How Do You Prove Negligence Against a Nursing Home?

If you or a family member suffered a serious injury at a nursing home, or a family member unexpectantly passes away while a resident at one, and you believe the nursing home staff is at fault, there are a variety of ways to prove your case so you can hold the nursing home accountable.

One of the main resources is the medical records of your family member – both from the nursing home and the hospital where they received follow up care for their injuries. For example, the nursing home records can show that your family had a major medical issue that went undetected and unreported until they needed emergent transfer to the hospital.

Likewise if your family member suffered a bad fall from their bed, wheelchair, or from a slippery substance on the floor the records can contain information about how the fall happened to help prove your case. If your family member has passed away an estate will have to be raised and an administrator of the estate will have to be named in order to get your deceased family member’s records.

Testimony From Attending Doctors Can Be Helpful

Beyond the records, testimony from your family member’s attending doctor can sometimes be helpful. Typically the attending doctor does not work at the nursing home and is not there on a regular basis. Instead this doctor will be in the home once every week or so to check on your family member, and will rely on the nursing home staff to report any major medical issues to him or her. In fact this is required by federal statute and nursing home regulations. If your family member had a serious change in their medical condition that went unreported to the attending doctor, and this lead to significant harm or the death of your family member, they can testify to this in a deposition and at trial.

You can also prove negligence by a nursing home staff through the investigation by the Department of Health. This investigation is called a survey. During the survey a representative from the Department of Health will review records regarding your family member and interview nursing staff who treated your family member. They may also interview upper management regarding their staffing levels, staff training, and staff supervision policies. The Department of Health representative will then determine if the nursing home violated any statutes or regulations in their care of your family member. The results of this survey can be helpful in proving that there was negligent care with your family member that lead to them suffering harm.

In addition to the above, medical experts will also be used to help prove a claim of negligence against the nursing home. They can range from nursing home experts to doctors whose expertise is in other areas of medicine. The number of experts needed depends on the case. Ultimately though they will have to review the records and any other information about your family member’s care and let you or your attorney know if there was any negligence involved.

An attorney experienced in handling nursing home cases can help you obtain the records and any other relevant information regarding the care and treatment of your family member, and contact the relevant medical experts to determine if there is a case of nursing home neglect. The Thistle Law Firm is experienced in handling understaffed nursing home negligence and malpractice claims. If you believe you or your family member was seriously harmed due to nursing home neglect the attorneys at the Thistle Law Firm are here to take your call at 215-568-6800.

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