The use of medical devices such as pacemakers, defibrillators, blood glucose meters, and pregnancy tests is very common in the United States. These devices help people with different medical conditions and even those who want to monitor their fertility. The ones who use pacemakers and defibrillators depend on these devices to keep their vital organs functioning well. If these devices fail to perform their function, people will be placed in a life threatening situations.
Numerous pacemakers and defibrillators have been reported as defective, hence they were recalled. Due to these incidences, many people were placed in danger or some died.
Image attributed to Wikimedia.org USDA gov
If you know someone who experienced medical device malfunction that may have resulted in serious injury or death, you should find a lawyer, specifically the personal injury lawyer. These persons can inform of your legal rights as they specialize in product liability cases. A personal injury lawyer will assess your situation thoroughly before determining the most suitable action to help you attain the compensation for the damages incurred.
Laws that Protect the Consumers
There are a number of laws that protect the consumers against medical device malfunction. These laws are helpful and they really give consumers enough protection; however, they differ in every state. This directly affects how a person’s case will be handled. The personal injury lawyer is the expert in establishing a case based on the state where the plaintiff lives, various legal theories, and details of the claim.
The first one is the strict liability which deals with all kinds of defective devices. This means that a person will not be required to prove that there has been negligence in the manufacturing of the product. The defective device is enough to make the manufacturer liable. Today, many of those cases filed succeeded in court and complainants have received financial compensation for their loss.
The second one is negligence. Even though strict liability has already been applied, the person may also apply negligence. This is possible if the person who complains can provide concrete proof that the medical device provider made errors when manufacturing the product.
The third one is breach of warranty. There have been incidents before, where individuals have filed complaints against a manufacturer stating that the manufacturer misled the FDA. They add that the manufacturers did not strictly follow the FDA rules on representing a medical device’s function.
Types of Claims and Compensations
There are two types of claims that FDA lawyers may file in the court. These are personal injury and wrongful death claims. These claims may be combined. Personal injury claim is filed if a person has been physically harmed or injured by the medical device. On the other hand, a claim of wrongful death is filed when a person died due to a malfunctioning device.
Once the claim was ruled upon by the court, the complainant will be eligible to have financial compensation for medical and rehabilitation expenses, loss of future income, and death related damages. Aside from the financial benefit, the court may also award exemplary damages to the plaintiff to punish the manufacturer. This is done to avoid future complaints with the same nature.
Due to the complexity of filing claims to the court, it is best that you hire a personal injury attorney. They will assess every detail of your complaint and find the most appropriate claim to file in the court.