As your loved ones get older and older, you may not have the capacity or the knowledge needed to provide them with a high quality of care. One of the best options on the table is to send them to a nursing home. While you expect and trust the staff at the nursing home to be attentive and caring, a study conducted in 2010 found that 50% of nursing home staff members surveyed admitted to mistreating older patients – mostly through neglect. If a loved one has been neglected, you can file a personal injury claim against the nursing home on his or her behalf. When filing a personal injury claim, your attorney may recommend strengthening the case with witness testimony. Here are 3 types of witnesses that may support your case.
Determine Whether Adequate Care Was Provided with a Nurse Practitioner Expert Witness
To prove nursing home negligence, you and the attorney will need to prove that the medical professionals and staff at the nursing home did not provide an acceptable standard of care. The standard of medical care is determined by not only the degree of skill that the staff has but also in the amount of care and time that they put forth for each patron to ensure that he or she was living comfortably.
Your attorney will need to prove that the nursing home staff did not provide a reasonable standard of care. That means that another nursing home would have to be able to provide better care. To determine whether the nursing home offered a reasonable standard of care, you will need to hire a nurse practitioner expert witness who works in nursing homes. The expert will be able to provide additional details as to what the standard protocol would have been for caring for the patient and be able to point out where the nursing home staff was negligent.
For example, a good way to determine negligence may be from the physical condition or certain symptoms exhibited by your loved ones, like bed sores. Bed sores indicate that the nursing home staff did not diligently care for the patient, as they are generally avoidable.
Compare Physical, Mental and Psychological Conditions Before and After from a Friend
There are plenty of different types of proof of loss for nursing home negligence. If the negligence resulted in a deterioration in your loved one's physical, mental or psychological condition, your attorney will recommend bringing up these symptoms in court. This is especially true if you are seeking compensation for non-economic losses. A family friend or a previous coworker could help support any claims you make.
For example, if you would like to build a case against loss of enjoyment of life, you may want to bring up the fact that your loved one previously enjoyed participating in mild exercises but can no longer do so due to physical deterioration that has resulted from the neglect. You can back these claims up with a testimony from a friend who also partook in the same exercises with your loved one.
Confirm Quality of Care from Other Nursing Home Patrons or Visitors
Driving the point home cannot be easier if you have a nursing home patron or a frequent visitor who is willing to testify on your behalf. This witness will have observed the negligence first-hand. For example, he or she may have noticed that the nursing home staff did not answer any requests from your loved one or failed to care for his or her needs. The witness may have observed the nursing staff ignoring your loved one.
It's important to find a witness that can provide specific details of the negligence. This will work even more in your favor if the witness is able to remember several instances of neglect. For more information, contact experienced personal injury lawyers in your area.
Fighting a case on nursing home neglect can be difficult. You'll need to have a lot of evidence on your side in order to make sure that the nursing home takes responsibility for the actions of their staff. To prevent stalemate resulting from a "he said, she said" scenario, speak to your attorney regarding the type of evidences that can support your case. In particular, discuss the type of witness testimony that will be needed. A good witness will be able to sway the judge and jury in your favor.