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Silver Spring Maryland Personal Injury Legal Blog

Falls kill about 1,800 U.S. nursing home residents annually

Many older Americans have age-related factors affecting them that make them more prone to falling. Many of them live in facilities that do not always make every effort to prevent resident falls. Together, this can be a deadly combination. If you have a parent or other loved one living in a nursing home or assisted living facility, you may have legitimate cause for concern.

Industrial Safety & Hygiene News reports that about 1,800 nursing home residents across the nation die every year because of fall-related injuries. Additionally, the average American nursing home housing 100 or so residents reports between 100 and 200 resident falls every year. It is important to note, though, that this number refers specifically to the number of falls – suggesting the true figure could be higher.

Medical malpractice: CDC says most maternal deaths preventable

Welcoming a new life into the world is supposed to be a joyous occasion for parents, but for some it can be tragic. Maternal death in Maryland and across the rest of the United States is startlingly high, and the problem does not seem to be getting any better. Even more upsetting is that many of these deaths could be linked to instances of medical malpractice.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that approximately 700 women in the United States die due to pregnancy-related complications annually. In its report, the CDC also stated that 60% of those deaths are preventable. These results were based on data collected between 2011 and 2015.

Man files medical malpractice lawsuit after failure to diagnose

Maryland residents go to the emergency department of their hospitals for a variety of reasons. Certainly, people go to the ER in the event of an accident or trauma. They also go if their regular physicians are not available and they are experiencing symptoms that have to be evaluated in a timely manner. Unfortunately, not every patient who visits an ER is satisfactorily treated. A medical malpractice lawsuit was recently filed in another state after a man claimed that a hospital and its staff were negligent in their treatment of him.

A man was experiencing weakness in his extremities when he arrived at the emergency department of his local hospital. Although the man reportedly could no longer walk, he was sent home after being examined and prescribed a sedative. The man was later seen at home by a physician who was a family friend. He was diagnosed as having Guillain-Barré syndrome. The man, who was in constant pain, was also disabled.

How to prevent dog and animal bites

Dogs and other pets are often considered to be "part of the family" in many Maryland households and others around the country. While most owners can't envision their pets attacking someone, the reality is that dog and animal bites are actually quite common. As Dog Bite Prevention Week approaches, experts want to focus on how to keep bites from occurring.

Statistics show that most bites happen with familiar dogs, either a family's own pet or one belonging to a friend. Therefore, it is easier to observe an animal's typical behavior and note anything that might trigger aggressive behavior. Children are often the target of dog bites, according to reports. Animal care and control workers stress the need to train children -- and  adults -- on how to properly behave around dogs to prevent bites.

The importance of a social media blackout after a car accident

Social media has changed numerous aspects of everyday life. A vast majority of Americans log onto some social media website at least once a day, and research suggests the average person will spend roughly five years of his or her life on social media. 

People often share every aspect of their lives on social media. There is nothing inherently wrong with that except when it comes to car accidents. After a collision, you want to keep the details sparse online until the claims process is complete. 

Family awarded almost $1 million in medical malpractice lawsuit

Many strides have been made in the treatment of cancer patients in Maryland and elsewhere across the country. Patients typically follow a treatment plan established by their physicians to combat the disease. Unfortunately, one man died after he was forced to stop his treatment because of complications that arose following a surgical procedure. The man's family recently learned that they would receive nearly $1 million from a medical malpractice lawsuit in another state.

According to reports, a man had a gastric bypass in 2015. The man spent 55 days in the hospital with numerous complications, such as a herniation, a bowel perforation and respiratory failure. During his hospitalization, he had to undergo several surgeries. In 2018, the man's bowel perforated again, thus requiring him to stop his cancer treatments. The family filed the lawsuit, claiming that the doctor failed to conduct necessary tests following the surgery in 2015 that subsequently led to the complications years later.

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.

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