Nursing home negligence occurs in many contexts. But, oftentimes, it involves the failure of the nursing home or rehabilitation center to provide adequate medical care for the patient, in order to prevent the development of very serious bed sores (decubitus ulcers), which can have devastating effects, including death. Other nursing home abuse cases involve the failure to prevent a patient's falls, which can often result in serious injury.
When investigating which nursing home or assisted living facility to admit your family member to, please read carefully every document you are asked to sign. This is of critical importance nowadays, as the current trend among nursing homes and assisted living facilities is to present the family seeking to place their loved ones with a vast amount of paper work to be signed. Generally, this paperwork runs into the tens of pages and is filled with small-type print.
Typically, embedded in this mountain of paperwork is what is referred to as an "Arbitration Agreement". These agreements have the effect of waiving your right to access the courts if the nursing home or assisted-living facility commits negligence. Instead of having your case heard by a jury of your peers, the Arbitration Agreement provides that no lawsuit may be filed and instead, you will be required to have your case heard informally in front of a private judge or judges. Nursing homes and assisted-living facilities employ this tactic in order to ensure that they do not have to face the ire of a jury comprised of people from the community and instead, your claim will only be heard by a private judge in a secret proceeding. Under no circumstances should you sign an Arbitration Agreement.
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