Can a Family Member Sign a Nursing Home Arbitration Clause for their Loved One?

Many Maryland nursing homes and long-term care facilities request that an incoming resident agrees to an arbitration clause as part of the admissions contract. An arbitration agreement prohibits residents from bringing certain negligence or other civil claims to court and instead forces them to be heard by a third-party arbitrator. The arbitrator does not need to be a judge, and arbitration appears to favor the nursing home companies over aggrieved residents and their families.

Because Nursing home admissions agreements are legal contracts, if an individual who is being admitted to a nursing home is incapacitated or mentally unable to assent to the contract, a family member may be able to sign on their behalf. In 2019, the Federal government passed regulations that regulated nursing homes’ use of arbitration agreements. These regulations only apply to nursing homes that accept Medicare payments, which includes the majority of Maryland nursing homes. Under the 2019 regulations, a family member may assent to an arbitration agreement as part of the admission process to a nursing home.

What a nursing home may not want you to know, however, is that the 2019 Federal regulations also prohibit nursing homes from requiring that residents agree to an arbitration clause as a condition of admission. Although this is the law, many nursing homes continue to require residents and their families to accept arbitration agreements as part of an admissions contract. Some families may not even know there is an arbitration clause hiding in the many documents that must be reviewed and signed when admitting a loved one.

Should You Avoid Nursing Home Arbitration Contracts?

If you are considering moving your loved one to a nursing home or long-term care facility, it is advised to resist any pressures to agree to an arbitration clause. Arbitration agreements only serve to reduce your rights in the event your loved one is harmed by abuse or neglect. If you already signed an arbitration clause and want to pursue a claim for abuse or neglect, there might be a way out.

Discuss Your Case with a Qualified Maryland Nursing Home Abuse Attorney

If your loved one has suffered as a result of nursing home abuse or neglect, you may be entitled to financial compensation and other relief. Even if an arbitration agreement was signed when your loved one was admitted to the Nursing home, there is a course to receive damages for your loss. The experienced nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers with Lebowitz and Mzhen understand the predatory tactics nursing homes use when admitting new residents, and we’re not afraid to fight back. Our firm accepts clients for nursing home abuse claims throughout Maryland, D.C, and Virginia. Contact our office at 800-654-1949 to schedule a no-obligation consultation with a dedicated lawyer from Lebowitz and Mzhen today.

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