In all cases involving physical abuse and assault, it is important to commence investigation very early. To the extent that it is possible, it is always advisable to involve the police and the Division of Health and Human Services/Division of Health and Senior Services. Additionally, for nursing home cases, one should contact the Ombudsman’s office. Typically, these agencies can obtain valuable discovery which is not otherwise immediately available to counsel. It also serves to preserve evidence and statements of individuals who might not be available for testimony after litigation is instituted.
You can read more practice tips in my chapter Screening the Nursing Malpractice Case, in a text edited by Patricia Iyer, RN MSN LNCC. More information about Nursing Malpractice, Third Edition, 2007 may be found at here.