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Silver Spring Maryland Personal Injury Legal Blog

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.

Jury awards over $600,000 in medical malpractice case to patient

When loved ones enter nursing homes or other skilled care facilities in Maryland or elsewhere around the nation, family members expect that a certain standard of treatment will be given. Assistance with daily activities would be provided, along with the medical care associated with a person's diagnoses. Unfortunately, incidents of neglect or insufficient treatment occur at many facilities of this type. Recently, a physician in another state was found to be negligent of his treatment of a nursing home resident by a jury in a medical malpractice lawsuit.

In 2013, a 79-year-old man broke his hip after falling on the floor of a nursing home. He had been left unattended on the toilet at the time of the fall. According to the lawsuit, the physician had not thoroughly considered the patient's condition and had failed to create a fall prevention plan. The fall caused injury and disability to the patient that will result in ongoing medical costs.

Protect children from dog and animal bites

Over a third of families in Maryland and around the country have a dog as a family pet, as reported by the nation's Veterinary Medical Association. This means that over 40 million households are taking care of dogs and, in many cases, bringing them inside their homes. Experts stress that owning a dog comes with a lot of responsibility, far beyond feeding, grooming and providing medical care. Since dog and animal bites are common and can cause serious injury, it is also important for owners to keep those around their pets safe.

It is critical that children who are helping take care of dogs learn the proper ways to treat animals. Ultimately, no matter how familiar a pet may be, a dog is capable of biting someone. A seemingly harmless situation can quickly become a dangerous one when an animal is involved.

How to spot nursing home negligence and abuse

It is never easy to decide to seek nursing home care for an elderly loved one. However, when he or she needs around-the-clock care, it might be the only option. Sadly, nursing home negligence and abuse are as prevalent in Maryland as in other states. Neglect and mistreatment come in different forms, and they are not usually easy to spot, but looking out for specific signs and red flags might help.

Broken bones, bruises, dislocations, sprains and sudden tooth or hair loss that do not fit the explanations are often the first signs of physical abuse. When it comes to neglect, red flags include unusual weight loss, soiled diapers, dressed in dirty clothes and bedsores. Also, the lack of easy access to a hearing aid, glasses, cane or other necessary medical aids could indicate neglect.

Did your car accident cause moderate TBI?

Car crashes can lead to traumatic injuries that can continue to affect your life for years to come. Most of them fall into the category of those you immediately know about, while others can develop over time.

Traumatic brain injury is likely if the accident injured your head; however, it may be present even if you do not recall sustaining a direct impact to the head. As with any type of accident, follow the usual steps including documentation and seeking medical attention. In addition, it is important to understand that your initial emergency room or doctor's visit may not have revealed the full extent of your injuries.

Dog and animal bites can have life-long consequences

Many families in Maryland have dogs or other pets that are treated like children, and while most people believe their dogs will not bite anyone, the fact is that some do. Dog and animal bites can cause severe physical wounds that leave scars for life along with emotional trauma. Significant medical expenses can also be incurred in a dog attack, and if the victims are children, they might never outgrow their fear for dogs.

Learning to recognize warning signs of aggression in animals might help to avoid being attacked. The most common cause for dogs to become aggressive is fear. If a dog feels threatened, it might respond in defense by attacking the source of its anxiety. Many dogs are possessive, and they will protect toys, food and other objects -- even people -- with all their might. They will typically growl to warn people not to come closer and attack if the warning is ignored.

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