U.S. Capital

Read Documents Before Nursing Home Admission Advises Arkansas Injury Lawyer Michael Smith

Apr 2, 2014

Arkansas Personal Injury Lawyer - Michael Smith

Arkansas Personal Injury Lawyer – Michael Smith

Little Rock, AR (Law Firm Newswire) April 2, 2014 – Prior to admitting a relative to a nursing home, always carefully read the admission documentation.

“It’s a fact of life that many of us may need to admit a relative to a nursing facility at some point in the future. It’s not an easy decision, and with the negative press nursing care homes receive, it is a frightening prospect to relinquish care to someone who may abuse your loved one,” says Michael Smith, an Arkansas nursing home abuse lawyer.

A recent Supreme Court decision in Massachusetts may make a difference in how nursing home abuse cases are handled across the nation. “The decision gave back some patient rights being worn away by the nursing home industry and also restored some of the right to a trial by jury if a patient is abused,” Smith explains.
Part of the overall review of admission procedures into a nursing home facility was examined by the court as being a crucial part of understanding what is involved in admitting a patient. In many cases, patients and/or their legal representatives are given an enormous amount of paperwork to digest and sign, with little time to absorb the contents. It is critical that both parties, where possible, review and understand what they are signing.

“In some cases,” Smith points out, “documents signed may waive the patient’s constitutional rights. Some may also include an agreement to arbitrate. Signing this kind of an agreement may waive the resident’s right to a jury trial if they have been neglected or abused.” The U.S. Constitution, under the auspices of the Seventh Amendment, guarantees the right to a trial by jury and before anyone waives that right, it must be carefully considered.

“Jury trials are virtually a sacred right in the U.S,” adds Smith. If a nursing home resident agrees to arbitration, they are removing their right to a hearing by an impartial jury in the event that they experience nursing home abuse. “And it is precisely this reason alone why many elder care institutions want residents to sign an agreement to submit to arbitration.” Many of these facilities are owned by for-profit organizations, whose bottom line is earning money for stakeholders, not paying out jury awards as a result of a nursing home abuse lawsuit.

Families about to admit their loved one to such a facility need to take extra care in assessing all the required paperwork for admission. If one of the documents includes an agreement to submit to arbitration, immediately contact an experienced personal injury lawyer and discuss what it means with regard to the prospective resident’s legal rights.

Learn more at http://www.arkansaslawhelp.com/

Michael Smith
425 W. Capitol Av., Suite 3700
Little Rock, AR 72201
Call: 501.519.4357

  • Car Pedestrian Accident Leads to Death of Former Nurse
    Reckless driving and DWI are to blame in an accident that killed one, injured another. “A bizarre set of circumstances has led to the death of a former nurse,” said Michael Smith, an injury and accident lawyer, practicing personal injury law in Arkansas. This was a chain reaction crash, caused by two drunk drivers, both […]
  • Tangled Web of Events Leads to Death of Former Nurse in Car Pedestrian Accident – Arkansas Injury Lawyer
    Car accidents happen without warning. Serious injury or death is the result in many instances. “This was an unusual case, in the sense that it was a bizarre set of circumstances that led to the death of a former nurse,” recounted Michael Smith, an Arkansas injury lawyer and Arkansas accident lawyer, practicing personal injury law […]
  • Hospital Errors Are a Silent Killer
    There are over 200,000 deaths each year related to medical errors that go reported. “People can and do die from strokes, cancer and similar diseases,” said Michael Smith, an injury and accident lawyer, practicing personal injury law in Arkansas, “but we rarely hear about the silent specter of death that walks down the hallways in […]