Nursing Home Abuse Cases: How the Legal Nurse Consultant Can Help

by | Mar 14, 2022 | Blog, Legal Nurse Consultant

Are you looking for the best legal nurse consultants to help you in your fight against a nursing home or elder care facility? Choosing the right consultant can be the difference between losing and winning your lawsuit.

 A legal nurse consultant plays a vital role in any medical malpractice case. It can be difficult for a family to move an elderly loved one into an assisted living facility or nursing home. When the need arises, they want their grandmother, grandfather, etc., to be treated well and receive excellent care. It’s important that social activities and nutritious meals, medications are dispensed correctly, and health changes are noted.

Unfortunately, minor mistakes can happen, but usually with no long-term effects. However, when continuous abuse or blatant malpractice leads to injury or death, the medical staff or offender must be held accountable. Families want justice for their loved one’s pain and suffering.

Add the Best Legal Nurse Consultants to Your Team

Attorneys are often hired to bring neglect, abuse, and medical malpractice lawsuits to court. By adding the best legal nurse consultants, your team will have the expertise necessary to explain the technical aspects of the abuse or malpractice. Having a better understanding of this information will assist the jury or judge in determining who was at fault and what took place.  

What is a Legal Nurse Consultant? 

The healthcare industry is very complex. It also has strict regulations and laws which change and update frequently. It is doubtful that an attorney or a supporting staff will have sufficient understanding and knowledge of various medical protocols.

When handling a case against a healthcare provider or filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, you need the best legal nurse consultants you can find. These consultants can offer their valuable knowledge, expertise, and career experience to assist and consult with you to understand the latest protocols and healthcare regulations. This will give your law firm a better foundation of knowledge to put together a winning case.

The best legal nurse consultants are RNs who use their knowledge and experience to bridge the gap between the healthcare industry, patient care outcomes, and the legal process. They evaluate complex medical information and determine its relevance to the case.

The best legal nurse consultants wear many hats when it comes to the law and the healthcare industry. They must understand the aging process, geriatric medications, and all potential forms of neglect. Their primary role is to analyze, evaluate, and offer informed opinions on the delivery of care and the resulting outcomes of that care on the injured party.

Legal nurse consultants strategize and collaborate with law firms and offer support with medical-legal matters and medically-related litigation.

Day-to-Day Duties of a Legal Nurse Consultant

Depending on their consulting case, a legal nurse consultant’s daily duties will vary. However, their activities may include:

•                Legal Documentation Revisions: Legal nurse consultants review legal documents containing medical information and confirm it is accurate.

•                Estimate Damages and Cost of Care: They may assist a legal team in determining the cost of damages relating to care or the overall cost of care. This will help to verify what the financial award may be.

•                Communicate with Other Healthcare and Legal Professionals: The best legal nurse consultants will speak with a wide range of healthcare and legal professionals – and bridge the gap between them.

•                Attend Medical Exams: The consultant may attend medical examinations or autopsies to gather more information regarding the patient’s needs or the consequences of their care.

•                Assess Patient Care: The consultant will analyze the patient’s care and determine whether it is appropriate. They will also decide if it was proper care due to the patient’s unique situation and needs.

•                Review Medical Records: The legal nurse consultant will review all medical records to determine whether everything was accurately recorded and whether the proper measures were taken.

•                Take Inventory of Evidence: The best legal nurse consultants will review all medical evidence and conclude what it signifies.

•                Identify Patient Needs: This establishes how the patient should have been cared for to verify whether they received appropriate care.

•                Hold Patient Interviews: The consultant may sit in on patient interviews. This will gather more information about the care the elderly loved one received.

•                Prepare Documents: The best legal nurse consultants will prepare additional and relevant documentation relating to the patient’s care. This may include a timeline of care, the dosages of medications, who attended the patient, etc.

•                Prepare Testimony: Legal nurse consultants may appear as expert witnesses, so they must prepare for court appearances. This includes being able to explain complex medical procedures in simpler terms.

•                Do Additional Research: The best legal nurse consultants realize they may not know everything. Therefore, they constantly conduct research and make sure they understand all aspects of the case.

The Best Legal Nurse Consultants Are a Great Resource

The best legal nurse consultants have vast clinical, personal, and legal experience. This should include understanding medical-legal issues, interpreting documents and medical records, and knowing how various medications or treatments work.

Using this knowledge and experience, they can identify the weaknesses and strengths of a medical malpractice case. Additionally, the consultant will customize and interpret a suit for the client, the attorney, and the jury. This helps to make complex medical terminology and treatments more understandable.

Kinds of Elder Abuse and Malpractice Cases 

Would you recognize elder abuse or malpractice if you saw it? Not everyone can. Too often, a patient will be victimized right before their family. Only when the malpractice or abuse becomes severe does anyone report or realize it.

Here are five types and signs of abuse:

1) Neglect: Neglect happens when the patient is not receiving enough care to satisfy their basic needs. Medical records may reveal unintentional weight loss due to malnutrition, elevated sodium, blood urea nitrogen, and increased confusion due to dehydration. An unkempt appearance may be because of infrequent bathing or bed/pressure sores due to lying in one position for too long.

Neglect may come from understaffing or poor staff training. A resident may not receive enough food to meet their nutritional needs or have their food taken away too quickly if they eat slowly. Incontinent patients may wait for hours in a soiled bed until someone has time to clean them and change the bedding.

2) Abandonment: This may also be due to understaffing. Abandonment happens when an elderly patient has been deserted by the person responsible for their care. The patient is entirely dependent on someone else for food, bathing, etc., and may not be able to help themselves.

3) Physical Abuse: This abuse happens when the person caring for the resident uses physical force. You may notice hematomas or bruises, and the nursing home or care facility cannot explain. This can also include using restraints, slapping, hair pulling, pinching, etc.

However, many older adults have thin skin and are on medications for blood thinners. An activity as simple as lifting a patient out of bed and into a chair can cause skin tears and bruises. This is NOT a form of physical abuse. It is essential to understand the difference.

4) Emotional Abuse: Take note if an elderly loved one cringes when a certain person is nearby. This may indicate an abuser. Emotional abuse occurs when a loved one is being chastised, intimidated, or humiliated by a family member, healthcare provider, or fellow patient.

5) Financial Abuse: An elderly loved one can often be taken advantage of financially. Whether it’s a family member, a staff person, or someone else, money may disappear from a bank account; jewelry is taken from a bureau drawer, and more.

The Verger Group

When you need the best legal nurse consultants for your malpractice or abuse case, it’s time to call the Verger Group. This is a team of specialists who provide assistance, training, and guidance to improve healthcare quality.

Think of Verger Group when your case requires an expert witness or legal nurse consultant. Every attorney specializing in nursing home neglect or abuse needs someone on their team to help win their lawsuit. In any medical malpractice case, a legal nurse consultant will play a vital role in the outcome of litigation cases.

With more than 40 years of combined experience, the Verger Group is the right partner for your law firm. Contact them today!