When your client’s loved one moved into a nursing home, they trusted that their family member would be taken care of during their time there. Your client brings this case to you, in hopes that you will help them fight for their loved one who can’t fight for themselves.
Suing a nursing home for neglect, abuse, wrongful death, or other reasons comes with its challenges, but the experts at Turnbull, Holcomb & LeMoine, PC can help guide you in the right direction.
Suing a Nursing Home: The Challenges
Suing a nursing home can come with a few obstacles and roadblocks from the nursing home’s legal team. They may dish out a number of tactics, like mounds of paperwork to delay legal proceedings or misplacing medical records, among other defense tactics.
It’s also important to make your client aware of the statute of limitations in the state where the suit is being filed. In a wrongful death suit, for example, if the client waits to file the suit, they risk losing their right to file a claim. Additionally, you must have evidence that the duty of care was breached by the nursing home and that the injury or death was due to neglect.
It is important that every detail is carefully documented when building your case. You must prove to the judge the emotional, physical, or financial damages endured. The types of evidence you’ll need, include:
- Medical records
- Medical bills
- Insurance claims
- Photo and video evidence
- Documentation of your client’s relationship to the individual in the nursing home
- Any personal journal accounts
- Conversation notes or transcripts
- Any forms, written memos, notes, or documentation of communication
If your client has had any meetings or conversations with the nursing home’s social worker, nurse supervisor, or made reports to any other manager or supervisor, be sure to collect documentation of the meeting and report. The best combination of evidence depends on the claim.
Determining Liability and Proving Fault
In order to prove fault, you must prove that the duty of care has been breached by nursing home staff. Residents of a nursing home are legally owed a duty of care. As their legal representation, you can go about proving fault in a few ways:
- Using negligence
- Proving intentional conduct
- Showing “negligence per se”
- Establishing “strict liability”
You will have to carefully study the evidence provided and investigate the details given, including interviewing witnesses and others involved and consulting experts. This will allow you to determine causation and assess actual damages that occurred during the incident.
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