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Liability for Residents Leaving Nursing Homes

Nursing Home Lawyer MarylandNursing Home Lawyer Maryland

There are many circumstances in which a nursing home can be sued if one of its residents is injured on the property, either through physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, as a nursing home Lawyer Maryland families trust can attest. However, what happens if a nursing home resident happens to wander off (or “elope”)? In this circumstance, the nursing home might be liable for negligence if the resident was not under the watchful eye of a staff member. Additionally, if the resident was allowed to wander off, they could suffer some type of injury or harm as a result of this negligence. Read on for more information on when a nursing home might be held liable.

When a nursing home may or may not be liable

  1. Was the nursing home informed that the resident might wander? To be found negligent, there would have to be documented proof that the nursing home was put on notice that the resident could wander off, as a nursing home Lawyer in Maryland knows. In many cases, this can be proven if the nursing home was informed that the resident suffered from a condition such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, or senility. If, however, the resident has never wandered off before and there is no display of the above health problems, the nursing home might be able to avoid this charge.
  2. Was the resident injured during their wandering episode? While there is potential for any kind of danger to come to the resident who has wandered, the act of wandering off does not automatically make the nursing home liable. There are three ways a nursing home will be considered liable: if the patient was injured in some way, disappears completely, or dies during their excursion.

Other scenarios where a nursing home is held liable

  •      If the staff at the nursing home do not properly evaluate a resident when they first come to the facility and perform evaluations periodically, they can be held liable for failing to assess the patient, even if they were not informed of the resident’s propensity to wander.  
  •      Additionally, as a nursing home Lawyer in Maryland can explain, the staff at a nursing home can be held liable if they fail to train the staff. Training can come in many forms, but in this case, it could be training to detect early signs of wandering off, the appropriate ways to monitor patients, and training on how to prevent residents from wandering. If the nursing home is found hiring staff that they knew were incompetent or unqualified for this type of work, the nursing home can also be found liable.
  •      Even if the nursing home staff is trained in the above scenarios and found to be completely qualified to take care of their residents, they can still be held liable for failing to detect the resident’s ability to wander off, and failing to have safety measures in place (such as a security system) to monitor their movement, as a nursing home Lawyer in Maryland can explain

What should you do if a loved one has been injured?

If a loved one has been the victim of some type of injury from wandering off in a nursing home, or if you have further questions on whether a nursing home should be held liable, please contact a nursing home Lawyer Maryland trusts at Brown Kiely LLP immediately to ensure your family is protected.