Legal Question in Personal Injury in Indiana

After outpatient surgery, the clinic asks you to sign as " responsible party" on the discharge instruction sheet, which includes the directive the patient not drive for 24 hours because of the sedative. If the outpatient drives a few hours later and causes an accident, can the person who assumed "responsible party" status by signing be sued for injuries or damages to either party in the collision? Or, is signing as "responsible party" only cover taking the outpatient off premises, absolving the clinic of liability?

Asked on 9/21/11, 12:04 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Jay Rigdon Rockhill Pinnick LLP
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If the outpatient drives a few hours later and causes an accident, can the person who assumed "responsible party" status by signing be sued for injuries or damages to either party in the collision? Successfully sued? No. (Anyone can be sued for anything).

Or, is signing as "responsible party" only cover taking the outpatient off premises, absolving the clinic of liability? It is designed to protect the clinic from a later claim that the patient was released in a temporarily disabled condition.

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9/21/11, 12:07 pm
Kenneth Wilk Rubino Ruman Crosmer & Polen
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Most likely, depending on the languarge of the papers signed by the "responsible party", said responsible party is only assuring the medical facility that the patient is being signed out properly and into someone's care.

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10/02/11, 2:39 pm

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