As with other forms of injury cases, you need adequate proof to win an injury claim for nursing home abuse. Below are some sources of evidence you can use for your case.
Your loved one’s records will show when he or she sought treatment, the doctor’s diagnosis, and the treatment received. Coordinate these records with other forms of evidence to prove the abuse claim.
Consider an example where the medical records show that the patient sought treatment for a fractured limb on the same date an eyewitness saw the victim slip and fall. You can connect the two events to prove a case of negligence.
Nursing Home Records
Many nursing homes keep records of their residents. The records contain things like:
- Residents’ allergies
- Admission dates
- Visitor records
- Residents’ deliveries (such as correspondence or shopping deliveries)
A guilty nursing home might be reluctant to produce the records. With the court’s help, you can subpoena the records and use them as evidence. For example, a nursing home that feeds a resident with food the resident is allergic to is guilty of negligence.
You can also source evidence from various branches of your local government. Here are four places to start.
Many local jurisdictions have ombudsmen who represent nursing home residents and liaise between the nursing homes and the government. The ombudsmen have records that you can use to gather information on the operations of a nursing home.
Serious injuries or injuries that stem from criminal acts typically end up in police records. For example, someone may call the police if a nursing home illegally detains a resident. You can even use past police records to prove a pattern of abuse in a nursing home.
Adult Protective Services
Lastly, you can also get help from the local department of adult protective services. Get records from the current complaint and records from past incidences to strengthen your case.
Pictures can be very powerful evidence, especially for cases that proceed to trial. Use pictures of your loved one to show the existent and extent of the injuries. Use pictures of the nursing home or the injury area to show the conditions that lead to the accident. For example, pictures of damaged flooring, pathetic food, and dirty surroundings can all help your case.
If your loved one keeps a journal, then you can use the entries to prove your case. The journal will be even more helpful if it captures a pattern of abuse or neglect that has been going on for a long time.
Even third party journals or notes can be sources of evidence. You can get them from other relatives or relatives who have been visiting the abuse victim. You have a gem of evidence if you have multiple notes or journals that show the same things.
Eyewitness testimony can also help corroborate your version of events. The testimony can come from different parties, such as:
- Other nursing home residents
- Visitors to the nursing home
- Nursing home staff
- Delivery personnel
The more credible the eyewitnesses are, the more their testimony will strengthen your case.
Use an expert witness if an element of the case is too technical or complicated for the average person to understand. For example, a nutritionist can testify that the nursing home’s diet is substandard or dangerous for the residents.
Don’t rely on a single piece of evidence to prove your case. Gather as much evidence as possible, and you will have an irrefutable claim. The Law Offices of Rick D. Steinberg can help you acquire the evidence and use it to get compensation for your loved one. Contact us today for a case evaluation so that we can determine the best course of action.