How to Establish an Elder Abuse Case after Death (Part 1)
Millions of elderly people are abused at home or in nursing facilities. Establishing elder abuse is easier than you might think with the right help. Proving abuse after death, on the other hand, is more challenging. Thankfully, a professional nursing home abuse attorney can help.
Neglect occurs when an elderly person is denied food, drink, medication, or care. However, the definition of elder abuse is ambiguous. Today, abuse can be emotional, physical, sexual, psychological, or financial. As such, following the death of a loved one, it is critical that a number of information and data can assist you in recognizing and proving elder abuse.
Read on to learn how to establish an elder abuse case after death.
The Rate of Elder Abuse Cases in America
According to research, physical, psychological, financial, and sexual neglect are common among seniors over the age of 65. These types of elder abuse incidents happen in families, by family members, and in poorly managed nursing homes and assisted living institutions.
Moreover, studies show that paid caregivers may frequently physically assault their elderly patients. Such signs including anxiety, self-harm, withdrawal, and speech of your loved one may indicate elder abuse.
Whether the victim is alive or dead, the indications of elder abuse are critical to any investigation.
Understanding the Different Kinds of Elder Abuse
Abuse of the elderly can be fatal either directly or indirectly. Sexual, financial, emotional, physical, and psychological abuse are all common types of abuse. However, despite the many types of elder abuse, cases of elder abuse and neglect are still underreported and under-identified in all forms of abuse.
Keep in mind that abuse can be demonstrated even if it is not the cause of death. You are not restricted to proving financial abuse merely if it was related to the decedent’s death.
How to Submit a Report of Elder Abuse after Death
Evidence of elder abuse after death is equivalent to evidence of elder abuse while the victim is still alive.
1. Gather After-Death Evidence of Elder Abuse
Unfortunately, many abused elderly people are unable to articulate their abuse and cannot communicate as effectively as others.
Their death complicates your efforts to prove abuse, but it does not dismiss the claim. Examine documentation and consult with witnesses if you suspect abuse. These actions should be carried out while the person is still alive.
2. Gather Medical Documents
Medical records should be the starting point for your investigation. Medical evidence after death can be used to prove elder abuse as well as reveal a patient’s health issues.
Because nursing home abuse can be subtle, a nursing home abuse attorney who works with nurse consultants and physicians to investigate accusations must study and analyze medical records to establish neglect.
The coroner will conduct an autopsy, check medical records, and conduct extensive investigations. Complainants can use death certificates or autopsies to establish the cause of death.
3. Contact Potential Witnesses
Witnesses can help determine whether the death was caused by or contributed to the abuse.
Anyone who knew the deceased is eligible to testify. This means witnesses could be nurses, home care workers, physical therapists, children, grandchildren, other family members, neighbors, and volunteers of the deceased are admissible as witnesses.
More witnesses may be found at the deceased’s bank, cafés, coffee shops, grocery stores, barbershops, and salons.
4. Review Financial Statements
Financial papers may help you identify the mistreatment of a loved one. Such documents can help with death investigations.
You can view your loved one’s bank details and savings accounts, as well as communicate with the bank. This aids in the examination of financial records for indicators of fraud.
While proving elder abuse after death can be challenging, know that it is possible. If you are looking for a way to find justice for your deceased loved one, make sure you work with legal professionals who can help you build a strong case.
Are you looking for top lawyers in Phoenix? Bossie, Reilly, & Oh is a professional legal team that can handle cases related to senior neglect and abuse. With us, your loved ones are safe and protected. Contact us today!