Many people may be surprised to learn how easy it can be to enter into a contract or even how often they agree to something each day of their lives that could potentially have legal ramifications. If you buy a new cellphone, you probably power it on right away, skip all of the privacy statements, and quickly agree to all terms and conditions without reading what you’re agreeing to. You may encounter the same thing when visiting certain websites. Many of us have fallen into this practice.
When it comes to visiting our doctors or receiving medical treatment for an injury or medical illness, we tend to make much more effort to understand what we’re agreeing to. Because our health is so important and some procedures (even the most routine) carry a risk of harm, we have to agree, or consent, to the treatment we receive after being well-informed about the treatment, its risks, and any alternatives.
There are two common types of consent: express and implied. Each type of consent is appropriate in different circumstances.
What Is Express Consent?
When you go to a doctor’s appointment for a routine procedure, you will likely be given some documents to review. A nurse or doctor will likely go over these documents with you and then request your signature. They’ll usually inform you that when you sign the document, your signature means that you’ve been given the opportunity to review the documents, you understand what’s contained therein, and you consent to have the nurse or doctor perform the routine procedure on you.
This is known as express consent.
What Is Implied Consent?
On the other hand, if you’re rushed to a hospital by emergency medical services after being seriously injured in a truck accident, your consent to receive life-saving medical attention would be implied. You may be unconscious or not in your right state of mind, and because you need urgent medical help, doctors and other medical professionals at the emergency room will assume that you would want to be treated for your injuries.
This is implied consent. Someone’s consent can be implied from their actions in certain circumstances. As a non-medical example, suppose you go to a hair salon to get your hair colored and cut by a professional stylist. By simply going to the salon and sitting in the stylist’s chair, you imply your consent for them to perform this service.
What Is the Difference Between Express and Implied Consent?
The difference between express and implied consent is the type of communication used to give the consent. Express consent is given in writing (or verbally in less common cases), while implied consent is given by non-verbal communication (actions).
These two concepts are not straightforward. Express consent isn’t concrete just because it’s in writing. Particularly in medical circumstances, express consent given without proper information may not actually be express consent. And implied consent is even trickier because there’s no tangible way to prove whether consent was given or not or what the implied consent may have been given for.
Contact The Law Firm of Carlton F. Bennett, P.L.L.C., Today for Help With Your Claim or Case
The Virginia Beach injury lawyers at our firm have fought vigorously for our clients to get the compensation they deserved after being injured by individuals’ and companies’ wrongful actions. Whether through settlements or jury verdicts, our skills have led to the injured victims we represented obtaining millions of dollars for their injuries.
We’re here to help you pursue the compensation you may be owed to help you move forward with your life. Call The Law Firm of Carlton F. Bennett, P.L.L.C., today at 757-260-3675 or contact us via our online form to schedule a hassle-free, no-cost consultation with one of our dedicated lawyers.