Medical devices offer lifesaving technology for millions of patients annually and can significantly improve life quality. However, like all products, medical devices sometimes fail, often due to a lack of adequate testing, poor quality materials and components, or a lack of proper quality-control procedures. The parties responsible for manufacturing, selling, using, or installing medical devices that fail and cause injury or death can be held liable for the economic and non-economic damages they cause to a patient.
The first step toward gaining compensation for damages in these cases is identifying the liable party. It takes an experienced and skilled medical malpractice attorney to determine where the liability lies in defective medical device lawsuits.
Defining Medical Devices
Any device used by medical professionals to treat a disease or injury or implanted in a patient for ongoing management of chronic conditions falls under the umbrella term of medical devices. Some common examples of medical devices include:
- Hernia mesh
- Contraceptive devices
- Blood clot filters
- Hearing aids
- Hip implants
Medical devices are also those instruments used during surgical procedures, medical treatments, and during in-hospital patient care.
Possible Liable Parties in Medical Device Failures and Injuries
There are many parties involved in medical devices between a product’s development and a patient’s usage. In order to determine liability, an investigation must prove at which step of the process an error occurred. Common liable parties in defective medical device cases include the following entities:
- Product designers
- Medical sales representative
- Medical testing facility
- Medical supplier or pharmacy
- Hospital, clinic, or other medical facilities
Despite the approval processes and clinical trials in place with the Food and Drug Administration, medical devices with dangerous flaws still reach the market. An attorney can investigate the accident to determine where and how the fault that led to the incident occurred. For instance, design flaws sometimes occur when devices that worked well for some time eventually deteriorate. Manufacturing problems may arise if a mistake occurred during manufacturing and missed the quality control safeguards. If false marketing occurred or marketing omitted proper safety warnings, then the marketing company may be the liable party. Doctors may be liable if they misused a device, failed to take a patient’s medical history into account, or failed to adequately warn a patient about potential problems, dangers, or risks associated with a medical device. In some cases, multiple parties may share liability in a defective medical device case.
Proving Liability and Gaining Compensation
In order to prove liability in a defective medical device case, a medical malpractice attorney in Boston must identify the party at fault and prove that the liable party or parties breached the care of duty they owed to the injured patient and that the failure directly resulted in the patient’s injury. Then they must show the economic and non-economic damages that the injury caused the patient.
Defective medical devices and medical device failure can cause substantial damages including:
- Medical expenses
- Future medical costs
- Lost wages
- Potential future income losses
- Pain and suffering and emotional distress
If you or a family member has been harmed by a defective medical device, it’s important to speak to a specialized Boston defective medical device attorney about your case in order to set you on the path to financial recovery so you can focus on your physical recovery.