Every surgery comes with risk, but when you’re subjected to a surgery involving a defective medical device, the results can be devastating. If your medical device caused an injury, you may have the right to recover significant compensation. An experienced Houston medical device lawyer from Gibson Hill Personal Injury will advise you on your options and guide you through every step of the legal process.
The negligence of manufacturers puts people in harm’s way. When a surgeon places a medical device in your body, you should feel confident in its safety and efficacy. You should be able to trust that it will do its job and not cause adverse effects.
Unfortunately, many manufacturers release medical devices with defects or other issues. When they knowingly distribute a product that can hurt consumers, they assume liability for any injuries caused by those products.
The attorneys at Gibson Hill Personal Injury can help you recover the compensation you deserve after suffering an injury caused by a medical device. We have the skills and resources needed to take on the large companies manufacturing these defective devices, and win. Call our Houston medical device team today at (713) 659-4000 to schedule a free consultation. We’ll work tirelessly to maximize your financial recovery.
How Do Medical Devices Become Defective?
Manufacturers are required by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to notify the FDA of any existing defects in their medical devices. That includes any issues that can cause injury, illness, or death. Once notified, the FDA will publish a notice to the public, so they’re aware of possible adverse reactions.
Some of the popular medical devices found or alleged to have defects, and at the center of a number of lawsuits, include:
- Essure birth control device
- AMS Transvaginal Mesh
- Paragard IUD
- Surgical hernia mesh
- Hip and knee replacements
- Retrievable IVC filters
- Breast implants
- Pacemakers, heart valves, stents, and defibrillators
Despite the FDA’s monitoring of medical devices throughout the country and the requirement for them to be safe before marketing begins, often a medical device’s defect isn’t made known to the public or recalled until numerous patients have been injured by that product. When the FDA approves these products for medical professionals to use on their patients, there’s no guarantee that they won’t cause harm. The FDA also can’t monitor every doctor who uses these devices and might prescribe them for unintended uses.
Who Can I Hold Liable for My Injuries?
Product liability cases can be complicated and difficult to prove. Sometimes finding the cause of the defect along the manufacturing and distribution chain can be time-consuming and confusing. You have to investigate every party that came in contact with your medical device before you used it.
Depending on who was at fault for the defective device, you could potentially hold one of the following parties liable:
- Testing lab
- Medical sales representative
- Retail supplier
Your attorneys will thoroughly investigate your case to identify the party or parties who may be liable for your injuries.
How to Prove Negligence or Strict Liability
To center your medical device case around strict liability, you must prove the following:
- The device was unreasonably safe or dangerous during the design, manufacturing, or selling stage;
- The seller intended for the product to get to the consumer without any changes made to the device; and
- The victim sustained an injury from the defective medical device.
There are three types of defects under Texas law: design defects, manufacturing defects, and failure to warn. If any of these caused your injury or illness, you might have a solid case to move forward with.
Even if the consumer uses a device as intended, a design defect can cause physical harm. You must be able to show that the design is unsafe and:
- There’s a safer design that you could have used;
- It would have been financially and technologically reasonable to use that design; and
- The alternate design would have reduced the risk of injury while keeping most of the device’s utility and use.
Manufacturing defects typically occur during production or quality control. You don’t need to meet specific criteria to center your case around a manufacturing defect; however, you do have to demonstrate that a medical device defect exists.
Failure to Warn
Medical devices are also defective if the manufacturer fails to provide the proper warning label or instructions. For example, if there’s an unexpected or unforeseeable danger, there must be a warning label or statement included with the device. There also needs to be instructions to reduce the risk of injury if you need to use it in a certain way.
Negligence cases are common when it comes to defective medical devices. To prove the manufacturer was negligent, you have to show the following elements existed:
- The manufacturer owed you a duty of reasonable care;
- The manufacturer breached that duty;
- The manufacturer’s breach directly caused your injury;
- The manufacturer should have foreseen that their action or inaction would lead to an injury; and
- You incurred damages from your injury.
Why You Should Hire a Houston Medical Device Lawyer
Gibson Hill Personal Injury has experience with defective medical device cases. We understand the steps we need to take to pursue compensation for our clients and the critical deadlines we have to meet. The legal process is confusing, especially for people who have never been through it before.
Our Houston medical device lawyers have the knowledge, skills, and resources to fight for the maximum financial award available. When we file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of your defective medical device, we will aggressively pursue justice.
We know you’re suffering from a product you thought you could trust. Instead of treating your illness or alleviating the symptoms of your medical condition, you ended up with an injury. You’re in pain and worried about the expensive medical bills you have to pay. You can count on us to take the burden off of you and efficiently resolve your case so you can move on with your life.
Damages Available from a Defective Medical Device Lawsuit
The compensation you receive in a product liability case is supposed to reimburse you for your past and future damages. Damages are the total losses incurred by the victim of an accident or injury. There are economic damages that you can calculate based on the total number of expenses resulting from your injury and non-economic damages that are subjective and based on the level of suffering you had to endure.
- Medical bills, past and future
- Loss of income and lost future earning capacity
- Property damage
- Cost of devices resulting from your injury, such as a wheelchair
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional pain
- Psychological trauma, such as PTSD
- Loss of companionship or consortium
- General inconvenience
To calculate how much compensation a defective medical device victim deserves in non-economic damages, a jury will look at the following factors:
- Type and severity of the injury
- Duration of medically necessary treatment
- The total cost of medical expenses
- If the injury led to impairment, disfigurement, or disability
- Potential for future pain and suffering
- Whether the injury exacerbated preexisting conditions
- Availability of relevant evidence that the defective medical device caused the injury
- Degree of negligence on the part of the manufacturer
You can also pursue punitive damages from the at-fault party. Punitive damages don’t compensate for your expenses. Instead, they punish the liable party for reckless and egregious actions and aim to prevent similar behavior from happening again.
The amount of punitive damages you win in a lawsuit is at the discretion of the jury. They will review the facts of the case and determine if the manufacturer deserves to pay you for their negligence that led to your medical device injury.
Unlike with economic and non-economic damages, a jury evaluating the appropriate punitive damages will look into the responsible party’s financial situation. Large corporations with deep pockets typically suffer a higher monetary punishment because it will take more money to deter them from committing the same negligence in the future.
Fees and Costs
Some firms will require a steep fee to meet with them for a short time and receive some legal advice. Gibson Hill Personal Injury doesn’t want to add to your financial strain and cause more stress than you already have. We offer prospective clients a free consultation so you can discuss your case and find out the best options available.
Our Houston medical device lawyers also take cases on a contingency fee basis. A contingency fee contract is an agreement between a lawyer and client wherein the lawyer agrees not to collect any legal fees unless they reach a settlement or favorable jury verdict. We don’t get paid unless you get paid. If we’re unable to win your case, you won’t owe us anything.
Injured by a Medical Device? Contact Gibson Hill Personal Injury
At Gibson Hill Personal Injury, we have a team of experienced Houston medical device lawyers that will prioritize your case and work hard to make sure the manufacturer pays you the money they owe you for your injury. We hold parties financially responsible for their careless actions and won’t accept less than the maximum compensation you deserve.
When you hire us, we’ll create a plan that aligns with your goals and gets you the financial award necessary, so you don’t struggle to pay your expenses. We know this has been an overwhelming experience. It disrupted your life and caused a great deal of stress. We want to resolve your case quickly so you can put this terrible ordeal behind you.
To find out how our Houston personal injury lawyers can recover the financial award you need for your damages, call us at (713) 659-4000 today.