Do You Know What to Do If You are Injured by a Defective Medical Device?
Medical devices are designed to help us when we are sick or have a medical need. We depend on these devices when we need surgery, for diagnostic testing, medical treatments, and various therapies. In some cases, we depend on medical devices to help us walk (knee and hip replacements) or to stay alive (PFO Occluder to prevent strokes). Medical devices are used in almost every aspect of the healthcare industry.
However, some medical devices can cause injuries or death because of a defect or other issue. When a defective medical device injures a person, the patient may have a product liability claim against the device manufacturer. Below we explain the steps that you should take if a defective medical device has injured you or a loved one.
Medical Malpractice or Product Liability?
The first step is to determine if your claim falls under medical malpractice laws or product liability laws. In some cases, a doctor can make a mistake by using the wrong device or installing the device incorrectly. In this case, your claim would probably be against the doctor under a medical malpractice claim. However, if the medical device has a defect or the manufacturer failed to issue adequate warnings of potential risks, your claim would be against the device’s manufacturer.
What is the Statute of Limitations?
Each state has a statute of limitations that restricts the time you have to file a claim for an injury. The deadlines vary from state to state. In addition, some states also have what is referred to as a “discovery rule.” The discovery rule states that your time to file a claim does not begin until you “discover” the injury.
Because a defective medical device claim may be filed in one or more states or the federal court system, it can be difficult to determine the correct statute of limitations that applies to your claim. Therefore, it is best to contact a product liability attorney as soon as you suspect that a defective medical device may have caused your injury.
Identifying the Liable Parties
One or more parties may be liable for damages in a product liability claim. For example, the designer could be liable if the defect is in the design. However, the manufacturer may be liable if it changed the designer’s specifications. In many cases, the same company is responsible for the design, manufacture, and distribution of the item. However, there could be multiple entities involved. It is important to identify each company that must be named in the claim and lawsuit.
In a product liability case, experts are often used to analyze the device to provide expert testimony to explain why the device is defective and how the defect causes an injury.
Additionally, the FDA regulation and history must be researched to determine if the FDA has issued any warnings and if the company followed all requirements for testing and marketing a medical device. The evidence in a product liability case can be very technical and difficult to obtain. In many cases, attorneys must subpoena records from several sources to track down key evidence.
Getting Help When a Defective Medical Device Causes an Injury
The product liability lawyers of The Fox Law Firm, P.C. have extensive experience handling defective medical device lawsuits. They understand how to investigate claims, identify liable parties, and obtain crucial evidence. Through many years of experience, the attorneys have built a network of resources and experts that can assist in proving these difficult cases.
For a free consultation with a defective medical device claims attorney, call 1-866-FOX-FIRM or 1-866-369-3476. We accept cases from across the country.