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Signed a consent form? You may still have a medical malpractice case.

Nearly all clinics, hospitals and other medical facilities require patients to sign consent forms. These forms give the professionals permission to treat the patient. However, these forms can come under scrutiny if the patient suffered as a result of negligence. Patients often wonder: do I still have rights even if I signed a consent form? The answer is yes.

Consent Forms And Waivers Of Liability

A consent form is often a straightforward form that, when signed, allows a patient to be treated. Parents may sign on behalf of minor children; guardians may sign on behalf of incapacitated individuals. Consent forms may be required for general appointments, as well as specific procedures. Just because you signed one consent form does not mean that you would not be asked to sign another.

In many cases, there may be legal language included in a consent form that is designed to protect a doctor, medical professional or care facility from being held responsible in the event that harm comes to the patient while being cared for. This is the portion of the form that is often called the "waiver" or "waiver of liability." While not all consent forms include this language, many do.

Liability, Negligence And Malpractice

Anything that you sign will become part of your patient file. However, just because you signed a form does not mean that you signed all your rights away. Consent forms and waivers of liability do not protect doctors and hospitals in the event of negligence. While some medical mistakes may happen, and have no impact on the patient, any preventable mistakes or intentional actions that have resulted in injury, illness or death, not protected by any forms. Patients should consult with an attorney regarding their rights and options in any situation involving suspected medical malpractice, whether forms were signed or not.

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