to notice or identify your condition until later down the line, this delayed diagnosis could potentially mean the difference between making a recovery and succumbing to the disease.

Most vulnerable patients at risk for nursing home negligence

Placing a loved one in the care of a long-term nursing facility is seldom an easy decision.  Sadly, regardless of the time one invests in researching a chosen facility, the most vulnerable patients are often unable to advocate for themselves and can become victims of nursing home negligence. There are countless Maryland residents who may have concerns about their loved ones' safety.

Recently, one nursing facility was the target of an investigation after a series of deaths of residents who were dependent on ventilators. Over the past four years, it was discovered that the patients' deaths were attributed to negligence on the part of nursing staff. In the first death, which was reported in 2015, a patient's respirator was purportedly disconnected two hours ahead of the scheduled time. The patient was found without a pulse after approximately 25 minutes and died the following day. It was unclear whether the ventilator was scheduled to be turned off at a set time.

Motor vehicle accidents: 3 children dead after multi-car crash

Maryland families and others around the country travel together a lot during this time of year. Whether just down the street for errands or out of town for gatherings, the holidays see the roadways busier than usual. With more traffic, it is also more likely for motor vehicle accidents to occur. While most of the accidents are minor, some can be devastating. A recent multi-car crash in Prince George's County claimed the lives of three small children.

According to police reports, a family with two adults and three children were in a sedan that had stopped or slowed down at a traffic light behind two other vehicles. A pickup truck driven by a male ran into the back of the family's vehicle, causing it to strike the one in front of it. That vehicle also hit the one in front of it at the light.

Nursing home negligence lawsuit filed; criminal charges also made

When loved ones become incapacitated, many Maryland families select a skilled facility to provide care for them. Personnel at the facilities are expected to see to patients' everyday needs, such as feeding and hygiene, as well as medical needs, like administering medication, therapy or diagnostic tests. When a facility fails to do this, the results can be devastating. A woman in another state filed a civil lawsuit for nursing home negligence against a facility, which also faced criminal charges for the same incidents.

The woman's husband had entered a facility in 2011 due to symptoms from Huntington's chorea, a neurological disease that is a combination of Lou Gehrig's disease and Parkinson's disease. When that facility closed, he was transferred to a new nursing home. However, she began seeing many signs of neglect during her frequent visits to see her husband. He indicated he was hungry and was also left in soiled clothing and linens on several occasions.

What is your Maryland car accident case worth

If you are considering filing a lawsuit to recover damages sustained in a car crash, you likely want to know how much you can expect to receive. Although no one can ever promise you a specific amount, experienced lawyers can often make an educated estimate after reviewing the facts. Additional information can further narrow that estimate. 

In most Maryland car accident injury cases, a plaintiff can recover two types of damages: economic and pain-and-suffering.

$13 million awarded in medical malpractice lawsuit

A colon polypectomy is a relatively common surgical procedure many Maryland residents and others around the nation have undergone. Physicians elect to remove polyps from patients' colons to prevent them from becoming cancerous or to alleviate symptoms that may be occurring. The procedure itself is performed quickly, and there is a fairly short recovery time if everything goes as planned. However, severe complications may arise if the surgery is not done properly. The family members of a woman who died following a colon polypectomy recently received a $13 million award in a medical malpractice lawsuit.

In 2011, a 43-year-old woman had a surgical procedure to remove a polyp from her colon. Following the surgery, the woman experienced several pain and was prescribed potent pain medication. Her physician failed to order a CAT scan until four days had passed, according to court documents. At that time, it was discovered that the physician had burned part of the woman's bowel. The woman died as a result of septic shock and severe infection before she could undergo another surgery.

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