You may need an expert to prove memory care facility abuse. While some memory care facility abuse cases contain significant and compelling evidence of abuse, others do not. You might need an expert witness if:
- The abuse victim with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia does not remember how the abuse occurred or who abused them.
- The staff has conflicting accounts of how the injuries occurred.
As a result, maintaining a successful legal claim based on memory care facility abuse can be challenging. Here is how using one or more expert witnesses can be helpful in your case.
Using Experts to Support Abuse Claims
Some memory care facility residents, depending on the severity of their cognitive states, may have difficulty reporting, remembering, or confirming abuse that they have suffered. As a result, facility administrators, other caregivers, and even friends and family members may not initially think that the resident is experiencing abuse.
A resident may explain an injury as the result of an accident rather than abuse or be unable to disclose how it occurred at all. This situation is unique to abuse allegations in memory care facilities and can lead to problems in proving that your loved one has suffered abuse.
Memory care facilities may be reluctant to admit any wrongdoing out of fear of liability. They also may deny that abuse occurred to protect themselves from the financial consequences of a lawsuit.
These situations may occur when there is no clear evidence of abuse, such as a recording or surveillance footage. In these cases, you may need an expert to help prove your legal claim against the memory care facility.
Common types of experts in memory care abuse claims can include:
- Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals
- Former or current directors of memory care facilities
- Pharmacists or pharmacology experts
- Psychiatric or psychological professionals
The role of an expert witness in a memory care facility abuse case may differ according to the circumstances of the case. For example, if a memory care facility can’t remember how a particular injury occurred and staff members have conflicting stories, a doctor may be able to examine the injury and determine whether abuse caused the injury.
Similarly, a memory care facility administrator may claim that staff members followed industry practices that resulted in harm to a resident. In this situation, you may need an expert to point out the problems with or lack of knowledge of industry practices by that administrator. A current or former memory care facility director might be able to serve as an expert witness in a memory care facility abuse claim.
Why Abuse Happens in Care Homes
Memory care facilities for adults diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia exist in both assisted living facilities and nursing homes, depending on the level of care that the individuals need.
Residents at these facilities should receive closer attention paid to their needs and usually live in a secure ward or area that prevents them from inadvertently leaving the facility. Unfortunately, abuse by caregivers and other residents in memory care facilities is a relatively common occurrence.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that:
- About 42% of residential care community residents have some form of dementia
- About 48% of nursing home residents have some form of dementia.
Due to the increasingly higher number of individuals with dementia living in care facilities throughout America, the risk of abuse to these individuals is also growing.
Residents with dementia and other cognitive health issues are considered easy targets for abuse for two reasons:
- Residents with dementia will not remember the abuse, making it hard to prove
- It is more difficult to care for residents with dementia, making staff members more likely to use abuse to control them
Neither of these reasons protects a person from civil liability after they commit abuse, and our firm might be able to help you take action.
Find Out What You Need to Prove Your Claim
When you discover that your loved one has suffered injuries while in a memory care facility, you may be unsure what to do first. You believe that your loved one has suffered harm due to vulnerability, but you may want legal advice and an expert evaluation by a professional to prove your case.
An assisted living accident lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you determine whether you need an expert to prove memory care facility abuse and find an expert that has the education and experience necessary to assess the situation. Based on expert findings, you then can consider your legal options and decide whether to take the next step.
Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today for more information about expert witnesses in memory care facility abuse claims. We regularly handle these cases and have access to a wide variety of experts who may be useful to support your claim. Call (800) 794-0444 today and learn more about what we can offer you.