CHICAGO, IL – As your loved one ages, you may find yourself looking into different long-term care options, such as nursing homes, when your loved one can no longer care for themselves. Nursing homes may include an arbitration agreement in their contracts to be signed by the new resident. While this may seem innocent, your loved one could be forfeiting their rights, including the right to sue the facility from abuse or neglect.
The skilled legal team at the Dinizulu Law Group are here to help you understand arbitration agreements and why it’s important to consult with an attorney.
What is a nursing home arbitration agreement?
It’s common to see nursing homes having an arbitration agreement in their contract for admission because like many other entities, they want to protect themselves. These agreements can include language that’s unfamiliar or be hidden in other admission paperwork.
Arbitration agreements state that if a dispute arises between the resident and the nursing home, a neutral third-party known as an arbitrator will hear the evidence and make a binding decision. Rather than going to court and having a judge hear the facts, arbitrators do.
These are settled out of court and since an arbitration agreement is legally binding, it cannot be appealed. Consult with an experienced nursing home attorney to review the admission paperwork and ensure that your loved one is not signing their rights away.
How arbitration agreements affect resident’s rights
Even though arbitration provides an efficient alternative to litigation, it doesn’t always mean it benefits the resident. Other disadvantages of signing a nursing home arbitration agreement include:
- There is no public record of the dispute be cause a hearing with an arbitrator is held in private and not in a court of law.
- The facility is not under any obligation to report the dispute, even if it involves abuse or neglect.
- These agreements take away the ability for an injured resident to hold the facility accountable in court.
- These agreements are confidential which means the nursing home has no incentive or reasoning to prevent future incidents including abuse or neglect from happening.
How the Dinizulu Law Group can support you
Arbitration agreements are legal and binding; however, it’s illegal for a nursing home facility to make it mandatory or require a resident to sign an agreement for admission. Be sure to consult with a skilled legal team before signing any contract to identify if an arbitration agreement has been slipped into admission paperwork.
The Chicago nursing home abuse attorneys at the Dinizulu Law Group are here to assist you! Call us now at (312) 384-1920 for a free consultation with no obligation.