A common obstacle that victims of elder abuse and their families in California face are tactics used by nursing homes and other elder care facilities to cover up evidence of elder abuse that has occurred by their employees and others. This can manifest in a variety of scenarios. Nursing homes might falsify medical records to say that an elder abuse injury that a resident has suffered occurred from another cause, such as an unintentional fall. A nursing home might also destroy or untruthfully modify medical records that are indicative of elder abuse. In addition, a nursing home may attempt to hide medical records when legally obligated to hand them over, or may offer duplicate, falsified records.
Such actions to hide, destroy, or falsify records is a clear violation of California law, and, when it occurs in the context of an elder abuse claim, can be the basis of increased financial damages levied against the nursing homes.
Taking Action When You Suspect Falsified or Destroyed Nursing Home Records
Obviously, the very act of falsifying, destroying, or hiding records is taken to prevent victims of elder abuse and their families from knowing about what truly has happened, and will generally make it challenging for concerned parties to get accurate answers in addressing suspected elder abuse.
This is just one reason why it is often critical to work with an experienced elder abuse attorney in taking action in response to elder abuse or suspicions of elder abuse. An experienced attorney who has brought many elder abuse claims over the years will understand the potential signs of falsified records – e.g. a disconnect between physical evidence and eyewitness accounts and what is preserved in records – and can pursue these signs through investigative and pre-trial strategies such as interviewing witnesses and deposing employees and administrators.
If it can be shown that a nursing home did in fact take steps to cover up elder abuse that occurred by falsifying evidence, the defendant will be subject to increased penalties that will benefit the plaintiff in bringing the claim, such as attorneys’ fees and punitive damages.
Contact the Southern California Elder Abuse Attorneys at Johnson Moore Today
At Johnson Moore, we know full well that elder abuse victims and their families often face stonewalling, denial, and even intimidation when they try to take action against elder abuse. Our attorneys are compassionate and determined defenders of the elderly, and we will take the time to fully understand your concerns and assess what steps we can take on your behalf. Even if you are unsure of whether you have a valid claim, we look forward to hearing from you to help you explore your options for obtaining the justice you deserve. Contact Johnson Moore today to schedule a free consultation.