Almost two million people in the United States now live in nursing homes, according to the CDC. Unfortunately, more and more of these adults suffer injury and abuse caused by the persons charged with their care. Often these injuries are because of negligence by the nursing home staff or deliberate acts of abuse by caregivers. This article will discuss evidence proving abuse or injuries in a nursing home injury or abuse case.
Evidence Proving Abuse
In order for the court to award damages to the plaintiff it is necessary for there to be evidence. Such evidence must show that the nursing home resident suffered harm. One of the easiest cases to prove is injury caused by nursing home staff members. This is because injuries result in medical treatment. Therefore, there is a paper trail made by medical records linked to the patient’s complaints and an incident history.
In most nursing home injury cases the nursing home staff and the residents must complete an injury incident report. This document can be a valuable resource when proving damages in court.
Unfortunately, in cases relating to abuse there is rarely any extensive paperwork that would accompany an injury incident. In fact, it is difficult to document evidence of abuse. And most often than not, it is generally linked with the resident’s emotional or physical condition. Therefore, types of evidence used to support an abuse claim vary greatly.
Despite the nature of the injury or abuse it is very importance to document everything as completely as possible. Such documentation can later be used when pursuing criminal charges or civil claims against the nursing home. Some documents that may be useful include:
- diaries kept by the resident or close family members
- photographs of the resident’s bruises or other injuries
- note summarizing conversations with the resident of staff
- photographs of medication given or prescribed
- note on personal observations of physical and emotional conditions that are kept by family members