Nursing Home Arbitration Agreements

arbitration agreement

The admissions process for a nursing home can get overwhelming at times. After doing your research, touring various facilities, and making your best decision on which facility is the right one, when it comes to the admissions process, there is paperwork to be filled out.

Lots of paperwork.

Among other things, there may be forms for:

  • Personal information
  • Consent to treatment
  • Financial paperwork and insurance information
  • Medical power of attorney paperwork, and
  • Advance directives.

And more.

Plus, among all the paperwork, you will be asked to sign an admissions agreement.

This is the contract between you and the nursing home.

Before you sign anything—whether it is on behalf of a loved one being admitted to the nursing home or whether it is for yourself—consult with a nursing home attorney where you live.


Because you need to understand what is in the nursing home agreement, what it all means, and whether you should or should not agree to certain clauses —like arbitration agreements.

A nursing home lawyer can answer your questions and guide you.

You will want to be careful before signing an admissions agreement, because, among other things, it has become more common in Florida for nursing homes and assisted living facilities to include arbitration agreements in their admissions agreements.

What is an Arbitration Agreement?

An arbitration agreement is usually a clause in a contract that says that the parties to the contract agree to settle any disputes they may have through arbitration instead of through the traditional court process.

Arbitration is a form of dispute resolution. It is a less formal and less expensive means of settling legal disputes.

Instead of filing a lawsuit and going before a judge and jury, the parties to an arbitration agreement choose an “arbitrator” (usually an attorney or retired judge) from among a list of names. Ultimately, the parties present their evidence to the arbitrator, who makes the final decision as to who wins and who loses.

Arbitration agreements and the decisions made by the arbitrator, are binding and final.

Arbitrations tend to be less time-consuming than formal litigation.

In the context of nursing homes, an arbitration agreement would come into play in the event of allegations of nursing home abuse.

Because litigation can be expensive, and nursing homes try to cut costs, most nursing homes in Florida have been attempting to limit their (potential) nursing home abuse litigation costs by including arbitration agreements in their admissions contracts.

What Does a Nursing Home Arbitration Agreement Mean for You?

First, understand that you do not have to agree to or sign an arbitration agreement. Although the facility will not tell you this, your admission or that of your loved one to a nursing home facility cannot be made contingent upon your signing an arbitration agreement.

Next, although it may not sound bad to agree to an arbitration agreement, (after all, it is a less costly way of resolving disputes), in the context of a nursing home abuse, arbitration may not be the best resolution for the nursing home abuse victim.


Well, there are several reasons.

First, because an arbitration clause can limit a resident’s right to recover damages against a nursing home for negligence or abuse.

Next, the main reason for agreeing to arbitration —that of keeping litigation costs down—does not apply to nursing home victims. Most nursing home lawyers take these cases on contingency. In other words, your attorney will not get paid unless you win. So you do not have traditional expensive litigation costs to worry about.

Third, juries tend to award more money to nursing home abuse victims than arbitrators do.

Also, because they write the arbitration agreement, the nursing home may be able to “stack the deck” in its favor by requiring that the arbitrator be chosen from a list of arbitrators that are sympathetic to the nursing home.

So the only party that benefits from a nursing home arbitration agreement is the nursing home that is responsible for neglect or abuse of victim.

In the right context, an arbitration agreement can make sense. But in the context of nursing home abuse it often does not.

Consult with a nursing home abuse lawyer to learn more and if you need guidance on whether you should or should not agree to a nursing home arbitration agreement.

 Florida Nursing Home Lawyers You Can Trust   

Our attorneys are here to right wrongs and help injured individuals obtain the legal redress and compensation they deserve. If you have concerns for your loved one who is in a nursing home, contact us here or simply call our firm at: 777-JOHN. We serve clients throughout Florida. Our main office is in Orange Park, but we have consulting offices in Palatka, Middleburg, Keystone, Starke, Gainesville, and Ocala.


There’s Never a Fee Unless We Get Money For You

Font Resize