informed consent in medical malpractice cases

Informed Consent in a Medical Malpractice Case

A medical malpractice claim arises when a doctor, healthcare facility, or other medical professional breaches the duty of care to a patient. While every bad result does not rise to the level of medical malpractice, if a bad result happens without informed consent, the medical provider may be held liable for damages. For this reason, it is important to understand your right to informed consent as it relates to a medical malpractice claim.

What is Informed Consent?

Patients have the right to understand the potential benefits and risks associated with a treatment plan of medical procedure. Informing a patient of the potential risks and benefits of a proposed treatment or procedure does not prevent a bad result; however, it does allow the patient to make a decision based on full and complete disclosure of the potential outcomes associated with the treatment or procedure. It is not possible for a patient to provide informed consent if the doctor fails to provide all relevant details prior to the patient making a decision.

If a bad outcome occurs without informed consent, the patient and/or the family may have a medical malpractice claim against the doctor and/or medical facility. In order to obtain informed consent from a patient, the doctor must:

    • Discuss the health problem
    • Explain the proposed treatment and/or medical procedures
    • Discuss why the treatment and/or medical procedure is necessary in the doctor’s opinion
    • Explain who will perform the medical procedure
    • Discuss the chances of success with the proposed medical treatment or procedure
    • The alternative procedures or treatments, the risks, and benefits of the alternatives, and the chances of success for the alternatives
    • The expected recovery time for all proposed treatments and medical procedures

In the absence of informed consent, you can hold the physician, medical facility, and/or other medical providers responsible for any adverse outcomes. There are exceptions to the requirement to provide informed consent. If you arrive at the hospital in need of emergency care to save your life or prevent further harm but you are unable to provide informed consent because you are unconscious or incapacitated, informed consent may not apply. However, even in this situation, you should still consult an experienced medical malpractice attorney if you suspect the doctor, staff, or facility was negligent in providing medical care and treatment.

Damages in a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

If the medical provider, doctor, or medical facility is found guilty of medical malpractice, you are entitled to receive compensation for your damages. The amount and type of compensation you are entitled to receive depends on several factors. In most medical malpractice cases, the victim is entitled to receive compensation for:

    • Past, present, and future medical expenses
    • Past, present, and future lost wages
    • Loss of earning capacity
    • Out-of-pocket expenses
    • Attorney’s fees and costs
    • Physical pain and emotional suffering
    • Loss of enjoyment of life
    • Burial, cremation, and funeral expenses

Contact an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney

If you believe you or a loved one is the victim of medical malpractice, contact our office to schedule a free consultation with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer. Contact The Broderick Law Firm, P.A. to schedule your free consultation.