New Jersey Lack of Informed Consent Attorney

A doctor holding the hand of a patient

Nagel Rice LLP handles a great many New Jersey medical malpractice cases, some of which are based on the fact that the doctor failed to obtain informed consent from the patient. Failure to obtain informed consent before treatment is a type of medical malpractice. If you have suffered harm as a result of a procedure or surgical intervention to which you never gave written consent, you owe it to yourself to contact one of the skilled lack of informed consent attorneys in either our Roseland or Manhattan office.

What Our Lack of Informed Consent Attorneys Will Do to Help

Our medical malpractice attorneys have a well-earned reputation for strong investigative skills, a thorough examination of details, conducting productive witness interviews, checking past histories of defendants, and consulting with highly regarded experts in pertinent medical fields. More than that, our lawyers are known for their comprehensive knowledge of New Jersey law, and their sharp negotiation and litigation skills.

What Is Informed Consent?

In order to give “informed consent,” a patient must have had all pertinent facts disclosed to them before agreeing to a medical procedure. This means that the doctor has thoroughly conveyed all benefits and risks and revealed the steps that the patient will go through during the process. The doctor should also ask if the patient has questions and provide answers in language the patient is able to understand. The patient must provide informed consent voluntarily, without coercion.

Topics That Should Be Covered as Part of Full Disclosure

These include:

  • Explanation of the diagnosis and why this particular medical procedure is needed
  • Whether there are alternative methods of treating this condition, what the benefits/risks of the alternative methods are, and why the doctor is recommending this procedure
  • Risks and potential side effects associated with this procedure
  • Anticipated benefits of this procedure
  • Benefits and risks of refusing the procedure 

It is important to note that although if patients are not provided with the above data, they will be unable to make “informed” decisions, in order to file a medical malpractice claim, the failure to give informed consent must have resulted in injury.

When Are New Jersey Doctors Required to Obtain Informed Consent?

Clearly, doctors do not have to obtain written consent to examine patients or to take their vital signs. They are, however, required to obtain informed consent for:

  • Non-emergency treatment
  • Invasive diagnostic procedures 
  • Participation in medical research

These categories include most surgeries, blood transfusions, anesthesia, radiation treatments or chemotherapy, vaccinations, and some blood tests. In cases in which the patient is a minor or deemed incompetent to give consent, written permission must be obtained from a parent or guardian. 

How Medical Malpractice Due to Lack of Informed Consent Is Proven

The key consideration for the court is whether a reasonable and prudent person provided with the required information would have agreed to accept the treatment or undergo the procedure. When you come to the dedicated lack of informed consent attorneys at Nagel Rice for a free consultation, though results are never guaranteed, we will be able to determine whether you have a viable claim and will charge you no attorneys’ fees until we recover damages.

If you never signed a consent form, or if you were never informed about particular risks or side effects and have suffered personal injury as a result, you may well be successful in our fight to get you substantial compensation. The three factors of lack of informed consent we must prove are:

  1. Your physician performed a procedure on you without disclosing all the risks/alternatives
  2. Had you known about the risks/alternatives, you would not have chosen to have the procedure performed
  3. You suffered harm as a result

With one of our highly capable, compassionate attorneys working on your case, you will have the best chance of recovering the damages you deserve.

When is it Not Necessary in New Jersey

There are, as you might expect, some exceptions to the requirement of informed consent. This may occur in the following situations:

  • The patient is too frail physically or emotionally to be told all details of the procedure, i.e. the doctor fears it will worsen the patient’s condition
  • The procedure is urgent during an emergency
  • The patient is unable to give informed consent because they are unconscious or otherwise unable to communicate
  • The patient is a child whose parent or guardian is unavailable to give consent
  • The patient has mental limitations that prevent being fully informed and no guardian is available to give consent
  • Test procedures are necessary for mental health reasons & patient is unable to be cooperative
  • The patient states they don’t want to know the particulars of the procedure, fearing emotional distress, but will sign the consent form anyway, believing the procedure is necessary

Contact Our Experienced Lack of Informed Consent Attorneys Today

Unless you are in exceptional circumstances, you have a legal right to consent to or refuse medical treatment or procedures. If you believe you were denied that right and suffered personal injury as a result, you should contact a Nagel Rice medical malpractice attorney now. We will work tirelessly to recover the damages you deserve.

Nagel Rice LLP helps its clients with their lack of informed consent claims throughout New Jersey including Bergen County, Essex County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Morris County, Passaic County, and Sussex County.