Advances in modern technology allow people with injuries and diseases to live longer and better lives. Medical devices can manage symptoms, reduce pain, and improve quality of life. Unfortunately, they can also cause injuries. When that happens, you may be able to hold the manufacturer financially responsible for their careless actions.
If the manufacturer misled consumers in any way or hid the dangers of their product, they should be held accountable for their actions. When you trust the medical industry and expect that your medical device – or surgery implanting a medical device – will address a critical medical issue, and it ends up causing more harm, the experience is unquestionably emotionally as well as physically traumatic.
Examples of just a few of the medical devices that may have caused you harm include:
- IVC filters
- Calaxo® Bone Screw
- Bair Hugger Warming Blanket
- Transvaginal Mesh
- Cypher Stent
- Guidant Heart Defibrillator
- Hip replacements
If you’ve been harmed by a defective medical device, contact the injury lawyers of DeMayo Law Offices, today. We’ll leverage our experience in this highly specialized area, as well as our comprehensive resources, to concretely identify fault and build a strong case on your behalf. We’ve done so for numerous clients, and we can help you, too. Call us today at (704) 333-1000 or contact us online.
Determining Liability in a Defective Medical Device Case
Claims and lawsuits for defective medical devices fall under the category of product liability. In a product liability case, the goal is to hold a seller or manufacturer legally responsible for providing a defective product to a consumer. If the defective product causes an injury to the consumer, anyone within the distribution chain could face civil action.
There are no product liability laws on the federal level, so claims usually follow specific state laws. There are three types of product liability cases:
Design defect: A defect existed in the actual product design, which means the entire line of products contained flaws and shouldn’t be available to consumers in the first place.
Manufacturing defect: A manufacturing defect occurs when the product has a proper design, but an issue during the manufacturing process caused a defect. It could happen to entire product lines or a small group from a specific year or facility.
Failure to warn: All products on the market must come with adequate warning labels. Consumers use dangerous products every day, and that’s okay as long as the manufacturer warns its consumers of the potential risks. Companies that hide the dangers of their products from consumers could face a failure to warn claim.
To prove liability under any of the above elements, you must be able to prove the following:
- The company owed you a reasonable duty of care;
- They breached their duty;
- Their breach directly caused your injuries; and
- You suffered damages as a result.
How Manufacturers Get Away With Selling Dangerous Medical Devices
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is supposed to regulate products on the market and ensure their safety. Unfortunately, many pharmaceutical companies and other manufacturers fall short on testing, and some have even found a way to skip the testing phase and go straight to selling their medical devices to consumers. Instead of testing for adverse reactions and its safety, they’re essentially using patients as guinea pigs.
Johnson & Johnson came out with a metal-on-metal hip implant that never went through a clinical trial to test whether it was safe. All the company had to do was use the FDA’s 510(k) approval process, which allowed them to show how their implant had similar components to others on the market, which enabled them to bypass comprehensive trials or testing. There was eventually a recall of the device after people got hurt from it and filed lawsuits against the company.
What Should I Do If My Medical Device Injured Me?
There are essential steps you should follow to secure your rights to compensation from the manufacturer.
- Keep the device that caused your injury as evidence. Do not dispose of it.
- Notify your doctor and seek treatment.
- Hire a Charlotte defective medical device lawyer.
- Keep copies of prescribed medication, imaging reports, hospital and physician records, out of pocket expenses, and anything else related to the injury and treatment.
- Take photos of visible injuries.
- Write down the names and contact information of people who witnessed you using the medical device and the negative impact it had on your life.
DeMayo Law Offices will file an insurance claim on your behalf to seek a full and fair settlement for you. You deserve compensation for the expenses you incurred and the suffering you had to endure. When you hire us, we will immediately investigate the circumstances surrounding your injury to determine who was at fault.
Manufacturing companies typically carry liability insurance policies with a significant amount of coverage. Liability covers a victim’s damages when they become injured by the company’s product. Filing a claim with them could result in a settlement reimbursing you for losses such as surgical costs, physical therapy, and psychological distress.
What Damages Can I Recover in a Defective Medical Device Claim?
If you’re able to prove you incurred damages because of the injury your medical device caused, you could potentially win compensation from the insurance company or directly from the responsible party in a lawsuit.
Economic damages are expenses someone incurs after an accident or injury. They include expenses such as:
- Lost wages and loss of future earning capacity
- Medical bills
- Prescription costs
- Out of pocket expenses
Non-economic damages are intangible losses that don’t hold a monetary value. Examples include:
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent scarring or disfigurement
- Emotional distress
Punitive damages are unlike economic and non-economic damages in that they don’t reimburse the victim for their expenses and suffering. Instead, it’s a punishment issued against the liable party and aims to prevent them from doing the same thing to someone else in the future.
Statute of Limitations for Filing a Lawsuit
At DeMayo Law Offices, we will try to settle the matter out of court through an insurance claim with the company’s liability insurance carrier. If we’re unable to reach a settlement agreement with the medical device company’s insurance, or they deny the claim, we’ll move forward with a lawsuit.
It’s important to note that all states issue a statute of limitations for product liability cases. The statute of limitations in North Carolina is three years. You only have three years from the date your medical device caused your injury to pursue compensation from the manufacturer. The court system strictly enforces this deadline, and if two years pass, it will be nearly impossible to file a civil action for this matter.
Should I Hire a Charlotte Defective Medical Device Lawyer?
Yes. Anyone can file a claim alone; however, seeking legal representation will give you a better chance of winning a full and fair settlement. Individuals who move forward with their defective medical device case without an attorney by their side are often taken advantage of by the insurance company.
Insurance companies work hard to save money and will probably try to intimidate you into accepting a small amount of compensation to make the claim go away quickly. If you’re not familiar with product liability laws, you won’t know how much money you’re entitled to.
DeMayo Law Offices is fully capable of ensuring you receive the maximum financial award in an insurance claim or a lawsuit. Your injury might affect your daily life and prevent you from working or performing routine tasks. The last thing you want to worry about is handling a legal case. When you hire us, we’ll take care of everything for you.
We can handle every step of the process, including:
- Filing a claim or lawsuit on your behalf
- Speaking to eyewitnesses
- Obtaining a copy of the liability insurance policy
- Requesting your medical records
- Submitting evidence to the insurance company
- Negotiating a settlement
- Preparing your case for trial, if necessary
How Much Does an Attorney Cost?
It’s overwhelming enough dealing with the injustice of using a medical device that the manufacturer knew was unsafe. You probably already spent hundreds or thousands of dollars on medical treatment, missed days at work because of your pain, and don’t know how to recover from your injury while supporting your family.
DeMayo Law Offices will make sure you don’t suffer financially any further than you already have. With our contingency fee agreement, you won’t have to pay upfront fees or costs. When we settle your case or reach a favorable jury verdict, we’ll take a percentage of the compensation for our legal fees. If we don’t win your case, you won’t owe us anything.
We also offer a free initial consultation, so there’s no risk or obligation to discuss your case with us. One of our Charlotte defective medical device lawyers will review all the details and let you know your options to pursue compensation. We’ll be happy to answer all your questions and guide you in the right direction. You need a knowledgeable and experienced attorney to help you make the best decision for your situation.
Choose DeMayo Law Offices
At DeMayo Law Offices, our legal team has a combined experience of over 150 years. We have the resources, skills, and knowledge to fight for our clients and make sure we reach their goals. We dedicate our time and attention to each case we work on and will always treat you like a priority. You can depend on us to keep the lines of communication open, so you always know the status of your case and never feel abandoned.
Our Charlotte personal injury lawyers understand this particular practice area and the tactics that are the most successful. You suffered long enough, and it’s our goal to resolve your case efficiently so you can move forward with your life. Call us today at (704) 333-1000 if you sustained an injury from your medical device – we can help you seek monetary compensation from the manufacturer.
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