Almost every long-term care facility has an admission contract, which is usually called a Residency Agreement. These agreements cover a wide range of topics ranging from the care to be provided, the amounts charged, who is going to pay for the care, and what to do in an emergency. Buried within the document is oftentimes an arbitration clause. These clauses strip injured persons of their right to a trial by jury. Instead, the case will heard by an organization selected by the facility. There is no guarantee that your case will even be heard by a lawyer or a judge. Some of these clauses are so one-sided in favor of the facility that the attorneys at Olsman Mueller Wallace & MacKenzie have successfully argued that they are unenforceable as a matter of law.
While no one wants to believe that something bad will happen at the facility, it is important to protect yourself and your loved one. You do not have to agree to these clauses. Always read the Residency Agreement before the date of admission. Take your time and ask questions.