Many people have the false impression that if they sign a waiver before a medical procedure they will be left without legal recourse if anything goes wrong. Fortunately for medical malpractice victims, this is not always the case. Especially if a healthcare provider exhibits gross negligence, a medical malpractice lawsuit may still be a viable option for injured patients who signed waivers.
A doctor must give a patient all the information necessary to make an informed decision about his or her own healthcare to properly give informed consent. This includes information on the patient’s condition, all treatment options and their side effects, and the prognosis of the condition. Lack of informed consent is often grounds for a medical malpractice claim, yet, even when informed consent is given, it does not excuse a doctor’s negligence. Informed consent waivers are to show that the patient understands the risks associated with a course of treatment, not to proactively excuse a healthcare workers’ wrongdoing.
Gross negligence is sometimes described as conduct that is so reckless that even a layperson could easily identify it as negligent. For instance, a surgeon operating on the wrong part of a patient’s body would likely be considered gross negligence. It is unlikely that this could occur without a serious mistake made on the part of the surgeon, and perhaps other hospital staff. In such a case, the patient or patient’s family would usually have legal recourse available.
The only way to truly know if you have a viable medical malpractice claim is to get professional legal advice. An experienced Atlanta medical malpractice attorney can look at the facts of your case and determine if it is in your best interest to pursue a lawsuit. If you have suffered an injury or the death of a loved one due to medical negligence, contact our Atlanta medical malpractice attorneys for a free consultation.