Can I Sue for Malpractice if I Signed a Medical Waiver?

If you are attempting to pursue a malpractice case after having signed a waiver, you are not alone. At best, medical malpractice claims are an emotionally draining and extremely challenging undertaking. It is not uncommon for medical facilities to require their patients to sign a consent form or a waiver prior to treatment, so it is normal for victims of suspected medical malpractice to wonder whether or not they are able to sue. Before determining whether or not they have any impact on a lawsuit, it is important to first understand the complexities of medical waivers.

If I sign a medical waiver, does that mean my doctor can’t be held accountable for any negligence on his part?

If a nurse, doctor, or another healthcare provider caused your injuries through negligence or wrongdoing, you could be eligible to receive financial compensation. If you think you were a victim of medical negligence, reach out to a reputable North Carolina medical malpractice lawyer from the personal injury firm of Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp. We can analyze your case and devise a legal course of action appropriate to your situation.  

What is a Medical Waiver?

A waiver is a legally binding arrangement where one party named in the contract agrees to forfeit a claim without the other party being liable in the event of injury or harm. In the healthcare field, these waivers outline the risks inherent to a specific procedure or treatment. Patients are usually required to sign them to indicate that they agreed to have a procedure despite the potential dangers.

Do Waivers Have Limits?

Even though a waiver is a legal document, they are not the final word in enforceability where medical malpractice is concerned. This is because a waiver does not release a doctor or other healthcare professional from being accountable for their own negligence. In other words, signing a waiver does not automatically and immediately mean that your physician is not liable for any injuries or subpar treatment. Additionally, a waiver carries absolutely no weight in a court of law if standard medical practices were disregarded.

Negligence and Standards of Care

Medical malpractice claims center around the subject of standards of care. A standard of care applies to the quality of the treatment and care that an experienced physician in the same field would have shown under the same or similar circumstances. When a medic, doctor, nurse, or medical professional exhibits behavior that fails to uphold these standards and, as a result, causes harm or injury to a patient, they could be considered negligent. As a healthcare provider, negligence is a damaging and very serious claim, one that cannot be deflected by waivers and contracts.  

Waivers vs. Informed Consent

Another factor that will have an impact on your medical malpractice lawsuit is what kind of document you signed. If you signed an informed consent document, it means that you have given your permission for your doctor to go ahead with the procedure after they provided you with full and accurate information concerning the purpose of the recommended procedure, any side effects and risks associated with it, and any viable alternative treatments that are available. When you sign a waiver, the possible risks have been discussed without expressly mentioning malpractice or negligence. Neither fully protect a medical professional from liability.

Talk to a North Carolina Medical Malpractice Attorney

If a physician’s negligence was the cause of your injuries but you signed a medical waiver prior to the procedure, you need to consult with an experienced North Carolina personal injury attorney lawyer. By working with a qualified lawyer, you increase your chances of collecting damages for your medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and more.

Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation by calling us at (833) 997-1774. 

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