The National Council on Aging states that nursing home abuse often goes under-reported. This unfortunate fact is unbearable, but it also has severe consequences. Residents that suffer in a facility are 300 times more likely to pass away. How are you supposed to stay vigilant?
What Is Evidence of Nursing Home Abuse?
You need irrefutable proof and substantiating evidence to make companies pay for putting a loved one in this peril. This legal battle can be punishing since institutions have war chests to defend themselves. Therefore, hard doses of incriminating information can be the most effective way to hold them accountable.
This article will review what can be most relevant to your circumstances. Additionally, it will explain how a nursing home abuse lawyer can bring significant resources to this effort. If you have not taken action up to this moment, now is the time to get started.
You can start by requesting medical records from the nursing home. Facilities must have documentation for all residents that detail their care and treatment.
Assuming that they honor your wishes, you should review these materials carefully. Scrutinize each detail for signs of abuse and neglect. You want to look for injuries that took too long to address, medication errors, and other issues. Sometimes you may have to read between the lines, and that can take the expert eye of a trained legal counselor.
Additionally, your attorney will have access to medical experts to review these documents. They may already have contacts that worked in nursing homes as doctors or nurses. As such, their insight can prove invaluable to unearthing the truth.
There are additional medical records that can support your case. These could include records from hospitals or other healthcare providers who treated the resident. Investigative reports or complaints filed with regulatory agencies are also valuable information.
Incident reports are a mandatory part of record keeping in nursing homes. You can ask for copies that relate to your allegations. However, organizations may have strict procedures that delay delivery.
For instance, they may have a policy that you must give them something in writing. Any obfuscation during this period could be profound evidence to present in court since it starts a paper trail. Consequently, you may want your nursing home abuse lawyer to handle this task.
An attorney can help gather eyewitness accounts by conducting thorough interviews. They will put this information in writing or videotape them to show during a trial. These statements are key evidence of nursing home abuse. Also, don’t forget that lawyers can subpoena witnesses to give a deposition under oath.
Most law firms also have investigative resources to locate and interview potential witnesses. The attorney can then use their statements to build a case for trial or force a settlement.
Photo or Video
The first concern regarding photos or videos is that you do not violate anyone’s privacy. Permission is usually necessary to get these details at the facility. As a result, you may have to negotiate with staff, residents, and families. This task can be more complex than it seems, so a lawyer’s expertise can be invaluable to getting what you need.
Once you have permission or a court order, document the evidence in a thorough and organized manner. Take clear, high-quality photos and videos of the conditions or abuse. Don’t forget to date and label what you gather, and keep detailed notes of any observations or conversations.
Collecting communication from a nursing home can mean you need a subpoena. They are not likely to hand you the relevant records without an order from a judge. Emails, text messages, handwritten notes, and other items are necessary.
Share any details you have in your physical or electronic files as well. Giving these details to your nursing home abuse attorney can be a solid place to start. Moreover, it can authenticate what they get from the organization that did not meet the standard of care.
An attorney may have connections with experts who can provide evidence. They can also identify witnesses and evaluate their credibility. Once they find these individuals, they will prepare them for testimony.
Their depositions can help corroborate the resident’s account and provide additional details. It may prove to a judge and jury how long someone suffered and whether anyone knew about it.
Consult With a Local Attorney
After reading this guide, the value a local law firm can bring to this effort should be explicit. You frequently need more substantial resources to get the evidence you need. Otherwise, you can find yourself stuck when nursing homes refuse to cooperate or admit fault.