On the surface, an arbitration agreement seems like a good idea. If you have a problem with the care you or your family member is receiving at a Virginia nursing home, you and the home meet with an impartial third party to work things out. If abuse or neglect charges are involved, the third party can help decide how much you deserve. Seems reasonable, and makes the process easier than a lawsuit and jury trial – right?
Wrong. Arbitration agreements are great… if you are a Virginia nursing home. They aren’t so great if you are a nursing home resident or the family of a nursing home resident. Why? These agreements primarily exist to save the nursing home money if they get caught giving substandard care to a resident.
Very often the nursing home gets to pick the third party who does the arbitration – and if they’re picking, you know they will pick somebody who is on their side. In addition, you can lose your rights to a jury trial and have a cap on damages if you agree to arbitration. In fact, arbitration settlements in nursing home abuse and neglect cases are usually 37 percent LESS than awards in lawsuits.
How can you protect your rights in a Nursing Home Arbitration Agreement?
- Before admitting a family member to a nursing home or assisted living facility – even for just a short stay – thoroughly read ALL the paperwork you are asked to sign.
- If you come across an arbitration agreement, ask if you can have it removed.
- If you cannot have it removed, consider having an attorney review the language in the agreement before you sign.
- If you do sign – or if you already signed before you knew better – please contact an experienced Virginia nursing home abuse & neglect attorney if you suspect your loved one is being abused or neglected – or if your loved one was killed.
- You may have time to opt out of the arbitration agreement, however there is a time limit to this opt out provision so you need to act quickly.
Get help with your Virginia nursing home arbitration agreement
If you have a loved one who was hurt or killed because of poor care in a Virginia nursing home or assisted living facility, then you deserve justice.