Collecting Evidence in Nursing Home Abuse Cases
Filing a lawsuit or demanding a settlement for a loved one neglected inside their nursing home can be immensely complicated and stressful. Even if you have experience with civil litigation, the specific things you will need to prove—and the documentation you will need to prove them—can be different from the norm. Unrepresented plaintiffs are much more likely to have unsatisfactory case results.
When collecting evidence in nursing home abuse cases and incorporating that evidence into a strong case, there is no substitute for assistance from a knowledgeable legal representative. Once retained, a dedicated attorney can help you find, preserve, and effectively present both quantitative and qualitative evidence showing how your loved one was hurt and who specifically bears the responsibility for their injuries.
Proving How Abuse Occurred in a Nursing Home
Nursing home abuse can be physical, psychological, sexual or even financial, and every unique type of negligence can have different effects and produce different types of evidence. Central to most cases of this nature is internal documentation created and maintained by nursing home staff members in the facility where the abuse occurred.
Anything from an internal memo discussing an act of abuse or neglect, to company financial reports and personnel records, to emails between administrators and owners of the facility, can be relevant to establishing that a resident was harmed to a legally actionable degree. Assistance from skilled legal counsel can be vital to collecting this evidence in nursing home abuse cases, potentially through a subpoena. It is also essential to conduct interviews with facility staff members and solicit testimony from other residents who witnessed or were directly harmed by abuse or neglect.
Establishing the Effects of Nursing Home Negligence
Determining the specific types of harm a nursing home staff member or facility as a whole caused a resident to sustain is as crucial as proving they acted abusively or neglectfully towards a resident. Once again, the primary type of evidence to collect at this stage of a nursing home abuse case is objective: medical bills, reports from treating physicians and specialists, and any other documentation that could show the financial and physical losses a victim is dealing with.
It could also be helpful to take pictures of injuries at various stages of the healing process and the areas where the abuse occurred or unsanitary living conditions that serve as evidence of neglect. Finally, it can be key for abused and neglected individuals to record their thoughts, feelings, and observations about what they went through and for family members helping with litigation to do the same.
An Attorney Could Help with Collecting Evidence in a Nursing Home Abuse Case
Abuse in nursing homes can be difficult to positively identify and even harder to take effective legal action over. In a situation like this, guidance from a seasoned legal professional can make a tremendous difference in how efficiently you can build a strong case. Collecting evidence in nursing home abuse cases is generally much easier with a tenacious lawyer on your side. Call today for a free consultation about your case.