Nursing Home Lawyer PA

Learn More About The Rights Of Your Loved One

Should I Sign a Nursing Home Arbitration Agreement?

Soon after admission, a nursing resident or their family is often approached by facility staff and asked to sign an arbitration agreement. According to a Philadelphia nursing home neglect lawyer, an arbitration agreement is a legal document that can severely limit legal options available to the resident. Therefore, it’s important to understand the purpose of this document and the potential repercussions from signing an arbitration agreement.

What is a Pre-Dispute Arbitration Agreement?

A pre-dispute arbitration agreement is a legal document that nursing homes use in to limit the resident’s legal options if a dispute occurs. This form removes the resident’s right to take the nursing home to court for negligence or wrongdoing. This form is typically signed soon after admission to the nursing home, and it’s intended to be completed before any neglectful actions occur. A resident or family member who signs the form essentially gives up their opportunity to determine if they want to sue the nursing home in the future.

Am I Required to Sign an Arbitration Agreement?

No, you are not required to sign an Arbitration Agreement. Federal regulation F525 §483.70(n) from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services State Operations Manual states that:

“A facility must not enter into a pre-dispute agreement for binding arbitration with any resident or resident’s representative nor require that a resident sign an arbitration agreement as a condition of admission to the LTC facility.”

The Facility Had My Loved One Sign an Arbitration Agreement, But They Are Cognitively Impaired and Didn’t Understand What They Were Signing.  What Can I Do?

Pre-dispute arbitration agreements must be entered into voluntarily. In addition, the facility must explain to agreement to the resident and their representative in a form and manner that he or she understands.

There is a 30-day time period to rescind the agreement.  Additionally, residents with significant cognitive impairments should not be asked to sign legal documents that they are unable to comprehend. Contact a Philadelphia nursing home neglect lawyer for additional guidance on your situation, as you may be able to negate the agreement. 

Can a Resident Be Discharged If I Refuse to Sign an Arbitration Agreement?

No, this is prohibited by federal guidelines in State Operations Manual. Federal regulation F525 §483.70(n)(2)(iii) states that “A resident’s continuing right to remain in the facility must not be contingent upon the resident or the resident’s representative signing a binding arbitration agreement.”


Contact the Nursing Home Neglect Lawyers at Our Firm

The nursing home neglect lawyers at our firm understand the plight of the nation’s nursing home residents. No one should be subject to neglect and substandard care in long term care facilities. Our attorneys will partner with you to take a stand against underperforming nursing homes and seek compensation for their injuries. Call us today or send us a message to speak directly with an nursing home neglect lawyer.

Send Us A Message

What Types of Disputes Would Be Covered by This Agreement?

If you have a dispute for a personal injury claim against a nursing home, it would be covered by this type of agreement.  For example, if your loved one experiences neglectful care that results in any of the following injuries, you would be limited to arbitration to seek a remedy.

  • Neglectful care that results in the development of pressure sores or deep tissue injuries
  • Medication administration errors resulting in injury or death
  • Falls that occurred due to the facility’s neglect
  • Physical abuse suffered by the resident from a staff or other resident
  • Sexual assault or abuse
  • Resident elopements that result in injury or death

Should I Sign a Pre-Dispute Arbitration Agreement?

Our law firm strongly discourages residents or their representatives from signing pre-dispute arbitration agreements. These agreements only benefit the nursing home, as they strip the resident from their right to file a civil suit in court against a nursing home. This means that a private arbitrator, instead of a jury will decide the outcome to the suit.

Arbitration hearings follow different rules than taking a case to court. For example, arbitration decisions are final, so without extraordinary circumstances, there is no opportunity to file an appeal for a decision that you disagree with. Additionally, arbitration records are frequently sealed and confidential. Therefore, the nursing home can continue to hide neglectful or abusive conduct from the public.

Is Arbitration Less Expensive Than Filing a Lawsuit?

Arbitration is often strongly pressed by a nursing home because it can save them defending an expensive lawsuit. However, arbitration is not financially advantageous to residents.

Nursing home neglect lawyers typically work on a contingency fee basis. This means that the resident and their family have no out-of-pocket costs and only pay the lawyer a percentage of whatever compensation they receive from a successful settlement or trial.

In arbitration, the costs are split 50-50. A review of 1449 claims over an 8-year period showed that 30% of abuse complaints handled by arbitration resulted in no financial compensation to the victim. However, even in these circumstances, family would be required to split the arbitration fees.

Are There Any Positives from Using Arbitration for a Nursing Home Dispute?

Yes, arbitration can sometimes be faster, less complex, and more efficient than a traditional lawsuit. For some situations, this may be a preferred manner of proceeding with a dispute.

However, there is no reason to sign a pre-dispute agreement prior to a negative occurrence happening. Arbitration remains available as one manner to deal with a dispute, regardless of if you sign a pre-dispute agreement.  There is no reason to lock yourself into a single avenue to pursue a remedy. The nursing home neglect lawyers at our firm strongly encourage you not to sign an arbitration agreement before a dispute occurs. If your loved one does suffer a personal injury while at a nursing home, speak with a nursing home neglect lawyer about the various legal options at your disposal prior to deciding whether to use arbitration or file a personal injury lawsuit.

Contact a Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer Today

The Philadelphia nursing home neglect lawyers at our firm have years of experience in arbitration agreements and filing lawsuits against neglectful nursing homes. Give us a call today at 888-789-3161 or send us a message via the online form to speak directly with an attorney.

Refuse to let
Your Loved One
Be a Victim

Experienced and Knowledgeable Attorneys
Are Ready to Fight For You. Fill Out the Form Below
For Your Free Case Evaluation.