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3 Common Questions About Medical Device Personal Injury Suits

On Behalf of | May 28, 2019 | Defective Products |

From defibrillators to hip replacement implants, advanced medical devices save and improve hundreds of thousands of lives a year. Unfortunately, devices meant to up your quality of life sometimes do the opposite. An injury from advanced medical devices can cause devastating changes to your quality of life. Medical device personal injury can come from the doctor or from the medical device manufacturers. 

Life-saving devices become destructive when a manufacturer creates a defective product. This can occur when they introduce a product without proper testing or fails to place proper warnings.

If you were the victim of a malfunctioning or defective medical device, read on. We’ll answer common questions about pursuing medical device claims and explain how a lawyer can help you recover just compensation.

1. Who Is Responsible for Your Injury?

Depending on the situation, multiple parties may be responsible for serious consequences caused by your defective medical device. The doctor and hospital might be responsible if they knew the device they implanted or the medical product they used was defective. The sales representative who marketed a device irresponsibly could share the blame. Additionally, as could a lab that improperly tested a device’s safety and function before approving it.

In each of these cases, the product’s manufacturer could also share the blame for your injury.

Because multiple parties can share the liability for your injury, each one will require a separate case. Your lawyer will work with you to file a personal injury suit against each defendant.

Thanks to the legal principle of joint and several liabilities, if one party can’t afford to pay the full compensation they owe you, the other defendants in the case may have to pay their portion and the portion the other party owes.

2. What Type of Defective Product Liability Claim Should You File?

The type of claim you pursue depends on what exactly went wrong with the device. The most common type of medical device claims is defectively manufactured product claims.

With these injury claims, you and your lawyer will demonstrate that your medical device was produced with a flaw that directly caused your injury, illness, or decreased quality of life.

These suits usually relate to a specific device — the one you used. Or was used in your operation. In contrast, when every device created by a manufacturer ends up defective, you’ll need to file a defective design claim. 

When you file this type of claim, it asserts that the product was flawed from the start. Since they impact the majority of people who used the device, defective design claims are often class-action lawsuits. For instance, the lawsuits for defective hernia mesh.

Finally, you can file a failure-to-warn claim, which asserts not that the product was defective but that the manufacturer didn’t give you, your doctor, or the hospital sufficient instructions, warnings, or information about the device to keep it from harming you.

Failure-to-warn claims can’t revolve around an obvious misuse of a device, like walking on a metal hip replacement before a doctor gives you the okay. Instead, they must relate to an issue a typical patient or doctor couldn’t have inferred about the device and its proper usage.

Bear in mind that if your medical device would have worked correctly if inserted properly, you’ll file a medical malpractice suit against the person who performed the surgery — not a defective product liability claim against the manufacturer, marketer, hospital, testing lab, and/or sales representative.

3. How Can a Lawyer Help?

The thought of filing a lawsuit against a large medical company — not to mention other parties involved, like hospitals and testing labs — can be overwhelming, especially if you’re still recovering from injuries related to a defective medical device.

A lawyer takes the legal burden from your shoulders so you can focus on getting better while their legal team talks to witnesses, prepare legal documents, and helps determine which parties you should sue.

Do you need legal assistance after a medical device-related injury? Are you in the Des Moines area? Schedule your free consultation with Galligan Law today, a law firm specializing in personal injury cases.