A Cleveland Attorney Explains Assumption of Risk in a Medical Malpractice Claim August 13, 2012.
Most patients know that any surgery or major medical procedure carries some form of risk. However, most patients don’t know that signing an informed consent form before undergoing treatment doesn’t eliminate them from being able to take legal action in the event of a mistake.
Assumption of risk in regards to a medical malpractice claim is a typical defense that a healthcare provider may use to refute your claim. Many doctors try to use this defense when a person elects to have surgery or another serious medical procedure despite its possible risks. If you signed paperwork "assuming" this risk, you may think that you do not have grounds to file a claim, but that may not be true.
The validity of your case all depends on the difference between a bad outcome and bad care. A bad outcome occurs when a patient is given the proper medical care, but the illness or issue is not resolved based on other underlying issues. Bad care comes into play when a healthcare professional fails to provide the proper standard of care or acts in a negligent manner, which results in injury or illness to the patient.
So even if you have signed a medical waiver — therefore assuming the risk of treatment — you are not signing in agreement to be given negligent care or to be the victim of a medical mistake.
You should be aware that doctors and other medical staff will have a team of lawyers on their side that will try to discredit your claim and take away your chance at compensation. This is why you cannot afford to take on a medical malpractice claim without the assistance and guidance of aClevelandmedical malpractice attorney. An attorney is the best option if you find yourself fighting a negligent doctor’s claim of assumption of risk in your case. Many doctors who find themselves being sued will try to counter the claim by insisting the patient knew the risks of treatment and agreed to it anyway.
However, your Cleveland attorney may nullify this defense if the following situations can be proven:
- the specific risks of the medical procedure (i.e. surgery or pharmaceutical use) were not clearly or fully disclosed to the patient;
- the healthcare professional responsible for treating the patient in question did not provide a reasonable standard of care;
- the healthcare professional acted in a malicious or reckless way; or
- the patient did not voluntarily enter or agree to a specific treatment.
If you and your attorney can prove that one or more of these circumstances led to your injury or illness, your chances of a favorable outcome increase in a case where assumption of risk is questioned. That’s why it’s important to gather as much evidence as you can, such as your medical records, prescription bottles, x-rays, etc.
Anytime you undergo medical treatment, you can expect a certain degree of risk or uncertainty. What you do not expect, and do not deserve, is negligent behavior on behalf of a healthcare professional.
If you believe a doctor or other medical personnel are responsible for an injury or illness you have sustained that has impacted your life financially, physically, and emotionally, then it is time to call a Cleveland medical malpractice attorney. The lawyers at Mellino Law Firm, LLC have experience with handling these types of cases and understand the predicament you may be in.
Don’t miss out on your chance to collect compensation because a team of hospital lawyers made you believe you are not entitled. Call us today at (440) 333-3800 to schedule a free consultation where an attorney can take a look at the details of your case and explain to you your legal rights and options.