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Can a Georgia Nursing Home Stop You From Suing for Abuse and Neglect?

Posted on - Friday, March 25, 2016 under Nursing Home Abuse

The decision to move a loved one into a nursing home is never an easy one. The senior and their family have a lot to deal with emotionally as well as practically. After investigating and doing due diligence to find the right facility, the senior and/or their loved one will be asked to sign a lengthy and complicated admission agreement or similar contract that will spell out the rights and obligations of the resident as well as the facility.

And that agreement may contain a small but potentially devastating provision that would prevent you from going to court and obtaining compensation if your loved one is abused, neglected, or worse.

Nursing home abuse and neglect is a sad and all too common reality that can lead to serious injuries or death for the vulnerable seniors in such facilities. If a home and its staff have been negligent or breached their duty of care to a resident resulting in injury or death, the facility may be held accountable in a personal injury or wrongful death action filed in civil court. Unless…

In order to avoid the uncertainty, cost, and potential liability of a large personal injury claim, many admission agreements contain a mandatory arbitration clause that requires any disputes or claims be resolved in private arbitration. Arbitration may be a much more favorable forum for the facility insofar as they may get to pick the arbitrators who will decide whether the facility will be held to account for their wrongdoing. Do not agree to such a provision.

Whether such provisions are enforceable is actually a matter of much dispute in courts across the country, including here in Georgia. While Georgia law specifically prohibits agreements requiring arbitration of “personal bodily injury claims,” the Georgia Court of Appeals has ruled that the Federal Arbitration Act, which contains no such prohibition, controls over Georgia law. Davidson v. A.G. Edwards & Sons, Inc., 324 Ga.App. 172(2013).

As such, an injured nursing home resident in Georgia who signs an admission agreement containing an arbitration provision will likely be prevented from seeking damages for those injuries in a personal injury lawsuit.

Nevertheless, if you or a loved one has been the victim of nursing home negligence, abuse, or neglect in Georgia, don’t assume that you are out of luck because your admission agreement contains an arbitration clause. Meet with an experienced nursing home neglect and abuse attorney to discuss your rights.

The Parian Law Firm: Metro Atlanta Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyers

The Parian Law Firm in metro Atlanta represents individuals and families who have suffered the pain, trauma, and indignity of nursing home abuse and neglect. If you believe that a nursing home or its employees have breached your trust and injured you or your loved one, please give us a call at (770) 727-5550 or chat live online with a member of our staff today. We can discuss your situation, evaluate your potential claim, and advise you of your options. We look forward to assisting you.