Texas individuals who admit their loved ones into nursing homes do so with the expectation that the nursing facility will provide their family members with appropriate medical care and treat them with respect and compassion. However, the sad reality is that many people suffer abuse and serious injuries because of reckless, negligent, or careless Texas nursing home personnel. In these cases, families should take steps to pursue a Texas nursing home abuse lawsuit against the at-fault individual or entity.
Many families who try to pursue claims against Texas nursing homes face roadblocks because of arbitration agreements they agreed to upon admittance. For over twenty years, nursing home and long-term care facilities offered arbitration agreements as a way to solve disputes. Arbitration provides the parties to present their case to a neutral party who will decide on the matter. In some cases, arbitration can save both parties the time and expense of a long and drawn-out trial process. However, arbitration agreements are often one-sided and favor the party who offered the option, such as a nursing home.
These agreements are not only one-sided, but they were often a requirement for those wishing to enter nursing home care. Additionally, there was overwhelming evidence that nursing home arbitration agreements were detrimental to the safety of long-term care facility residents. To address the inherent unfairness in the rule, in 2016, lawmakers changed the rules. They explained that any facility that requires residents to sign arbitration agreements to enter the facility would not be eligible for federal funding. Even with the favorable public reaction to the ban, in 2019, a new rule took effect. The current law allows nursing homes to include arbitration agreements in their admission packets. However, it is important to note that nursing homes cannot require residents to sign the agreement as a pre-requisite to admission. Additionally, nursing homes must provide residents with at least 30-days to rescind their agreement.