If you noticed the number of medical product recalls these days, you will no doubt be concerned. We trust those products will help, not harm us.
Medical products liability is an issue that scares a great number of people, and rightly so. We trust that the makers of these products have done a good job, have tested them, made sure they will not harm us and that we can rely on them to help us with whatever condition we have. Imagine the shock and horror if we find out our pacemaker offers electrical shocks that disrupt the heart’s rhythm or stops the heart or that our hip implant shreds metal into our joints and necessitates more surgery.
What does a patient do when they find out that something implanted in their body, supposedly medically safe and designed to help them, actually causes more problems, serious injury or even death? Typically, the best thing to do is to contact a Cleveland medical malpractice lawyer and discuss your case with him. Each case is different and not all bad outcomes with a doctor are medical malpractice. Your situation would need the skill of a highly trained med mal lawyer to assess your circumstances and the outcome.
Before proceeding with a medical malpractice or product liability lawsuit, you need to find out what are acceptable grounds for filing a claim. For example, you may file if the cause of your injury had a design defect, a manufacturing defect or defective or inadequate warnings.
Do not wait too long to talk to a skilled Cleveland medical malpractice lawyer, because every state has a statute of limitations that dictates when you need to file your claim. If you miss that deadline, your action is barred. Also remember, the sooner you file, the more time the lawyer has to research and build your case.
Whom do you name in your lawsuit? Often that is a difficult question to answer right away, at least until the lawyer has time to assess your case. There may be more people than you would expect. For instance the lawsuit may be filed against the doctor, the nurses, hospital, the maker of the product, the distributor of the product and the seller of the product. There may be more, but the lawyer will be able to sort that out based on the case details.
Of course, the most critical question is how is product liability proven? In many states, cases like this are founded in the doctrine of strict liability. Your lawyer will instruct you on what that means should it be applicable to your case, but it basically boils down to him or her proving the defect in the medical product was the cause of your injuries.
One question that most victims ask relates to damages, as in what damages may they expect should they have a case and it goes to trial? Should the case go to court and product liability is proven, the plaintiff may typically recover compensatory damages, which would include medical expenses, lost wages, physical, mental and emotional pain as well as punitive damages.
The one thing to remember with medical malpractice cases, and particularly those involving a defective medical device, is that claims like this generally need the testimony of experts. This may mean the case takes months or years to be resolved. If you go into the process of filing a lawsuit with the right kind of knowledge, you will understand the process and be able to cope with how the case is proceeding.