Expert Witnesses in Maryland Nursing Home Abuse Cases

Nursing home abuse personal injury cases come in many shapes and sizes. Many of these claims involve some sort of staff negligence that leads to a slip and fall injury or allegations of emotional abuse. However, nursing homes carry a greater duty to their residents than most other defendants.

Nursing homes are also required to provide medical care to their patients. Because of this, they are required to perform their duties to a certain level of skill under Maryland law. Any failure to do so may result in an injury, and may be grounds for a malpractice claim.

Malpractice allegations must be backed by an expert in the medical field. This expert’s testimony is key to proving the claim in court. Expert witnesses in Maryland nursing home abuse cases are therefore vital to the success of many nursing home abuse claims.

When a Claim Requires an Expert

Many nursing home abuse claims allege that the nursing home was negligent in providing proper medical care to the resident. This can include:

This is in contrast to many other nursing home abuse claims that may allege that a staff member assaulted a resident or that a patient slipped and fell on a spill in a hallway. Pursuing allegations of medical malpractice routinely requires the aid of a medical expert.

The Role of an Expert

This expert must be able to provide testimony and reports to the court that outline how a nursing home failed in their duty of care to the resident. This duty of care means that the nursing home needs to act as an averagely competent facility would act given the facts of the case. Naturally, much of this evidence is scientific in nature. It is for this reason that the courts often require expert testimony to explain these nuances to a jury.

Not only must this expert be prepared to testify at a trial, but all complaints filed in court alleging medical malpractice must be accompanied by a certificate of merit.

According to Md. Code Ann. Cts. & Jud. Proc. §3-2A-04, a court may dismiss a case without prejudice if an expert does not certify to the court that the case has merit within 90 days of the filing of the complaint. In addition, this certificate must be served upon the defendant to give them a chance to respond.

An attorney could help clients to contact these experts, to obtain their services, and to work with them to evaluate the strength of the claim.

Expert Witnesses in Maryland Nursing Home Abuse Cases are Key to Many Claims

Nursing home abuse cases come in two main categories. Those that allege an injury due to staff assaults or slips and falls are similar to most other personal injury cases. However, if the abuse in the case involves some sort of failure on the part of medical staff, the case more closely resembles a medical malpractice claim.

When this occurs, a plaintiff will need to work with an expert witness in their Maryland nursing home abuse case. An attorney could assist clients to locate these experts, to hire them, and to work with these experts to prepare a powerful case in court. Contact an attorney today to schedule a consultation.