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How to Take Legal Action in a Medical Malpractice Case if You Signed a Waiver

January 3, 2023 | Medical Malpractice

When you undergo a medical procedure, you may be required to sign a waiver to acknowledge the risks involved in obtaining treatment. Depending on the circumstances, you may have the right to seek legal action against a medical professional in instances of serious health complications or injury if they failed to uphold a reasonable standard of care. Medical negligence may not be covered in a waiver, even if the medical professional claims it does. 

The attorneys at Goza & Honnold have decades of experience helping victims of medical malpractice, even in instances of signed waivers for treatment or care. As fierce litigators specializing in trial work, we have recovered millions in settlements and verdicts to help our clients in their recovery. Our medical malpractice legal team understands how difficult an injury caused by a medical provider can be. We are prepared to fight tirelessly for the monetary compensation you deserve. 

What Is a Signed Waiver?

Before undergoing a medical procedure, you may be expected to fill out intake forms prior to obtaining treatment. Forms may include standard questions regarding medical history, allergies, medications, and a medical liability waiver. Signing this document waives your rights to hold a medical provider legally liable for any damages sustained during your treatment. Language in these types of forms may include the following: 

  • I understand the risk of the procedure
  • Side effects or risks may include heart attack, brain damage, or death
  • The consent, waiver, and release shall be legally binding on the patient
  • Release and bar to any claim 

Waivers are often overly broad to attempt to cover all types of injuries or losses. Because of this, waivers may not always be enforceable. There are limits to what rights you can waive and how a contract can be enforced. 

Medical negligence is a breach of a standard duty of care by a medical professional that causes injuries to a patient. Based on the medical provider’s skill, education, experience, and training, they are expected to follow a standard path of treatment. However, if a doctor fails to act in a way that a reasonable doctor would have acted in a similar circumstance, you may seek a medical malpractice case even if you signed a waiver.

Taking Legal Action if You Signed a Medical Waiver in Missouri

When you sign a waiver before a medical procedure, you are essentially signing a contract. A contract is a legal agreement between parties that defines legal rights and obligations. In a medical waiver, this may mean you sign an agreement with a doctor performing a procedure based on a specific condition and that you will not pursue a claim against the doctor if something goes wrong. Even if you agree to certain terms at the time of signing a waiver, some contracts are not enforceable because of the following reasons: 

  • Signing under duress
  • Misrepresentation or fraud
  • Lack of capacity
  • Illegal under public policy
  • Mistake
  • Unconscionability
  • Impossibility
  • Lack of informed consent 

There are many reasons why a waiver may not be enforceable. For example, when a medical provider performs a medical procedure, they must give the patient information about the potential risks, benefits, and complications in the treatment of their condition.

Informed consent allows patients to make an informed decision regarding whether to move forward with a procedure. If a medical provider did not provide proper informed consent, they may be liable for medical malpractice. 

Speak With the Missouri Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Goza & Honnold

After suffering an injury in a medical procedure due to a medical provider’s negligence, you may be wondering if you have legal rights to pursue fair compensation after signing a medical waiver. Even if you signed a medical waiver, it does not mean you have no legal recourse. The Missouri medical malpractice lawyers at Goza & Honnold understand what it takes to build a robust medical malpractice case and can help you navigate the legal process so you can focus on recovery. 

To schedule a no-cost consultation with one of our medical malpractice attorneys, fill out a contact form or call our office at (913) 451-3433.