Nursing home negligence occurs all the time. However, unlike the traditional medical negligence cases, proving nursing home neglect is usually difficult because the victim is the one who holds the key to most unanswered questions. Often, the victim in question is suffering from a physical or mental condition that makes it difficult for them to affirmatively speak for themselves.
Like in any legal matter, the complainant must prove negligence on the part of the nursing home to stand the chance of winning their claim. Here is how you can prove negligence in a nursing home abuse case.
Looking out for and recording the signs of negligence
These days, many senior citizens are in some type of long-term care facility. As such, loved ones must be proactive when identifying a nursing home as well as when examining the nursing home once the family member has moved in. Knowing how to spot the signs of negligence is critical to proving your case. Common indicators that your loved one could be experiencing neglect include:
- Sudden mood changes
- Bruises, cuts, laceration and in worst-case scenarios, broken bones
- Unexplained injuries
- Malnutrition and dehydration
Obtaining your loved one’s medical records
If the nursing home is enrolled in Medicaid or Medicare programs, you can access your loved one’s medical records. You can review these records with a focus on inconsistencies, unexplained treatments, and administration of certain medications or the existence of unexplained injuries.
From the medical record, you can learn about the periods of neglect including hospitalizations for malnutrition and dehydration, treatment for suspect injuries as well as other complications that can be linked to substandard care such as bed sores.
Proving nursing home negligence can be very difficult. However, whether it was a one-off event or repeat incidents, it is important that you know how to gather the necessary evidence so you can hold the negligent party accountable for your loved one’s injuries.