If you have a loved one who has suffered abuse at a nursing home, you should know that you may have legal recourse to seek compensation. The first thing you should do is to seek the counsel of a personal injury attorney such as the Law Office of Matthew L. Sharp. Your attorney can help you figure out next steps. But one of those steps will certainly be to prove the nursing home abuse. What exactly is the best way to go about that?
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
There are all kinds of nursing home abuse. For you to have a case, there must be proof of one or more kinds of abuse suffered by your loved one. The abuse might be physical, where your loved one has suffered physical pain or injury. The abuse might be emotional, where your loved one is under emotional duress or stress. The abuse may also by mental, where they are undergoing mental strain in one form or another. Finally, there could also be financial abuse, where the nursing home is somehow cheating or taking advantage of your loved one or the family in a financial way.
Proving Physical Abuse
To prove physical abuse, an examination by a doctor is typically needed. The doctor can look for signs of physical abuse such as lacerations, bruises, swelling, redness and other things. If relevant, the doctor should also conduct tests to ensure that the nursing home patient isn’t being injected with anything they should be. Any signs or symptoms should be documented with reports and photographs.
Proving Emotional or Mental Abuse
It can be hard to prove that your loved one is suffering from emotional abuse. Maybe a caretaker is being very harsh, or giving verbal abuse. Is your loved one getting all their phone calls or are they being prevented from contact with the outside world? In this instance, you may have to capture the incident as a firsthand witness, or try to get the incident on camera. You may have to position your loved one in an area of the nursing home where there is video surveillance. Another way to prove emotional abuse is to get the testimony of eyewitnesses.
This may be the easiest type of nursing home abuse to prove. You would need financial records of the payments given to the nursing home and compare them with the contract agreements. If you think your loved one is having money stolen from their personal belongings, or having valuable stolen from them while in the nursing home, this could be captured on videotape and given to your attorney to help them fight your case.
Nursing home abuse is all too common. If you suspect that something is going on, don’t ignore your instincts. Patients in nursing homes are usually not in a position to fight for their own rights. They may have dementia, be physically disabled or otherwise in a weakened condition. It never hurts to bring your suspicions to a competent personal injury attorney to get their opinion.