Having a key witness on your side is important for any type of case, regardless if it’s civil or criminal law. There are times however, when having a key witness becomes even more valuable – such as in the case of nursing home negligence.
Unfortunately, nursing home negligence happens more often than any of us would like to admit. There are more than 3 million people that reside in nursing homes in America, and one large study found that the vast majority of residents claimed to experience neglect and nearly half of them reported abuse.
Nursing home negligence is a serious issue that is often hard to prove. From a legal standpoint, this means you need to have as much proof as possible, including the testimony of key witnesses. If someone you care about has experienced neglect or abuse in the facility you trusted to care for them, you want to do to everything you can to bring about justice. Here is what you need to know about having a key witness and why you need every detail of your medical negligence case lined up before it goes to court.
While nursing home negligence might seem obvious to you or the person who is under their care, it isn’t always a cut and dried case when explaining it in a legal setting. Residents who are in nursing homes often have underlying health conditions that when presented in the right way can make it seem like the neglect was more than likely just a natural decline in the patient’s health. For instance, an aid that doesn’t properly support a patient during transport can claim that patient was aggressive or overestimated their physical strength which lead to an accident.
Often, establishing neglect means looking at pattern of behavior as opposed to one incidence. The first thing you want to do is gain access to the patient’s records and compare them against the patient’s account of events for a set period of time. Pay extra close attention to details or stories that involve particular staff members who might be involved in negligent acts. Talk to staff members who might have witnessed the negligence. The unfortunate truth is that negligence can be difficult to prove and having all the facts and supporting documents lined up before taking legal action is extremely important.
Finding Key Witnesses
You can look at other residents who might have been a witness to the neglect, but often these witnesses can be seen as not being impartial or putting too much of their personal experiences into their testimony. Your best option for a key witness in a nursing home neglect case is a member of the staff or visiting medical personnel that can testify to both the events and the result of the neglect.
For instance, someone from the dietary department might be able to verify that a patient’s tray was coming back untouched if your claim is that the patient wasn’t receiving the assistance they needed at meal time. Likewise, a member of housekeeping might have witnessed an act of negligence first hand or a medical professional could recognize inconsistencies with the patient’s records and the facility’s account of the event.
Work with Medical Negligence Law Experts
There are three things you need to form a defense against a case of nursing home negligence – a key witness, solid facts about the case and a nursing home lawyer that is experienced in these types of cases. Contact King Simmons Attorneys today and let us help you win your case.