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Law Updates

Be Careful What You Sign When Entering the Hospital or Doctor’s Office

It is standard practice to sign any document put in front of you when you are seeking medical care. “Sign here, here and here” are common words when entering the hospital or doctor’s office. And why shouldn’t you blindly sign any document put in front of you? After all, you trust your hospital and doctor. Right? But what is sometimes lurking behind these documents is a waiver of your Constitutional Right to a jury trial without you even knowing what you are signing.

For example, if you are rendered a quadriplegic due to the hospital’s negligence , and you signed a paper when you were admitted to the hospital agreeing to arbitration, you may be prevented from taking your case to a jury trial. The best advice is to read what you are signing. If you don’t understand a provision, refuse to sign the document. You can put a line through any contract provision you do not agree to before signing the document.

If the hospital or doctor’s office refuses to treat you if you refuse to sign, then you have a choice to switch hospital’s or doctor’s offices. Of course, sometimes you may be in an emergency situation. In such a case, you may be under undue duress forcing you to sign or else not get treatment. This would create an argument for your future attorney to invalidate the agreement. You have the right to medical treatment without having to give up your Constitutional Rights.

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