Before you are treated, use prescription drugs, undergo surgery or other invasive procedures, your doctor will have you sign a consent form. The signed consent form is legally binding and is valid proof that you understand the treatment. If you feel you were a victim of malpractice after signing a consent form, can you still receive damages? Here is some information.
How Consent Forms Work
Any type of treatment must be thoroughly explained to the patient by the doctor before it can be begun. If the patient is a minor or unable to understand, the explanation will be given to a parent, guardian, or legal representative. This person will also sign the form on behalf of the patient. The information provided will include what outcome the treatment is aiming for and how it works, as well as the rates of success the treatment has had in the past. Any potential side effects, risks or complications will be detailed. The treatment will also be described in detail and alternative treatments will be listed along with their related information. The patient signs the form, indicating an understanding of everything presented.
When You Can Bring a Suit Despite the Form
As a personal injury lawyer Chicago, IL clients trust from Disparti Law Group can attest, there are situations in which you can sue for damages even though you signed the form. Should the treatment provided involve anything not covered in the form, the doctor can be considered negligent and you could win a malpractice suit. A doctor cannot change a procedure without consent. A patient can sue even if the alternate treatment was successful. The only exception to the above is in the case of an emergency where the patient’s life was at risk. If the alternative procedure is found to not have been necessary or caused harm the doctor can be sued for malpractice.
Damages That Can Be Awarded
In the event that you win your suit, you can recover damages for lost wages, the expense of future medical treatments, and your pain and suffering. In the case of a serious error, punitive damages may also be awarded. Limits on the maximum you can collect vary from state to state. A doctor will get written consent from a patient before performing any treatment. This protects the doctor as well as the patient as they will know what to expect and what could go wrong. As your lawyer can explain, like a team member from Disparti Law Group, there are situations in which you can be awarded damages caused by treatment despite signing a consent form.