As we age, our health and fitness begin to decline. If you or a loved one are considering entering a nursing home to help provide support while you live out your golden years, there are some very important issues to understand. It is important to protect your legal rights at all times, including when you are living in 24-hour nursing care. Many times, these residential facilities will insist that their tenants sign an arbitration agreement. These agreements allow the facility to come to a more speedy resolution in a situation where their potential negligence or malpractice was the reason one of their tenants sustained major injuries or died.
The reason this is so problematic is that in an effort to come to a solution swiftly, there is no time for investigating the incident and collecting information. Additionally, there is no emphasis on presenting the information gathered in court. This means that while the incident may see a resolution, it is unlikely the details of the incident will be made known to the family of the victim. This is certainly concerning with numbers as high as 5,000,000 elders enduring abuse in nursing homes across the country every year. Families, reasonably want to know what took place when their loved one is harmed or loses their life.
How Long Does a Nursing Home Resident Have to Cancel Their Arbitration Agreement?
The significant pressure that nursing homes put on residents to sign these binding arbitration agreements often leads to the elder signing. Once an arbitration agreement is signed, that doesn’t mean they can’t rescind their signature. Under California’s Code of Civil Procedures, should your loved one sign this agreement, they have up to 30 days to cancel it if they change their mind.
The implication is that if an elderly individual is not in good health, there is no telling when they could pass. If they sign one of these agreements and pass before the 30-day period, families fighting this rapid action for a resolution in lieu of evidence from the incident is very difficult. Going through the court system to fight against enforcing the agreement can have outcomes that are unpredictable. While the California Second District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles has made an opinion that it is impossible to know if a victim voluntarily signed the agreement knowing they were waiving their rights and the rights of their family. Yet, the Fourth District Court said that once the agreement is signed it is valid and only becomes invalid if it was canceled within the 30-day window.
Where Can You Find an Experienced California Estate Planning Lawyer?
If you need advice on the forms and processes that are involved in the entrance to nursing homes or if you have questions regarding arbitration, please contact the California estate planning attorneys, at Leiva Law. Our Canoga Park arbitration lawyers can answer your questions and provide you with the best possible legal representation. Contact the California probate and will lawyers at Leiva Law at 818-519-4465 to schedule your free consultation today.