What Evidence is Needed to Prove Nursing Home Neglect?
Posted by PKSD Law Firm on September 28, 2022 in Nursing Homes and Elder Rights
Do you suspect a loved one is a victim of nursing home neglect? If so, you may wonder what you can do or whether you may have a legal case. Proving nursing home negligence is extremely challenging and almost impossible to achieve without legal help.
The failed nursing home system in America has made it much harder to protect residents living in these facilities. The good news is that PKSD has a proven history of success helping injured residents. We understand the evidence needed to build a strong nursing home neglect case and how to gather it.
Call today to learn more. There are no upfront costs to hire our services, and you pay no fees unless we win.
Request your FREE case review today. Call 877-877-2228
What is Nursing Home Neglect?
Nursing home neglect happens when residents do not receive proper care under the law. This includes providing the services, care and goods to avoid causing residents to suffer physical harm, emotional distress or mental illness.
Understaffing is an all-too-common problem in long-term care. It is also a leading cause of nursing home neglect. However, it is not the only one. Nursing home neglect may also occur when:
- Existing staff do not have sufficient training to function in their role as a caregiver
- Burnt-out staff are overworked or have too many residents assigned to their care
- Negligent hiring at a facility resulted in staff with an unsuitable or unsafe background
Unfortunately, neglect of a nursing home resident can also be intentional. For example, if caregivers purposely isolate a resident to prevent any social interaction with others. Sometimes caregivers do this to assert power over a resident.
Regardless of the reason for nursing home neglect, residents may suffer severe emotional and physical harm as a result. This type of substandard care can also be fatal for some residents.
Can You Seek Compensation for Nursing Home Neglect?
It is possible to seek compensation for nursing home neglect. However, you must be able to establish that the nursing home owed you a duty of care and breached that duty. The burden of proof is on the victim – or his or her attorney – to show how that breach directly caused injury and damages.
If successful, you may be able to recover the following types of compensation for your loved one:
- Medical costs for treating the injury or harm the victim suffered
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Prescription medication
- Skilled nursing care at a different facility
- Physical therapy
- Counseling or other therapy
- Transportation costs to and from medical appointments
- And more
Recognizing the signs of neglect early on can help you to better protect a loved one who may be at risk.
What Evidence Does an Attorney Need to Prove Nursing Home Neglect?
Suspecting nursing home neglect is only half the battle, even if an attorney determines you may have a case worth pursuing. You can be sure that the nursing home’s insurance company will fight hard to prove there is no case.
Hiring an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer could greatly improve your chances of recovering compensation for your damages. At PKSD, our nursing home abuse lawyers in Wisconsin have extensive experience and a history of proven results.
In addition to hiring an attorney, it is important to gather strong evidence that supports nursing home neglect case. The evidence your attorney will seek may include:
Surveillance or Granny Cam Footage
Many nursing homes have surveillance cameras, but typically only in common areas. That said, some states allow family members to place granny cams in a resident’s room. Wisconsin is one of those states, however the law only allows you to record video. Audio recordings are not permitted.
Any resident could suffer an occasional accident, but red flags should go up if there are multiple and frequent injuries. Be sure to photograph these injuries and date them. Ask the nursing home how your loved one got hurt and ask to see his or her medical records. Document everything neatly and accurately.
Visit your loved one’s nursing home at different times of the day and without alerting the facility. This way you can get a more accurate understanding about the care your loved one receives.
Facility Hiring/Training Practices
Nursing home administrators owe a duty to prevent harm to residents in their care. This duty includes hiring candidates with sufficient training and experience. Background checks are also a must to help ensure a candidate is not an unsuitable or unsafe choice. An investigation may reveal the nursing home has a history of negligent hiring practices.
Medical Records – Before and After
When you sue a nursing home for damages, you can be sure their insurance company will work hard to dispute any evidence you present. One of the ways they do this is by arguing that the resident had pre-existing medical conditions. Your attorney will dispute their arguments by comparing your loved one’s medical records from before and after the injury occurred.
Medical Expert Testimony
In extremely tough cases, your attorney may need to bring in one or more medical experts to testify and provide more clarity about:
- Your loved one’s condition and the injuries sustained
- The extent of the damages, prognosis, type of care and cost of that care
- Whether nursing staff and other caregivers adhered to proper medical standards and procedures
Nursing Staff and Caregiver Schedules
The nursing home may not show caregiver schedules to a family member, but an attorney knows how to gain access. Caregiver schedules may help to reveal how often understaffing occurs at your loved one’s facility.
If there are witnesses to the negligence that caused your loved one harm, your attorney may depose them. If credible, insurance companies give a lot of weight to neutral third party witnesses.
Contact Our Trusted Law Firm Today. We Are Here to Help
Our firm has extensive experience managing nursing home abuse and neglect cases. We have recovered millions for our clients.
Not sure if you have a valid case? That is just one of the reasons we offer a completely free, no-risk case review. In this confidential meeting, we listen to your concerns, answer your questions and determine if you have legal options.
If we represent you, there is never anything for you to pay up front or throughout the legal process. We only get paid if we recover compensation for you.
We Get Results. 877-877-2228