Albuquerque, NM- Choosing a New Mexico nursing home for your elderly loved one is a tough job, but the work doesn’t end there. Once you’ve decided on the right one, you will be handed a bunch of forms the facility wants you to sign. Among those forms is one that hinders your loved one’s ability to pursue compensation in case they are the victims of nursing home abuse of neglect.
That from is an arbitration agreement and there are reasons you might want to think twice about signing it. With so many forms to sign you might just glance over the agreement not knowing exactly what it means or how it will impact. Basically put, an arbitration agreement limits the options you and your loved one have to resolve a personal injury or wrongful death claim.
Arbitration agreements require a victim to enter into private negotiations with a facility, each party’s respective attorneys and arbiter. Even when a facility decides to settle allegations of abuse or neglect through a compensatory award during negotiations, the amount a family or resident would receive will be significantly lower than other recourses they can pursue. The decisions made in arbitration are binding and if sign one you will be unable to take your claim to court if arbitration doesn’t yield a satisfactory settlement. These agreements almost always benefit a facility because they limit the options a nursing home victim has to pursue compensation.
In analysis of 1,500 nursing home abuse claims between 2003 and 2011, NBC found that 30 percent of cases in arbitration received were closed with no settlement awarded. That’s a large number of cases that end without justice for the victim.
Another way an arbitration agreement benefits a nursing home and not the victim and their family is it keeps allegations private. Negotiations are conducted in private, unlike civil litigation which means a long-term care facility can keep the allegations private and the endemic issues within that facility can be kept secret.
There are upsides to an arbitration agreement; it allows a family to resolve their dispute more quickly. It will also save a family from a trial if that is something they don’t feel like going through.
You don’t have to sign an arbitration agreement if you don’t want to since they are generally a requirement for your loved one to be admitted to a facility. You can refuse to sign it and if you run into any problems you should contact a nursing home abuse lawyer in New Mexico immediately.
Putting a loved one in a nursing home is a stressful time and families feel pressure to hastily sign everything that is put on their face. Don’t feel pressured.
Victims of nursing home abuse and neglect need someone who can stand up for them and pursue justice. USAttorneys’ team of nursing home abuse lawyers in New Mexico will be dedicated to our loved one’s case and will use their experience to secure a generous settlement.