When Medical Devices Fail Chicago Patients, Lawyers Step In to Help?

As time passes, humanity invents more and more marvels to help us survive or improve our quality of life. Every field sees innovation, from the sciences to the food industry. But some innovations are more imperative than others— and have higher consequences when they fail. Medical devices are the tools that patients and care teams rely on for help with diagnosing and treating a vast number of health conditions, anything from a skinned knee to cancer to chronic conditions like diabetes. When these fail us, the consequences can be catastrophic. Together, we’ll take a closer look at what qualifies as a medical device and how Chicago lawyers are there to help when they fail.

What is a Medical Device?

A medical device isn’t limited to patient tools like glucose monitors. The actual FDA definition includes any tool or device meant to help with diagnosis, treatment, or mitigation. These can range from personal bandages to diagnostic machines like CT or MRI scanners. When a medical device fails, neither the care team nor the patient should be held liable for any damage or costs that arise from the results.

Medical Malpractice Vs. Product Liability

When people hear about legal action regarding medical issues, they generally assume that the lawsuit will fall under medical malpractice. However, this isn’t the case. There is a distinct difference between a doctor failing and a medication or device not working as intended.

Medical malpractice is when your doctor or a member of staff causes you harm through neglect or misdiagnosis. The healthcare professional has not upheld the standard of care for your situation and is held responsible for the consequences you face. When a device or medication fails, cases fall under product liability, and the manufacturer or pharmaceutical company should take accountability.

In both types of lawsuits, the responsible party is liable for lost wages, current medical costs, future treatments, and in worst-case situations, funeral and burial costs.

Reasons Why Defective Medical Devices Are So Dangerous

Medical devices play an important role in the healthcare field. Many patients trust these devices with their lives. When medical devices fail, they can lead to lasting harm. A diabetic may not be alerted to a spike in blood sugar or a developing baby could be harmed by unknown medication consequences. A cancer patient could be misdiagnosed or surgery made more complicated. In some cases, entire artificial hip replacements have needed to be removed after harming the patient.

Defective medical devices can lead to lasting harm, disabilities, extended illnesses, longer treatment plans, and even death. The FDA has high standards for approving medications and devices, but sometimes things still go wrong. That’s when patients turn to the legal system.

How Chicago Lawyers Help

If a medical device failed, and you or a loved one were hurt as a result, then you are likely eligible for compensation. Additionally, the manufacturer needs to be held responsible for their device’s performance, especially if the issue was known or avoidable with proper testing. An experienced Chicago personal injury lawyer will help you determine who is liable for your injury or health issues before helping you gather evidence and file paperwork. They will then represent you through all stages of the claims process, so you don’t have to worry about negotiating settlements or being lowballed by stringent insurance adjustors.

Be sure to find a lawyer who has experience and a successful track record with both medical malpractice and product liability cases. This way, you know they have the resources and knowledge to determine fault and gather expert testimony for your case.

The Product Liability Process

For Illinois residents, the statute of limitations for a product liability case is five years. Sometimes it isn’t obvious what product or treatment led to a problem— you and your doctor may realize years down the line that something seemingly innocent made your life worse. Because of the devastating consequences that can result, many states have expanded or even removed the statute of limitations for product liability cases; the federal deadline is three years.

If you or a loved one have suffered harm, the first step is to figure out from what. In some cases, it’s obvious— such as a malfunctioning insulin pump. In others, like an unreported or undiscovered medication side effect, it may take more time. It’s important to document your costs during this time, including any lost wages, and journal the effects the injury or illness has on your life. Then, sign up for a free consultation with a Chicago lawyer.

Personal injury lawyers can review your evidence, including any medical records from your doctor, and determine if you have a solid case. They will then help you with any paperwork, gather more evidence, and file the claim. Your lawyer will be your staunchest ally and full representative, giving you peace of mind so you can focus on your health. For anything related to the lawsuit, you would direct inquiries and settlement offers to your lawyer. Don’t sign anything unless they approve it; some insurance adjustors have been known to lowball their offers to save the company money.

If a settlement cannot be reached, then your lawyer will help you take the offending party to court. You will likely have to testify, but your lawyer will handle the rest. Just make sure you follow court etiquette and trust your lawyer to do everything in their power to get you the best deal possible.

Don’t wait until the medical bills become too much. As soon as you or your doctor identify the problem, seek help from an experienced Chicago attorney.