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Can You Sue for Medical Malpractice Even If You Signed a Consent Form?

In some cases, you can sue for medical malpractice, even if you signed a consent form. When you sign a consent form before undergoing a medical procedure, you don’t consent to suffering medical malpractice. You agree to the proposed treatment plan and acknowledge that you understand the reasonable risks. The key word here is “reasonable.” 

If you’re unsure whether you can file a medical malpractice lawsuit, you could benefit from consulting a personal injury lawyer. They can assess the circumstances of your case and explain your options. 

Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Informed Consent

In most cases, a doctor or another healthcare professional must have patients sign an informed consent form before proceeding with a significant medical procedure. Failing to get informed consent could result in a medical malpractice claim or lawsuit if something goes wrong. 

A consent form generally includes: 

  • Your name
  • The name of your healthcare provider
  • Any potential risks and complications associated with a proposed treatment 
  • Your proposed treatment plan 
  • Your diagnosis 
  • The treatment’s benefits 

However, even if you signed a consent form, you could still have options for a medical malpractice lawsuit, depending on the nature of the medical error. 

Medical Malpractice Patient Consent and Legal Rights

When you sign a consent form, you’re not signing away your patient rights. Instead, you’re agreeing to the reasonable “terms and conditions” of the treatment you’re undergoing. 

For instance, you may have signed a consent form before an appendectomy acknowledging that you understood you might experience symptoms such as tenderness around the incision site and fatigue after the procedure. However, if you suffered sepsis because of an avoidable infection, you could sue for medical malpractice. 

You consented to the procedure and common side effects. However, you didn’t consent to having your life jeopardized because of medical negligence. 

Situations That May Allow You to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit After Giving Informed Consent 

You may have financial recovery options if you suffer injuries due to: 

  • A medication error (for instance, receiving the wrong medication or dosage) 
  • Egregious surgical mistakes (such as a surgeon leaving a sponge inside your body) 
  • A deviation from your healthcare provider’s standard of care 

Your doctor also cannot do a “bait-and-switch” regarding medical treatments. For instance, if you gave informed consent to a procedure, but your doctor instead employed an experimental treatment, this would violate the terms of your consent form and allow you to sue. 

The Consent Form Might Be Invalid 

Even if you signed a consent form, it might be invalid. Some possible reasons include: 

  • You lacked the mental capacity to sign a binding document. 
  • Someone coerced or pressured you into signing it. 
  • The terms of the procedure were misrepresented in the consent form. 
  • The consent form was presented in a language you did not understand. 
  • The authorized procedure went beyond the normal scope of acceptable practices. 
  • The consent form didn’t outline changes to the procedure.
  • There are no witnesses to prove someone didn’t forge your signature.

Your medical malpractice lawyer can review the consent form you signed, listen to the details of its signing, and determine whether it’s admissible.

Situations That Could Make You Ineligible to File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

Just like you have protections as a patient, medical professionals have defenses, too. For instance, you likely cannot file a successful medical malpractice claim or lawsuit because: 

  • A procedure did not yield the ideal result. For example, you may have undergone surgery to remove a cancerous mass, only to have the mass grow back within a few weeks. While unfortunate, this would not necessarily mean a medical provider failed to provide reasonable care. 
  • You were made aware of certain risks. Let’s say your 80-year-old grandmother needs heart surgery. Given her age and pre-existing health conditions, there is a reasonable chance that she might not survive the procedure. If her healthcare team upholds their standard of care, you could have a hard time proving negligence, even if she passes away during surgery.
  • You agreed to binding arbitration. You may have signed a consent form with clauses about litigation. For instance, instead of filing a lawsuit, you may be limited to resolving your case through arbitration or another alternative resolution method. 

Never assume anything about your legal options. There’s no risk or expense to consult with a legal team about your medical malpractice case. If you were injured or lost a loved one and believe medical malpractice was at play, you may have financial recovery options. 

How a Medical Malpractice Attorney Can Fight to Hold a Negligent Party Accountable 

Your personal injury attorney has one goal: to hold another party financially accountable for your preventable injuries. We intend to do this by: 

  • Consulting with field experts to bolster your case
  • Calculating your losses
  • Learning the details of your injury 
  • Evaluating the consent form you signed 
  • Filing your insurance claim or lawsuit 
  • Negotiating for what you need
  • Advocating for a fair settlement 

You can access all these services (and more) on a contingency-fee basis. This means you don’t need to pay anything out of pocket for our help. Compensation for our time and efforts comes from the compensation we secure on your behalf. 

Start Your Free Medical Malpractice Claim Review With KJT Law Group Now 

In some cases, you can take legal action despite a signed consent form. KJT Law Group advocates for medical malpractice victims and their families. Call (818) 507-8525 to start your free claim review with our personal injury law firm.

We Will Fight For You

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