Suspecting someone you love is being abused or neglected in a nursing home can be enormously upsetting. And after relocating your loved one, taking immediate action to hold the appropriate parties responsible can be your top priority.
One option people want to pursue in this situation is to file a lawsuit against the facility or individuals. If you are in this position and are interested in legal action, consider the following tips for building your case.
Gathering your information
If you suspect abuse or neglect is occurring in a care facility, keeping records will be vital. Keep track of documentation and information, including:
- Any complaints you file
- Photographs of a victim’s bruises, restraint marks, bed sores or other signs of abuse
- Recorded statements from your loved one (including voicemails or voice memos on your phone)
- Medical records
- Correspondence with the nursing staff or facility administrators
This information can be the foundation for your claim and proving damages.
Connecting the dots
There are several elements of a nursing home neglect or abuse claim, and parties must prove each element to be successful. More specifically, those pursuing a claim will need to show:
- Someone breached their duty of care through negligence
- This breach was the cause of injuries or illnesses the victim suffered
- There were damages as a result, including medical expenses and emotional distress
Connecting these dots can require thorough investigation and legal acumen, which is why people often consult a legal representative.
Filing your claim
If you want to file a legal claim, there will be an investigation and you will file a complaint. Depending on what the investigation shows and how the nursing home responds, the case can end with dismissed charges, an out-of-court settlement or litigation where the judge or jury determines whether plaintiffs should receive damages.
The precise outcome of a claim will depend on the individuals and information involved.
Finding justice and closure
Filing a lawsuit is one way to acknowledge the harm your loved one suffered at the hands of a negligent or reckless care facility. Lawsuits can also create a record of bad actions, which could keep others safe.
And while money cannot undo that harm, it can help victims get the care and closure they deserve.