Forced Arbitration Agreements for Nursing Home Residents
November 5th, 2015
Experienced Lawyers Serving and Protecting the Elderly in Nursing Homes throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts
More and more nursing homes are getting residents to sign arbitration agreements when they are admitted, forcing them (and their families and heirs) to waive their constitutional rights to a jury trial on claims against the nursing home for medical malpractice, wrongful death, and negligence.
States are increasingly recognizing the unfairness of these agreements and the one-sided circumstances under which they are signed. Residents may be incapacitated physically and/or mentally when admitted and asked to sign these agreements. Some arrive by ambulance from a hospital; others are taken to the only nearby facility that has a bed, or that their insurance will cover, or that their families can afford. Many residents do not have a meaningful choice on a facility and feel pressured to sign in order to remain there.
Most residents and their representatives also do not understand the legal ramifications of signing such an agreement, especially without having a nursing home abuse lawyer review it before signing. Many residents are not given time to have a lawyer review these agreements. And the vast majority of residents cannot afford to pay a lawyer to review the agreement and explain its terms. The disparity in bargaining positions of an elderly or sick resident versus a corporate nursing home are stark.
This NPR article discusses recent attempts by the federal government to pass federal regulations limiting the use of arbitration agreements in a nursing home setting.
If you or a loved one has been a victim of negligence or medical malpractice in a nursing home, contact the Bottaro Law Firm today. We are available 24/7 to answer your calls, emails or texts. We will sit down with you free of charge and discuss what happened, and help you understand your legal rights. We will help you understand questions such as your legal rights if you signed an arbitration agreement. Our extensive experience representing victims of nursing home abuse and negligence will help us guide you in obtaining the just compensation that you deserve for your injuries and losses.