Preparing to have surgery can be nerve-wracking. Even when you know it is the best thing to do, you can still feel nervous or afraid of the procedure. You might also be worried about complications or the surgeon doing something wrong. Unfortunately, medical mistakes happen and sometimes they are the doctor’s fault. Injured patients often wonder what recourse they have. They know they signed something; but was it a waiver? Did it protect the doctor?
If you are a victim of medical malpractice, here are a few things you should know about the form you signed prior to surgery.
Treatment Consent Forms
Medical facilities are required to receive informed consent before they can treat you. Informed consent means you specifically agree to the medical procedure and acknowledge that you have been informed of the risks associated with it. That is why the surgeon or nurse came to talk to you beforehand and gave you a form to read and sign.
Are Consent Forms Valid in Florida?
Yes, treatment consent forms are generally valid in Florida if the consent was obtained in accordance with the accepted standards for medical professionals in that same area of practice and region. This means, if back surgeons in the state generally explain the procedures, well-known complications, and other risks to you in person, than that will likely be the standard for obtaining consent.
If consent was obtained in a way that was not up to acceptable standards or when you were not mentally able to understand the discussion, it may not be valid.
Can I Sue for Malpractice?
Whether or not you can sue for malpractice depends on the situation. If you were given a consent form that explained the complications and risks associated with the procedure, but then you suffered a complication never explained to you, you may have a valid legal claim. However, if you suffer a complication that was clearly explained and you agreed to the surgery, you may not be able to recover damages from the surgeon or facility.
If your doctor was negligent in some way, the form you signed does not stop you from holding them liable. A consent form does not bar lawsuits based on negligence.
Contact a Legal Representative
If you were hurt during a medical procedure and need legal advice, please contact Oldham & Smith at (352) 292-1620 or online. Let us assist you throughout each step of your case.