Nursing home admission can be stressful and somewhat intimidating. There is an overwhelming amount of paperwork to sign and fill out. Many soon-to-be residents and their loved ones have little or no idea that one of the standard forms in the admission packet is a “Pre-Dispute Arbitration Agreement.”
A Pre-Dispute Arbitration Agreement is a binding agreement to settle any dispute that should arise in the future before an arbitrator. This agreement gives up the right to take the nursing home to court for any negligence or wrongdoing that may occur to you or your loved one as a resident in the facility.
An arbitrator is a neutral party who takes the place of a judge or jury. He or she hears the case and makes a decision. An arbitration hearing is less formal and typically shorter than a trial. There is a presentation of facts, including witnesses and documents, in a way that is similar to a court trial without the court’s evidentiary rules.
At the conclusion, the arbitrator considers the evidence and typically makes a ruling within thirty days.
To understand the importance of a Pre-Dispute Arbitration Agreement and whether or not you sign one, you must realize the types of actions that fall under the category of nursing home “disputes.”A dispute may include any harm inflicted on you or your loved one, including but not limited to:
• Receiving the wrong type of medication or incorrect dosage;
• Developing pressure ulcers due to neglect;
• Suffering an injury as the result of neglect; or
• Being physically, sexually, emotionally, or financially abused or assaulted by a fellow resident or staff member.
Often the Pre-Dispute Arbitration Agreement is buried within the admission paperwork. It is within your rights to refuse to sign an arbitration agreement.
A nursing home may not deny you admission or discharge you from care because you refuse to sign an arbitration agreement.
If you accidentally signed an arbitration agreement, you must be allowed to undo the agreement within thirty days.
There are few advantages to a nursing home arbitration. Arbitration may be a less formal and technical process; however, it can also:
• Cost the resident or family a lot of money out-of-pocket;
• Help the nursing home avoid responsibility for their wrongdoing;
• Bar any opportunity for an appeal;
• Keep the nursing home’s records confidential from the public; and
• Give the nursing home an advantage as the arbitrator may count on them for future business.
If you would like to learn more about nursing home arbitration agreements in Arizona and whether yours is binding, contact the experienced nursing home abuse attorneys at Knapp & Roberts. We help victims of nursing home abuse and neglect recover their dignity and hold nursing homes responsible for the pain and suffering inflicted on innocent victims and their families.
Reach out to Knapp & Roberts in Phoenix today. One of our attorneys will listen to you, evaluate your case, and advise you of any legal recourse you may have against a negligent nursing home or another facility.
The personal injury attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona, at Knapp & Roberts have the compassion and trial lawyer skills to tell your story to a jury. We will get to know you and your family so that we can help the jury understand what has happened to you and your family and how it has changed your lives. Obtain the compensation necessary for the injuries and losses you have suffered.