Modern technology helps patients in need of medical devices; however, these devices are not always perfect. Defective medical devices can lead to serious injuries and even fatalities. Patients that rely on these devices are often forced to deal with medical bills, lost wages, and other losses. Medical products liability claims are often complicated, so a victim should contact a lawyer right away.
A medical device is a product that helps a medical professional treat patients. Common medical devices include:
Medical devices have a level of risk when using them. Some devices have a higher risk than others. In fact, all medical devices are divided into three classes. The Medical Device Regulations Act helped create the three classes to determine the amount of government regulation that each medical device needs to stay safe for patients. The following classes include:
Class I: If a medical device is in Class I, it does not have a high risk of hurting patients. Some medical devices that are in Class I include bandages and enema kits. Nearly half of all medical devices are considered Class I, and most of the devices are not heavily regulated.
Class II: Class II medical devices have a medium risk of hurting patients. Due to this risk, they also have more regulations than a Class I medical device. Some Class II devices include wheelchairs and pregnancy tests. Forty-three percent of all medical devices are Class II devices.
Class III: Class III medical devices pose the highest risk for a patient. This is because most Class III medical devices are implanted in the body. Many of them are life-saving for a patient. Due to their class, they have the highest level of regulation. Only 10 percent of medical devices are Class III devices. An example of a Class III device is a pacemaker.
When patients are injured by defective medical devices, they should consider filing medical products liability lawsuits against product manufacturers. Similarly, the victim could file lawsuits against suppliers, distributors, and retailers. The defendant for the lawsuit depends on the following:
Design Defects: A design defect likely means that the design did not cater to a wide variety of patients. A design defect is not always dangerous for the user. However, if a patient does obtain an injury from a design defect, they should file a lawsuit.
Manufacturing Defects: A medical device could also become defective during the manufacturing process. This could happen for several reasons, like machinery flaws or human error. When a device becomes defective during this process, it might not be noticeable in its outward appearance. Instead, the inside of the device could face damage, leading to injury.
Marketing Defects: Marketing could also make a medical device defective. When a medical device is sold, marketing representatives show doctors its purpose and how to use it. It is crucial that the representatives mention the risks, the benefits, and how to properly implant. If the representative fails to properly train the medical professionals, it could lead to serious injury or even death.
A victim filing a lawsuit must prove several things to prevail. Doing this helps hold liable parties accountable for the victim’s injury.
First, the victim must prove that they sustained an injury. The injury the victim sustained is likely dependent on their condition and the medical device used.
Next, the victim must prove that the medical device was defective. A medical device could face defects from marketing, design, or manufacturing.
Then, the victim must prove that their injury was directly related to the defect in the medical device. An injury may occur from a failed implant, the device breaking, metal poisoning, among other things.
Finally, the victim needs to prove that they faced damages as a result of the injury. Damages might include medical bills, lost wages, or pain and suffering.
After the victim sustains the injury, they should prepare to file a defective medical device lawsuit. To do this, the victim should contact a lawyer. A lawyer can help a victim determine the value of their case, collect crucial evidence, and maximize damages. A lawyer can also help a victim looking to focus on their medical recovery instead of a legal battle.
After hiring a lawyer, the victim should start collecting their medical records. These records should include the initial diagnosis and the prescribed medical device for treatment. A victim should also gather medical records after the injury to help determine the victim’s total damages.
The victim should also hold on to the packaging. Similarly, the victim should also keep the defective medical device. This will be used as evidence for the victim’s case. Victims should note that medical providers may want to look at the devices, however, they should insist on keeping them after analysis. Collecting these items helps a victim recover damages for their losses related to the injury.
To find the value of a defective medical device case, a few things must be considered. First, the victim and their lawyer will determine the total losses that the victim endured. Losses may include economic ones, like medical bills or lost wages, or non-economic ones, like pain and suffering. The settlement should ultimately reflect the total amount of the victim’s losses.
For the total amount of damages, the lawyer will first look at any receipts, bills, or prior pay stubs. Therefore, it is crucial for victims to collect any physical evidence to support their claim.
When dealing with non-economic losses, like pain and suffering, the victim must rely on their lawyer’s expertise when determining a fair price. The lawyer will likely look at former cases to familiarize themself with fair settlement offers and total awards given to victims of defective medical device lawsuits.
The victim can also maximize the amount of damages by having as many defendants as possible in their case. In a defective medical device case, the victim could sue the product manufacturer, the marketing representative, the retail supplier, or even the doctor. The more defendants, the higher the total damages will be. It also helps hold these parties accountable.
Damages may also be maximized if there are punitive damages. If a guilty party was especially negligent or even intentional in their actions, they may be required to pay punitive damages to the victim. These damages are separate from their total losses and are aimed to punish the defendant for their behavior. The goal is to ultimately prevent the defendant from repeating the mistake in the future by making them pay a high price.
Hiring a lawyer helps a victim determine a fair settlement offer. They also help maximize the victim’s entitled damages. Finally, lawyers can help victims hold guilty parties accountable for their actions or inactions that led to the injuries. Therefore, contacting a lawyer is in the victim’s best interests, both financially and emotionally.
If you sustained an injury from a defective medical device, you need to contact one of our Philadelphia defective medical device lawyers at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler. We understand the unique challenges victims of defective medical devices face. Our lawyers hold medical device manufacturers accountable for losses, including medical bills and lost wages. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 215-569-4000. Located in Philadelphia, we proudly serve clients throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including Delaware County, Chester County, and Philadelphia County.