Is Your Elderly Loved One A Victim Of Abuse? Here's How To Create A Solid Personal Injury Case

If your loved one is like one of the more than 500,000 elderly people in the United States who experience abuse in their care facility, there is no doubt that you want to put a stop to it by taking legal action. Hiring a lawyer is an excellent way to get the guidance and support you need to file and follow through with a personal injury claim. These tips and tricks will enable you to provide your legal representative with the information and resources they need to build a solid case for you:

Take Photos

One of the best ways to prove abuse is to take photos of anything that can be used as evidence to build your case. Bedding left unchanged, the appearance of hygiene neglect, and unsanitary living spaces should all be captured on camera if possible. Other types of evidence that can be gathered with a camera include:

  • Bruises that can't be easily explained.
  • Suspicious welts on the wrists, arms, or legs.
  • Sunken eyes.
  • Excessive weight loss.
  • Untreated bedsores.

It's a good idea to photograph every instance where there are visual signs, if possible, to establish a pattern of abuse. Date each photo electronically, or use a permanent marker to document the backs of them.

Talk to Others

You may be able to gain more insight into your loved one's daily situation by talking to others about their experiences at the facility. Asking questions about meal service, hygiene regimens, and overall care can provide you with in-depth information that makes it easier to prove the specific neglect or abuse that you're fighting to stop. Talk to:

  • Nurses and aids.
  • Other residents.
  • Friends and family of residents.
  • Social workers.

Attempt to get contact information for those you are able to speak to, and document your conversations in detail as soon as possible afterward so nothing of importance is forgotten or overlooked.

Visit Frequently

Visiting the facility frequently is an efficient way to help ward off suspected abuse until you can get your loved one moved and file a personal injury claim. This will also give you an opportunity to observe and identify all possible forms of abuse that may be happening, which should also to be included in your case. Look for these signs of neglect and abuse:

  • Flinching or signs of pain when you touch your loved one.
  • Soiled clothing.
  • Withdrawal or fear.
  • Depression.
  • Disorientation.

It's also important to pay close attention to, and document, the attitudes of caregivers and conflicting incidence reports, whether verbal or written.

Create a Paper Trail

Creating a paper trail will help to show that the abuse and neglect is ongoing, which makes it easier to rule out one-time accidents and other obscure explanations. This can be done by filing a complaint with the facility, the police department, and social services every time signs of abuse are apparent, so that there is a separate record for each incidence.

You can add even more muscle to your case by gathering public records indicating other abuse accusations or questionable incidents that the facility has experienced. Health records, doctor visits, and psychological reports can also be used to create a solid paper trail for your personal injury case.

Scrutinize Financial Records

When physical or mental abuse is present in your loved one's life, there is a chance that they're also experiencing financial abuse. Signs of financial abuse may come in the form of mysterious credit card charges, unexpected bills for care, and inappropriate financial services, whether or not they are signed for by your loved one. Here are other signs to keep an eye out for:

  • Large cash withdrawals from your loved one's personal accounts.
  • Withdrawals from certificates of savings, bonds, or investments.
  • Financial fines for unfounded accusations of property damage.

Make a copy of all paperwork and receipts you collect from the care facility, your loved one's financial institution, and credit card companies.

These tips and tricks will help you put together an effective personal injury case that may prevent the abuse and neglect of other elderly people residing at the facility in question. For more information, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer from a firm like Oot & Associates Law Offices