Atlanta nursing homes should be sued whenever the facilities fail their patients through abuse or neglect. Some patients and family members, however, are finding out they are unable to file a claim in civil court even when the actions of nursing homes cause injuries or fatalities. Not only are these patients and family members discovering they are forced to submit claims to binding arbitration instead but, in many cases, they are also learning they have to pay a portion of the fees for the arbitrator’s time.
The federal government recognizes this is a serious problem, depriving patients and their loved ones of justice. The government is considering new regulations to ensure family members who admit patients to nursing home facilities are actually informed of the rights they could be giving up and are protected from being required to give up those rights as a condition of admission. Even as these new regulations are considered, however, 15 attorneys general, 34 U.S. Senators, and more than 50 consumer protection groups are encouraging the government to entirely ban arbitration clauses in nursing home admission agreements.
Patients who are injured or who lose their lives due to neglect or abuse deserve to be fully compensated for damages and losses. Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyers can provide invaluable assistance to victims and their loved ones. Whether your case goes to arbitration or to court, or settles before a trial, we can help you to make your claim and maximize the compensation available to you.
Arbitration Agreements Deprive Atlanta Nursing Home Abuse Victims of Justice
Arbitration agreements are currently included in admissions papers for many nursing home facilities. Family members, who may be putting loved ones into a nursing home under very difficult circumstances, may not take the time to fully read and understand these agreements.
NPR, for example, reported on one woman whose husband was checked into a nursing home because he had dementia. The man’s dementia was so severe he had forgotten how to drink water. Unfortunately, within just a few weeks of nursing home admission, the man lost 20 pounds and went into a coma due to dehydration because the nursing home did not provide him with proper care. As a result of the neglect he experienced, he died within a month.
When his widow pursued a case, she was forced into arbitration. She ultimately prevailed, but had to pay ½ of the cost of the arbitration, which totaled more than $60,000. By the time she paid this cost and paid for expert witnesses and other expenses associated with making her damage claim, she was left with under $20,000 in compensation for her losses.
People like this widow do not deserve to have their rights trampled on when family members or loved ones are the victim of nursing home abuse and neglect. The new federal regulations being proposed aim to help prevent this by requiring nursing homes to explain arbitration agreements before they are signed. The federal government would also preclude nursing homes from making the signing of arbitration agreements a condition of admission.
While this is a step in the right direction, however, banning the use of such agreements as consumer protection groups suggest would be a better approach to protecting the rights of Atlanta nursing home abuse victims.
The Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent victims after neglect or abuse occurs. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.