Financial abuse is a prevalent problem that leaves victims bereft of cash, valuable assets, and even credit. While you can sue the perpetrator and recover compensation for the damages you're suffering, here are three things you must do to ensure you can build an adequate case.

Define the Type of Abuse

The term financial abuse covers different types of crimes, and the best strategy for suing the perpetrator depends on which kind the person committed. Each crime has a list of factors that must be present and/or proven for you to win your case, so it's critical to identify the correct crime to ensure right type of evidence and argument is used.

For example, unauthorized cash transfers or withdrawals from a person's bank account is considered theft. To prove this crime, you must show the person took the property without permission and intended to deprive the victim of it (i.e. keep it).

It can be challenging identifying the best category for the kind of abuse the perpetrator committed, because sometimes the same act may qualify for different ones depending on who responsible party is and how they went about committing it. An attorney can help you sort through the facts and choose the right legal theory to use.

Identify Who's Involved

In many cases, there's more than one person responsible for the financial abuse suffered by the victim. A nurse takes advantage of an elderly patient and has the victim change a life insurance policy to name her as a beneficiary, for instance. Not only can the nurse be sued, but also her employer and possibly the insurance company.

Identifying as many responsible parties as possible increases the chances you'll actually get the money when you win your case. The nurse may not have any claimable assets, but her employer has insurance that will pay out in the event of employee theft.

Your attorney can help you make a list of potential defendants and go after the ones who are both responsible and can pay.

Decide on an Outcome

Lastly, you need to decide what your end goal is regarding your lawsuit. Many times, plaintiffs just want to be monetarily reimbursed for the abuse. Sometimes, though, the perpetrator took valuable assets that can be returned.

For instance, someone illegally transfers ownership of a home into their name. The victims can sue to have the home returned rather than seek the cash value.

Knowing what you want out of the lawsuit makes it easier to formulate an effective litigation strategy. Make your wishes clear to your attorney to ensure you're on the same page here.

For help with your financial abuse case, contact a local lawyers to discuss your options.