Any time you suffer a serious injury, where someone else is to blame for the damage done, you will likely have questions about your ability to collect compensation. A serious injury can carry a heavy price tag. Having to pay the bill yourself may be beyond your financial means. If you were harmed by a defective medical device, there are many things you need to consider to determine if filing a lawsuit is the right option for you.
Determining Whether Your Case Is Valid
The first thing you will need to do when deciding whether you should bring a lawsuit against the device manufacturer is to determine if you have a solid case or not. The first step in determining the strength of your case will be to consult with a lawyer specializing in product liability.
A competent lawyer will review your case and make sure that you qualify for filing a lawsuit in this situation. Your lawyer will then proceed to review the evidence you have on your side and look at things from the other side to see what defenses the opposing counsel is likely to use.
Looking Into Similar Cases
Your lawyer will then look into whether there are open lawsuits against the manufacturer for the same defect that you have experienced. If there are already lawsuits in the works, you may consider legal representation for a mass tort claim rather than filing an individual lawsuit.
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Determining Liable Parties
The next thing your lawyer will do is to identify all parties that may be held responsible for your injury. A product liability case starts with the manufacturer. However, there are many other parties that could also be accountable for your injuries. Anyone along the line who handled the product could be a liable party if you were injured by a defective medical device.
Your doctor or the hospital where you had the device installed could also be liable parties if the defect was caused by an error in the installation of the device during surgery.
Burden of Proof
There is a heavy burden of proof upon the plaintiff in a defective medical device lawsuit against a manufacturer. In order to win, you must be able to prove a wide variety of things.
The first and easiest thing that you need to prove is that you suffered an injury.
The next step you must take is to prove that the device was defective. There are three different types of a product defect:
- Design defect
- Manufacturing defect
- Marketing defect
A design defect is a defect at the core of the product. Something about the way it was designed by the creators of the device is faulty, and it will always pose a risk because of this defect.
A manufacturing defect occurs when the product is of sound design. However, something in the manufacturing process causes the product to become defective. Sometimes this is a result of deliberate actions, having to do with replacing the required material with a cheaper alternative. Other times it is because of an error in equipment that causes the equipment to be manufactured incorrectly.
Manufacturing defects often don’t affect every product released but rather a batch or two manufactured when the equipment was malfunctioning before the problem was discovered and corrected.
A marketing defect occurs when a product is designed correctly and manufactured correctly but still carries a level of risk without any warning about the dangers. Some items are dangerous even when working properly, such as a power saw. Without proper warnings about the ways that the power saw can pose a danger, the product has a marketing defect.
After proving that the device is defective, you must show a connection between the product defect and your injury. You have to clearly be able to demonstrate that your injury resulted from the use of the defective product.
You also have to prove that you were using the product in the way in which it was intended to be used. Using a nail gun to pick your teeth would be an example of improper usage of a device, and the manufacturer would not be liable for damage done.
Filing a Lawsuit
If you are able to prove all of these points, then your lawyer will begin the process of bringing a case against the manufacturer of the defective medical device. If you have been harmed by a defective medical device, you have already suffered enough. You don’t deserve to face further hardship by having to pay for the damage done.