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How Do Consent Form Affect Malpractice Cases?

Published on October 5th, 2019

Personal Injury Lawyer

If you were recently injured by a medical procedure or treatment, you may be considering filing a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, if you signed a consent form, or release form as it is sometimes called, before the procedure, you probably have a lot of questions. Does the consent form remove your ability to file a lawsuit? The answer is more complicated than you might think. The most important thing to remember is that you can get all the answers you need by speaking with a hospital negligence lawyer in Salt Lake City, UT.

The Result of a Consent Form

A signed consent form may or may not negate the possibility of a lawsuit. Unless some very specific exceptions apply, the consent form will only negate the ability to file a lawsuit if it specifically describes the possibility of the injury that you sustained. If a particular injury is an expected possible outcome of a procedure, it will almost certainly be included on the consent form.

For example, if you are going to have a surgery on your leg and there is a chance that you will lose the ability to walk, a consent form will almost certainly be given to you which states that you will not file a lawsuit in the event you lose your ability to walk. If the surgery really does result in this outcome, you will not be able to sue. However, if the surgery results in your leg being amputated, which was not described on the consent form, you may have a case.

To protect the physicians or hospital, a consent form needs to adequately describe the condition that happened to you. To know if the form you signed meets this requirement, you should speak with an attorney.

Exceptions

There are two main situations where a signed consent form may not invalidate the possibility of a lawsuit, even though it does adequately describe the condition. If either of these situations was true about you when signed the release, you may still have a case and should speak with an attorney.

  • You were pressured into signing the consent form
  • You were not in a competent mental state when you signed the consent form

In order for a consent form to be valid, it must be signed with no outside forced. The patient must choose to sign it on his or her own. Likewise, someone is unable to give consent when his or her mental state is impaired. Your attorney will be able to tell you if your situation qualifies for one of these exceptions.

 

Thanks to Rasmussen & Miner for their insight into medical malpractice and consent forms.

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