If you choose to accept to have an operation or take a medication that is supposed to make you feel better, you expect it to work, but you understand that it may have some side effects. However, you also expect it to be properly tested and not cause permanent disability or life-altering consequences beyond being ineffective. Above all, it should never cause further injury- or worse.
You should be able to trust your doctors, surgeons, and the medications you take or devices you rely on. The problem is, unfortunately, that some things slip through the cracks. Doctors and medical professionals are just as human as the rest of us, and they can make mistakes, too. In the case that they do, your health may be put in jeopardy. Perhaps it already has been.
When a medical product has failed or caused a health concern beyond what it was supposed to help, you deserve to be compensated for that error and any discomfort you have been caused. You trusted your health, perhaps even your life, to a product that was supposed to have been tested and it failed. Below you will learn about your options now- how long do you have to file? Do you have a case? How can you hire or afford an attorney? How much compensation could you receive?
Do You Have a Medical Product Liability Case?
Determining how strong your case is, is best done by a qualified attorney. However, if a medical device, medication, or other medical product has failed in a way that has damaged your health you most likely have a case.
Medical Liability Cases May Involve:
- Surgical Equipment
- Medications and Supplements
- Implants and Grafting Materials
- Other Treatments and Devices
Any medical product could potentially malfunction or produce a result other than what was intended. Sometimes these consequences are completely unforeseen. Even if your doctor thinks this may be an exception to the rule, or if you are being discouraged from seeking compensation for a malfunction or lack of testing, you should consult with an attorney. If any product has led to additional pain and suffering in your life, you have a right to seek compensation. The legal systems exist for a good reason and you have every reason to take advantage of them.
The Difference Between Defective Medical Products and Malpractice
Sometimes when things fail or go awry in a medical capacity, it isn’t the fault of the product itself. As mentioned above, doctors are only human, and medicine is a complex field. Sometimes they make mistakes and, occasionally, they take risks that they shouldn’t. For this reason, it is possible that when you pursue compensation for any additional injury or discomfort, you will file for malpractice in addition to or instead of what you may have first considered a product liability case.
Statistically, 7 out of 10 doctors will be sued for malpractice at least once in their career. Though not all of those suits will be for a good cause, and though you may like your doctor or surgeon, mistakes can be made. Further, as technology is used in greater capacity for a variety of treatments and to great success in many instances, it’s easy for a doctor to push for a treatment that should be “the next best thing.” However, though their heart was in the right place, using something before it has been thoroughly tested or proven as standard practice comes with additional risk.
The territory gets even murkier when you consider if and how that risk is conveyed to you or the patient. Were you told that something was likely to go wrong? Was it made clear? Was the product advertised as standard issue even if it was new and relatively untested? These points can influence the outcome of your case as well, even if your case is against the product manufacturer. False or blatantly misleading advertising is as serious as a negligent manufacturing process.
The Types of Compensation You Could Receive
Depending on your situation the kind of compensation you receive should you win your case can vary widely. In nearly every case, all medical expenses will be paid in full. Further, expenses for life adjustments may be paid, as well as those for additional care or compensation for disability.
What Are My Options If I Am Seeking Compensation on Behalf of Another?
If a loved one has been incapacitated, become too ill to seek help on their own, or even died due to a defective medical product you should consult a qualified attorney immediately. In most cases, if a family member or friend is taking over a case they will need additional legal guidance as different rules may apply and vary from state to state. Further, any case involving death or the inability of the one injured to testify can substantially increase its complexity.
How an Attorney Can Help
An attorney will do more for you than just fill out the proper forms. He/she will advise you on the best course of action as well as any other options. If you are ever offered a settlement or form, they can explain if it’s standard practice, a fair deal, or explain why you should pursue another course of action.
Before you choose an attorney, consider their experience. Ask them if they have taken on cases similar to yours and if they can give you the gist of how those cases concluded. Can they go through the process with you? How long should it take for you to see results? Ask about their fee, too. Do they take a percentage or a flat fee? Talking to more than one attorney is expected. If you aren’t confident after your initial consultation, move on.
Deadlines and Resources
You only have so much time to file, and it can vary from state to state and depend on the complexity of your case. Having a qualified attorney on your side who has experience dealing with Medical Product Liability cases can keep you on track when it comes to evidence gathering and paperwork submission.
Remember, in most states you have two years to file for compensation from the time a mistake has been made. In other states, you may have more or less time. You can find out more about the statute of limitations for medical products in your state below:
Other resources where you can find out more about recently recalled medical products can be found below:
The FDA Posts a List of Medical Device Recalls
The FDA Posts a List of Medication Recalls
If a Medical Product has Caused You Harm, You Deserve Help
Medical products should be designed to help, not hurt. Testing should ensure that. The fact is, however terrible, some products slip through the cracks. These mistakes can cause irreparable harm to people’s lives. As technology advances and the cost of investing in it increases, corners may be cut. In the last ten years alone, medical recalls have nearly doubled. Risking lives to increase profits is unacceptable and as the numbers continue to climb it is evident that these are not just simple mistakes.
If your life, or the life of someone you love, has been disrupted by a defective medical product or a negligent medical practitioner, you deserve help and compensation. By contacting an attorney that specializes in medical product liability, you will be able to get that help faster and with less stress than going through this process on your own.