We encourage you to call The Blankenship Law Firm as soon as possible if you suspect that your loved one is being mistreated in a Seattle-area nursing home. We can help you take important steps to hold the liable parties responsible.
Evidence You Will Need to Prove That Your Loved One Has Been Harmed
Signs that your loved one has been mistreated in their residential facility include mood changes, weight loss, bruises, sudden illness, emergency medical intervention, bedsores, dehydration, and more. Basically, any changes in appearance or behavior should be investigated.
If your loved one has been hurt in a nursing home, they have the right to sue the facility for damages to make up for their losses. In order to prove that the harm was caused by nursing home negligence or abuse, you will need to obtain evidence such as the following:
- Medical records. Collect your loved one's medical records. Their hospitalization records, medication administration records, progress notes, and documentation of injuries or health issues could indicate neglect, improper care, medication errors, or unexplained injuries.
- Photographs or videos. Take or gather photographs or videos of any visible injuries, wounds, bruises, or signs of neglect. Document the conditions of your loved one's living area, such as unclean or unsanitary conditions, lack of personal hygiene, or safety hazards.
- Witness statements. Collect statements from other residents, staff members, or visitors who may have witnessed instances of abuse or neglect. These statements can provide firsthand accounts and support the allegations.
- Staff statements. If possible, speak with current or former employees of the nursing home who may have knowledge of abusive or neglectful behaviors. Their testimonies can offer insights into the facility's practices or specific incidents.
- Incident reports. Request copies of incident reports or any documentation related to specific incidents involving your loved one. These reports may provide details of accidents, injuries, complaints, or signs of mistreatment.
- Surveillance footage. If the nursing home has surveillance cameras, request access to any relevant footage that may capture instances of abuse, neglect, or inadequate care.
- Documentation of complaints. Keep a record of any formal complaints or reports made to the nursing home administration or regulatory agencies. This demonstrates a history of concerns and can support the claims of abuse or neglect.
- Expert testimony. Seek expert opinions from medical professionals, geriatric care specialists, or forensic experts who can assess your loved one's condition, injuries, or the quality of care provided. Their testimony can help establish a professional evaluation of the situation.
- Changes in behavior or health. Document any significant changes in your loved one's behavior, mood, physical condition, or health since being in the nursing home. This can include weight loss, deterioration of mental or physical abilities, increased fear or anxiety, withdrawal, or signs of depression.
- Documentation of staffing levels. Research and collect information on the nursing home's staffing levels and staffing schedules. Inadequate staffing can contribute to neglectful or abusive situations.
Gathering all of this evidence doesn't have to fall solely on your shoulders. When you work with a nursing home neglect lawyer from The Blankenship Law Firm, we will take over building the case to get your loved one the compensation they deserve after being abused or neglected in a nursing home. However, it can be very helpful if you start documenting your suspicions as soon as you start noticing that something is wrong.
Residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities are especially vulnerable. They are often physically weak and may have at least some degree of dementia. They are completely at the mercy of their caregivers. Unfortunately, abusive employees and negligent directors sometimes take advantage of their vulnerability, and the residents end up injured—or worse.
Abuse can be physical, emotional, sexual, or financial, and neglect can take the form of social isolation, inadequate supervision, medication errors, and inadequate staffing. This kind of treatment should not be tolerated.