Beware Fine Print in Nursing Home Enrollment

Posted on: 11-13-2015

Beware Fine Print in Nursing Home Enrollment

As baby boomers reach retirement age, more and more charged with the care of their elderly parents are finding they need some help. This has led to a rise in the number of nursing homes in South Carolina. When reviewing these facilities, it is important that you look out for any allegations of nursing home abuse that have occurred there.

When you have found a nursing home that meets your needs and standards, you should also examine the fine print in the admissions paperwork the nursing home asks you to sign. Lots of nursing home paperwork contains something called a “mandatory arbitration clause” that may remove your ability to sue for compensation if your family member or loved one is abused by the nursing home staff.

A mandatory arbitration clause means that you must agree to settle any complaints against the nursing home with an arbitrator, and cannot sue even in the following cases:

  • Staff are emotionally abusing your family member.
  • Staff are physically injuring your family member through negligence or malice.
  • Staff are sexually abusing your family member.
  • The nursing home is financially exploiting your family member.
  • The nursing home is stealing from your family member.
  • The nursing home changes your family member’s will or power of attorney.

You are not legally obligated to give up these rights, but many nursing homes will try to pressure you into signing an agreement to give them up. In many cases you may not even know you are giving them up, because the relevant clause will be buried somewhere in paragraphs of fine print.

To make sure you and your family member are not exploited by an unethical nursing home, contact Steinberg Law Firm for a free case review. Our highly qualified lawyers serve clients in Charleston, South Carolina and can be reached at 843-720-2800.

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