A Guide to Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim If You Signed a Waiver

by | Mar 10, 2023 | Medical Malpractice | 0 comments

Medical malpractice can result in severe injuries and long-term health problems for patients. If you signed a medical waiver before receiving treatment, you may think you have no legal recourse. However, in New Mexico, waivers may not necessarily protect healthcare providers from all types of medical malpractice claims. If a medical provider failed to uphold a standard of care or was grossly negligent, you may be eligible to seek compensatory damages with the help of a medical malpractice lawyer

At Dominguez Law, we provide fierce representation for victims of medical malpractice in New Mexico. We know how life-altering and traumatic a medical injury can be, so we are dedicated to helping you obtain the compensation you deserve while holding the negligent party accountable for the harm they have caused. Let us guide you through the legal process while you focus on your recovery. 

What Is a Signed Medical Waiver? 

A signed medical waiver, also known as a medical release form or informed consent form, is a legal document that a patient signs before receiving medical treatment or procedures. By signing the waiver, the patient acknowledges that they understand the possible risks and benefits of the treatment or procedure and that they agree to undergo the treatment or procedure voluntarily. 

The following language may be used in a medical waiver: 

  • “I understand the risk of the procedure”
  • “Side effects or risks may include…” 
  • “The consent, waiver, and release shall be legally binding on the patient”
  • “Release and bar to any claim” 

The waiver typically includes information such as the nature and purpose of the medical treatment or procedure, the potential side effects and risks, the likelihood of success, alternative methods, and the patient’s right to refuse treatment. Waivers are often overly general in an attempt to cover any injuries or losses. Because of this, waivers may not always be enforceable. There are limitations to waiving rights and how a contract can be enforced. 

Signing a medical waiver does not necessarily mean that a patient gives up their legal rights in the event of medical malpractice. However, the specific language of the waiver and the circumstances surrounding the medical treatment or procedure can impact a patient’s ability to pursue a legal claim. Speak with the experienced medical malpractice lawyers at Dominguez Law for an assessment of your claim. 

How to Take Legal Action if You Signed a Medical Waiver? 

When signing a waiver before a treatment or procedure, you are essentially signing a legally binding contract. In a medical waiver, you sign an agreement with a physician or other medical provider performing a procedure based on a specific condition that you will not pursue a claim against them if something goes wrong. 

Even if you agree to certain terms at the time of signing a waiver, some contracts are not enforceable due to 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 various reasons why a medical waiver may not be enforceable. If you suffered harm as a result of medical treatment or procedure, you should consult with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer to evaluate the specific circumstances of your case. 

Speak With the Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Dominguez Law 

If you suffered harm due to medical malpractice after signing a waiver, it is natural to feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next. While signing a medical waiver can make it more challenging to pursue a legal claim for medical malpractice, it does not necessarily mean that you waived your legal rights entirely. At Dominguez Law, we hold medical providers accountable for breaching the standard of care, regardless of whether a patient signed a waiver. 

Our compassionate and aggressive team can determine whether you have grounds to pursue a medical malpractice claim by evaluating the specific circumstances of your case and guiding you through the legal process so you can obtain the compensation you deserve. Schedule a complimentary consultation by calling (505) 850-5854 or filling out our contact form. We are fluent in Spanish and English.