Before any medical procedure, the hospital or medical facility at which the operation is being performed will typically ask the patient to sign a consent or waiver. In short, these forms typically serve as a release of liability for the physician, any member of the healthcare team, and the facility in the event the patient is injured. However, signing one of these forms does not mean that a patient does not have a pathway to medical malpractice.
With any healthcare procedure, such as a surgical operation, there is a risk. For example, a patient can have an adverse reaction to anesthesia, or a patient could sustain scars from an operation. The point is that there is always the possibility of a concern.
Waivers are intended to primarily confirm that the patient understands that the inherent risk associated with the procedure and that they are okay with moving forward as a result. For this reason, if you signed a waiver, there is absolutely no reason for you to believe that you cannot file a suit for any injuries you sustain.
Professional and Safe Conduct
All medical professionals are expected to conduct themselves professionally and safely. This expectation is not just a moral one, but it is also a legal one. Regardless of the terms of a waiver that a patient has signed, if any member of the medical team conducted themselves in an unprofessional and unsafe manner that led to your injuries, the waiver can be nullified.
You are then provided with a pathway toward a successful malpractice claim. A failure to access a patient's medical history, handle an individuals' care recklessly and a failure to follow up with post-treatment are just some examples of gross negligence.
All patients should also be mindful of the accuracy of the waiver that they sign in terms of malpractice. Except in the case of emergency treatment, a patient must sign a waiver that is specific to the type of treatment or procedure that they will undergo.
If for some reason a patient signs a waiver and the medical team performs a procedure that is different from the information on the document, this action can be perceived as malpractice. Have an attorney review the waiver to ensure it is accurate and is not an issue.
If you were injured during a medical procedure, you do have rights. It is best to sit down with an attorney and discuss what your rights are. Contact a medical malpractice attorney for more information.