Baton Rouge, LA – Nursing homes and assisted living facilities are known problem areas for fatalities and injuries. In some situations, these shortcomings lead to physical injuries, neglect of patients, and even deadly mistakes involving an elderly or vulnerable person. An important part of the process to bring a case against the facility is to collect incriminating evidence. A record of the event in question from sources such as video, photos, or audio recordings can be the deciding factor in a lawsuit or settlement agreement.
Gathering documentation and other forms of proof
There are a number of steps that should be taken to gather evidence related to legally actionable behavior by the staff. A lawyer is able to assist with most of these steps during the discovery process, where the plaintiff and defense attorney are required to share information that is relevant to the pending lawsuit. Sometimes the case can be settled during the discovery process if the evidence that one side is going to prevail is clear.
Surveillance is common in many medical facilities. There should be cameras in operation at most entrances and high traffic areas throughout the day. These devices can potentially capture incriminating footage of a mistake or abuse by a staff member. Records of everyone who enters the facility and their purpose once inside are usually kept in some kind of log book or sign in sheet. This is important because many people with no legitimate business in nursing homes have been caught stealing from residents or harming them once they gain access to the facility.
The problem of hearsay evidence
Aside from finding and collecting this evidence, there are important procedural matters that must be handled by the lawyer who plans to present the materials in court. According to both the Federal Rules of Evidence and the Louisiana Code of Evidence, any piece of evidence that is admitted to prove the truth of any event or document is considered hearsay. These items can only be admitted during a trial if a person with specific knowledge of the item is testifying, or if a hearsay exception applies. A trial lawyer is required to lay a specific foundation through questioning the witness about the item during direct examination to be able to introduce this information to the jury.
Attorneys can provide more specific guidance
After preparing to bring a lawsuit against a facility due to problems with the staff or the conduct of these employees, it is important to discuss the matter with a legal professional. An attorney at the firm of Miller, Hampton, and Hilgendorf is available to provide advice related to a nursing home incident in the Baton Rouge area.
Firm contact information:
3960 Government St., Baton Rouge, LA 70806