Ways to Prove Nursing Home Abuse
When entrusting the care of a loved one to a nursing home, you expect a standard of professionalism and compassion. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse is a harsh reality in facilities throughout West Virginia, and it’s crucial to recognize and address it immediately and effectively. Below you’ll find a discussion of the ways to prove nursing home abuse and important steps to take, along with a description of how our firm can be of valuable help. If you or a loved one has suffered abuse in a West Virginia nursing home, contact Burke, Schultz, Harman & Jenkinson to speak with a skilled and compassionate Martinsburg personal injury lawyer.
Identifying and Proving Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse can manifest in various forms, including physical, emotional, sexual, and financial abuse, as well as neglect. Recognizing the signs is the first critical step. Physical abuse may present as unexplained injuries, while emotional abuse might be harder to detect, often surfacing through behavioral changes. Neglect can be indicated by poor hygiene or unattended medical needs. It’s important to stay vigilant and notice any unusual changes in your loved one’s condition or behavior.
Evidence is paramount in proving nursing home abuse. Nursing home owners and administrators may try to cover up incidences of abuse or explain away injuries as due to some other cause, and the burden will be on the plaintiffs (abuse victims or their families) to demonstrate that abuse has occurred and resulted in injury. Evidence of abuse may be direct or circumstantial, and it may come in many forms, including:
Medical Records: Obtain all relevant medical records that highlight any discrepancies or unexplained injuries. Medical documentation is a powerful tool in establishing a timeline and severity of abuse.
Photographs: Photographic evidence of injuries or poor living conditions can be compelling. Ensure to date these photographs and document any relevant details.
Witness Statements: Collect statements from other residents, visitors, or staff who might have witnessed abuse or neglect. These firsthand accounts can provide crucial support to your claims.
Personal Journal: Encourage your loved one to keep a journal, if possible, detailing their experiences. In cases where they are unable, maintaining a log of your observations during visits can be beneficial.
Legal Steps and Reporting
In West Virginia, there are specific legal steps to take when addressing nursing home abuse. Anyone with evidence of abuse or who suspects abuse should immediately report their suspicions to local authorities and West Virginia’s Adult Protective Services. Prompt reporting not only helps in the investigation but also ensures the safety of your loved one and others in the facility.
Next, contacting a personal injury attorney with experience in nursing home abuse cases in West Virginia is crucial. An experienced nursing home abuse attorney will handle the appropriate legal procedures and advocate for your loved one’s rights. At Burke, Schultz, Harman & Jenkinson, we understand the nuances involved in nursing home abuse cases in West Virginia. Our approach includes:
Comprehensive Case Evaluation: We meticulously review every detail of your case, ensuring all aspects of the abuse are uncovered and documented.
Expert Witnesses: Utilizing medical and caregiving experts, we strengthen your case by providing professional insights into the standard of care and how it was breached.
Negotiation and Litigation: Our team is adept at negotiating with nursing homes and their insurance companies. If a fair settlement is not achievable, we are prepared to litigate to ensure justice is served.
Contact Burke, Schultz, Harman & Jenkinson for Nursing Home Abuse Cases in West Virginia
Proving nursing home abuse requires a careful, methodical approach, and understanding the legal landscape of West Virginia is essential. At Burke, Schultz, Harman & Jenkinson, we are dedicated to providing our clients with compassionate, competent legal representation in nursing home abuse cases. If you suspect your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, call our office at 304-263-0900 in Martinsburg or 800-903-0901 statewide for a free consultation. We are here to ensure that your loved one’s rights and dignity are upheld and that responsible parties are held accountable for the harm they have caused.