Have You Been Put In Danger By A Defective Medical Device?0
Each year millions of people in the United States make use of medical devices for a wide range of medical conditions. These devices can assist patients with many different things including monitoring blood glucose levels, helping with eyesight, regulating heart rhythms, and even monitoring fertility. Individuals who make use of devices such as defibrillators, and pacemakers rely on these devices to keep vital organs operating properly in order to keep them healthy and alive. If the device does not work properly, or if the device fails completely, the patient is placed in great danger.
Many medical devices have come a long way in recent years, yet a high number of them, especially implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD) and pacemakers, have been found to be defective and have been recalled. Because of these defects, thousands of people have been injured or killed. Two of the main manufactures of some of the most recently recalled devices are amongst the top medical device manufacturers, and include: Medtronic, Inc., and Guidant Corporation.
If you or someone you know has suffered an injury or has lost their life because of a Medtronic ICD, Medtronic pacemaker, Guidant ICD, Guidant pacemaker, or other type of medical device that has been found to be defective, you should contact a personal injury attorney to find out what legal rights you have. These attorneys specialize in the area of product liability and are quite familiar with these types of cases. He or she will fully assess your situation and determine the best course of action to help you achieve compensation for your damages.
There have been a high number of state and federal regulations and laws put into place to help protect the American consumer from products and medical devices that are faulty or defective. While these laws can be quite helpful and offer a good amount of protection, they do vary a great deal from state to state, which can impact how your case is handled. Your lawyer will establish your case on a number of different legal theories depending on the details of your claim as well as your place of residence.
One area of the law that is taken into consideration is known as strict liability. This area is also deals with product liability and covers all types of defective products. All cases that have to do with product liability center on the laws of strict liability, which simply means that the victim does not have to be able to prove that the responsible party acted in a negligent manner. When strict liability can be applied, the mere fact that the product was defective is all that is needed to find the manufacturer or distributor of the product accountable. In recent years, there have been thousands of successful cases of victims bringing companies responsible for defective medical devices to court. These cases resulted in either a settlement or other type of court ruling where monetary compensation was obtained.
Another area of the law that is taken into consideration with these types of claims is negligence. Even in cases where strict liability can be applied, there are times when negligence can also be applied. One such example of this is if the victim can prove that the manufacturer of the device committed errors that were known to be negligent and caused harm that could have been avoided.
Other theories can also be explored in some cases. For example, some people have filed lawsuits against medical device manufacturers based upon the argument that the manufacturer knowingly mislead the FDA or did not follow the instructions set forth by the FDA to properly represent the function of the device. A claim may also be filed in product liability cases that are based upon breach of warranty.
The facts and exact situation that surrounds the details of your personal case will dictate how your lawsuit for a defective medical device is handled, and exactly which laws or legal theories will be used. A personal injury attorney is the best person to determine this information as he or she has in-depth knowledge of the law and can decide the very best way to proceed. Since statutes of limitation do apply in the majority of states, it is critical that you consult with a personal injury attorney as quickly as possible if you feel as though you have been the victim of a defective medical device.
The exact type of claim that your attorney will file will depend on the particular details of your case. If you have suffered physical harm, your attorney will most likely file a claim of personal injury. If the person who has been harmed by the device has died, the surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death claim that seeks damages for the cost of the decedent’s medical expenses, death costs, as well as for loss of companionship and future income. These claims are usually combined into one single claim.
When your claim has been filed, and when it has been ruled upon, you may be entitled to receive monetary compensation for a variety of issues including: current, past, and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, the cost of rehabilitative treatments, a loss of income, a loss of a loved one, and various other damages that may be related.
Furthermore, if the jury determines that the manufacturer acted in a manner that is considered to be egregious, punitive damages may also be awarded. These damages are meant to punish the responsible party in the hope that future cases of a similar nature will not occur.
Since these cases can be quite complex in nature, and because the laws can vary a great deal from state to state, you should never try to file this type of claim on your own. Recent rulings on similar cases at the Supreme Court level may also affect the outcome of your case. The best way to proceed is to utilize the specialized services of a personal injury attorney who can manage every detail for you. You have already suffered enough; you should not gamble with your future.