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When you become aware of mistreatment of a nursing facility it is important to get your loved one the medical treatment they need and then get into ‘fact collection mode’.  In fact collection mode, you are beginning to collect information about the incident, acts of the nursing home staff and medical condition of your loved one. Doing some preliminary work before you meet with a lawyer will prove for a more effective meeting.

Don’t assume you won’t forget information regarding the incident. As time goes on, your memory will begin to fade. The following steps will help you organize your thoughts during a stressful time and to give an attorney the information he needs to work best on your behalf.

Despite the urge to block out the unpleasant facts and circumstances leading to an injury, much of the information listed below should be obtained as soon after an incident as feasible.  The following information will prove to be valuable in both assessing the facilities responsibility and potentially as evidence to be used at trial.

Photographs– Take pictures of the physical injuries themselves, the area where the incident took place and if possible, the people involved.  In cases involving particularly gruesome medical conditions (pressure sores, amputations, surgical wounds) no medical record can do justice to what your loved one experienced.  Use a real camera as opposed to a camera-phone as the photos will be better quality.

Start Writing– Write down as much information about the incident or events as you can remember. Write some more. Details can be particularly helpful in the course of litigation as many nursing homes have high rates of employee turnover that can make obtaining information difficult.  Concentrate on: names, dates, room numbers, names of facilities and medication dosages (if relevant).

Medical Chart– The medical chart from a nursing home and / or hospital is crucial to determining what a facility may have done or failed to do that resulted in injury or death.  If your loved one sustained an injury that resulted in subsequent medical care at a hospital, these records will be important as well.

Chronology– This does not need to be one’s life story.  However, if a condition developed over time or there are multiple facilities that may responsible for the injury or condition, it is important get the correct names and general dates of admission at health care facilities.  The names of doctors who provided medical can be helpful as well.

Other Relevant documents: Healthcare Power of Attorney, wills, death certificates, pre-injury photographs, autopsy reports and nursing home inspection reports all can be helpful when meeting with an attorney.  Bring them with.

There really is no such thing as providing a lawyer with too much information.  An experienced nursing home lawyer will be able to sort through the materials and determine what information is relevant to your case.  Further, a law office that regularly handles nursing home matters should be able to access much of the above information with the use of properly executed medical authorizations. 

The bottom line is that you should not let your inability to access certain information delay from meeting your meeting with an attorney as soon as you are comfortable.  Meeting with an attorney soon after an incident will provide the best opportunity to secure information relevant to your case.

Jonathan Rosenfeld represents individuals and families in cases against nursing homes and long-term care facilities.  Jonathan is the author of the Nursing Homes Abuse Blog

Admin Note: Thank You Jonathan for your great Guest post. To all my readers, if you have soemthing you would like to say or something you would like to see, please feel free to e-mail me!

JL

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6 Responses to “What To Do Before Meeting With A Nursing Home Lawyer”

  1. Nancy Brown Says:

    As an AIN who has seen incidents at work, I keep a diary for Nursing, writing down all that happens, and keep a record incase I will ever need it. I like how you suggest taking photos and documenting all that has occurred because the mind will more likely forget what has happened last year, but could be important if ever taken to court.
    Great to know that there are Nursing Home Lawyers who care about the Resident

  2. Health Consultant Says:

    Hi Webmaster,
    Today i have visit on your web-blog first time and it is amazing and very informative, please keep it up..
    God Bless You!!!

    Thanks,
    Dave

  3. Tim Says:

    As an AIN who has seen incidents at work, I keep a diary for Nursing, writing down all that happens, and keep a record incase I will ever need it

  4. Nurse Lisa Says:

    Awesome! Some really helpful information in there. Bookmarked. Excellent source. I think I can direct people here to give them some good information on how the regulators try and help protect our elderly population who can’t protect themselves.

  5. Tim Says:

    Fantastic blogpost, amazing I bookmarked your blog so I can visit again in the near future, All the Best, Tim

  6. Retirement homes Canada Says:

    Really very informative post. Threatening, abusing the seniors is a very shameful thing. Seniors have all the right for hiring a lawyer for their help if the nursing home does not gives the facilities which they have been promised.

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