At the start of a relationship with a medical provider or nursing home, people do not usually think anything will go wrong. Usually they are right. In addition, there are many papers that get signed at that point. Often what gets signed without a lot of thought going into it is an arbitration agreement. As Jacksonville nursing home negligence and medical malpractice attorneys, we have consulted with many clients who have run into problems with arbitration agreements.
An arbitration agreement provides that, if a medical negligence claim or a nursing home negligence case is brought, it will be decided by a panel of arbiters instead of by a jury. Arbiters tend to be seasoned attorneys who have seen many tragic cases over their years of practice. As such, they tend to not be as sympathetic as jurors and provide smaller and fewer awards.
Arbitration agreements can also limit the damages a person can recover. Often, they limit the amount a person can recover for pain and suffering. They can also provide that, even if you win your case, the medical provider or nursing home does not have to repay your litigation costs. Because such cases typically require several medical experts, the litigation costs can easily exceed $50,000.00. Claimants have challenged the enforceability of arbitration agreements, but Florida Courts have found them enforceable in many instances. Our advice is to not sign an arbitration agreement.
If you have any questions about a medical malpractice case, a nursing home abuse claim or about the enforceability of an arbitration agreement, please contact our Jacksonville nursing home and medical malpractice lawyers for a free consultation.