When a loved one has suffered abuse or neglect in a nursing home, you must step in and ensure that he or she is protected. It is also important to begin the process of filing a claim to recover compensation for the damages that your loved one has suffered.
Holding a nursing home liable for damages is tricky. You must provide evidence that abuse or neglect did occur, and that the facilities conduct resulted in physical or emotional injuries. Basically, when you file a legal claim against a nursing home, you must be able to prove certain key elements, including:
· The nursing home owed a duty of care to your loved one.
· The nursing home breached that duty of care.
· The violation(s) caused harm to your loved one.
Showing that a nursing home owed a duty of care to your loved one is rarely difficult because there is a signed contract that clearly establishes that. However, establishing that the nursing home breached that duty and that the breach resulted in damages or harm to your loved one is more challenging.
Being able to provide specific evidence of the kind of harm that your loved one suffered is very beneficial to any legal claim. It’s not enough to allege that negligence or abuse occurred. You must be able to demonstrate that your loved one suffered physical pain or mental trauma. If medical treatment was necessary, that is a key factor in establishing harm.
Documentation is key when you want to establish a claim against a nursing home, and often includes journals maintained by you or your family. If you notice injuries, restraint marks, wounds, bedsores, and other signs of physical neglect, photograph these. However, try to remember that your willingness to help may be met with resistance or anxiety from your family member.
If you have had conversations with staff members that have made you concerned about your loved one’s safety, document these as well. Any evidence that you have that your loved one has not been given medication on time, or has been overmedicated, will also prove helpful when you file a claim against the facility.