I signed a consent form prior to my procedure. Can I still recover damages in a medical malpractice claim?
If you signed a consent form before a medical procedure, you might still be able to collect monetary damages if medical malpractice causes you injury. Medical malpractice occurs when a physician behaves negligently and the patient experiences injuries from the treatment.
A consent form does not give your doctor a waiver from liability; it simply states that you understand the procedure and agree to undergo it.
Most medical consent forms inform you of the steps involved in the procedure and any potential risks. Medical consent forms protect medical facilities as well as doctors and nurses from patient lawsuits.
However, even if you consent to treatment, your doctor must adhere to the established protocols for the procedure. If they fail to perform the treatment with reasonable care and it results in injuries to you, they may be liable for medical malpractice.
Medical malpractice is a complex area of personal injury law. If you have injuries from medical treatment, it’s best to seek the advice of a qualified attorney who can determine whether you have a potential legal claim.
Contact Morgan & Morgan today to schedule a free case evaluation with a skilled medical malpractice lawyer.
What Is Included in a Consent Form?
A medical consent form generally includes information about a procedure the patient intends to undergo. Most consent forms include certain common elements like:
- Your condition
- Aspects of the treatment, including its name and scope
- Potential benefits and risks of the procedure
Physicians use consent forms to ensure that patients understand their treatment and its associated risks.
What Types of Procedures Require Informed Consent?
Generally, invasive procedures require informed consent. Invasive procedures include:
- Blood transfusions
- Some blood tests
Physicians or nurses may give patients a consent form for aesthetic treatments like laser procedures or cryolipolysis too.
Anytime a procedure has the potential to alter the patient’s current state significantly, a consent form is usually necessary.
What Do You Have to Prove in a Medical Malpractice Claim?
Medical malpractice is a complex area of the law. It can be difficult to prove medical malpractice, especially when the patient has an altered mental or physical state. Serious medical procedures like surgery may involve general anesthesia, so the patient may be unable to attest to the physician or nurse’s activities during the treatment.
Generally, to prove medical malpractice, you must be able to show the following:
- You were a patient of the treating doctor
- The doctor failed to perform the procedure per standard protocols
- The medical procedure left you with new injuries directly caused by the treatment
A medical malpractice lawyer can determine where the physician, nurse, or facility acted with negligence that led to your injuries.
What to Do If You Believe You Have a Medical Malpractice Claim?
If you believe you have a medical malpractice claim, it’s best to seek the advice of a medical malpractice lawyer. You’ll need to assemble all of your evidence, including the medical consent form, documentation of your injuries, and other details.
Ask for copies of all of your medical records from physicians you visited before and after your treatment. Your lawyer can compare your records to determine the difference in your health before and after the procedure.
How to Receive Monetary Damages From a Medical Malpractice Case?
You may receive compensation from a medical malpractice case through a settlement or court verdict. Most personal injury cases, including medical malpractice, resolve through settlement. Damages you may receive include compensation for:
- Costs of past and future medical care
- Lost wages or future income, if you can’t work as a result of your injuries
- Disability or disfigurement
- Mental pain and anguish
If your case goes to trial, a judge may also award punitive damages. Courts award punitive damages if a defendant’s actions are particularly egregious or negligent. With punitive damages, the court aims to deter other individuals from acting in a similar negligent manner.
How Long Do I Have to File a Medical Malpractice Case?
All states have a statute of limitations that regulate the time a victim has to file a personal injury lawsuit. Each state has different time limits, typically two to three years. If you suffer injuries from a medical procedure, starting your claim as soon as possible is best.
Your attorney will need time to assemble the evidence of your case and devise an appropriate strategy. If you fail to file your case in time, a court will likely dismiss it.
If I Signed a Medical Consent, Can I Still Recover Compensation for Injuries?
Yes. A medical consent form does not give your physician the right to avoid liability if their actions were negligent. Because medical malpractice claims are complex, it’s best to seek the assistance of a qualified attorney. Don’t attempt to handle the case on your own.
Should I Give a Statement to My Doctor’s Insurance Agency?
Avoid giving written or spoken statements about your incident to anyone, including the physician, their team, or insurance agencies. Instead, speak with a medical malpractice lawyer at Morgan & Morgan. Your attorney will handle any communication with the doctor or their insurance agency.
Medical Malpractice Legal Assistance With Morgan and Morgan
Attorneys at Morgan & Morgan have extensive experience in medical malpractice claims. Contact us to schedule a free case evaluation if you have injuries from a recent medical procedure.