Nursing homes are tasked with a big responsibility: caring for our most fragile loved ones. Yet, all too often these nursing homes and their staff fail to live up to their obligations. When this happens, serious harm can befall an innocent and unsuspecting elderly person. If your loved one has suffered that fate, then you may be wondering about what you can do to obtain justice.
Fortunately, you may have legal options at your disposal. Amongst them is pursuing a nursing home neglect lawsuit that seeks to find accountability and recover compensation. But these claims can be difficult to navigate, especially for those who are unfamiliar with the legal arena and who just want to focus on caring for their loved one. However, legal professionals stand ready to help in these circumstances. In the meantime, here are some steps that you can take if you’re hoping to pursue one of these claims:
- Document: Documentation may be key to your nursing home neglect case, especially given that injuries and our memories can fade over time. Therefore, it’s best that you take photographs of harm caused, write down your loved one’s account of the events leading to the injuries, and gather statements from those who may have seen the incident.
- Ask pointed questions: If your loved one has been harmed in a nursing home, then you may already know that people are hesitant to talk about it. This is unacceptable. You should ask directed questions not only of your loved one, but also of nursing home staff. Remember to take notes so that you can refer specifically to what they said should you need to do so during the course of litigation. You may also want to ask questions of other nursing home residents who can give you a clearer sense of the type of care and supervision provided at the nursing home. Make sure you write down these accounts, too.
- Seek medical care and obtain records: Those who have been injured in a nursing home need to seek immediate medical care and follow all recommendations made by medical professionals. Then, as you move towards pursuing a nursing home neglect case, you should obtain medical records. Not only will these records speak to the damage that has been caused to your loved one, but they may also be indicative of neglect itself. For example, severe bedsores found in nursing homes tend to appear only after an individual who is immobile has been neglected for a significant period of time. Therefore, medical records that can speak to that aspect of your claim can be powerful.
- Gather witnesses: Sure, your loved one and other nursing home residents may be helpful witnesses in a nursing home neglect case, but so, too, can experts who can testify to your loved one’s injuries, prognosis, and need for treatment, as well as the applicable standard of care in the nursing home. So, be thorough in developing your witness list, ensuring that their testimony will adequately address every aspect of your claim.
Don’t let negligent nursing homes and staff slip away from liability
There’s no doubt that the harm caused by nursing home neglect can be severe. Far too often, though, nursing homes are able to escape any kind of accountability for these injuries. That’s unfair and unacceptable, which is why it’s imperative that you aggressively work to build the legal claim that your loved one deserves. Legal professional like those at our firm know how to build the legal strategies that are oftentimes necessary to succeed in these cases, which is why it may be wise for you to discuss the circumstances of your case with a legal professional who is experienced in this area of the law and has a track record of success.