Many families take for granted that their loved ones will receive quality treatment while living in a nursing home or other long-term care facility. At the state level, many safeguards exist to ensure that residents come to no harm and receive proper care. However, a recent New York Times editorial points out how proposed federal rules for resolving disputes between consumers and facilities do not go far enough to hold nursing homes and other facilities accountable.
The proposed rules require consumers to resolve disputes over products or services through private arbitration, rather than lawsuits. Corporations and businesses tend to favor mandatory arbitration, because it tends to turn out in their favor and shield them from legal responsibility for any wrongdoing. When there is a dispute over care, a claim typically involves neglect or abuse that leads to serious injuries, dehydrated, and pain.
As they stand, the rules would allow nursing homes to have pre-dispute arbitration clauses in their contracts so long as the homes disclose and explain the arbitration clauses. The facility also cannot require acceptance of the clause as a condition of the resident’s admission to the facility. However, as a practical matter, families of prospective residents are unlikely to question or even think through arbitration clauses, since they cannot foresee the future in terms of potential disputes over resident care. Furthermore, it is not common for families to seek legal advice before signing a nursing home contract, so they are unlikely to understand the true ramifications of a mandatory arbitration clause.
The Madison nursing home injury attorneys of Boller & Vaughan will meet with you at no cost in order to the facts relevant to your situation. Once we have heard all of these facts, we can evaluate the facts of your case and determine its potential merits. We will assess your case and place a value on it in order to get the maximum amount of compensation to which you are entitled. Take the first step and call our office today to set up your free consultation with one of our Wisconsin long-term care facility lawyers.