Have you ever needed a diagnostic scan, such as a CT, for a kidney stone? Perhaps you’re diabetic and rely on a blood glucose monitor. Parents often use at-home bandages when their kids scrape their elbows. And do you know what all three of these have in common? The CT scanner, the monitor, and the bandages all count as medical devices.
In fact, the term ‘medical device’ covers a broad range of tools— practically anything that helps diagnose, mitigate, or treat a medical condition. First aid supplies and surgery tools both qualify, as do insulin pumps and portable oxygen. So imagine the danger if a device just…didn’t work as it was supposed to. Do you see how dangerous that can be? Luckily for Illinois patients, Chicago lawyers are stepping up to help victims who were harmed by defective medical devices.
Product Liability Law
We rely on all kinds of products in our daily lives, from hygiene products to fashion accessories. With every purchase, we put a little bit of faith into the manufacturer. And when it comes to products like medical devices, that faith could be our very lives.
Most products have to go through thorough testing before they can be released to the public. Medical devices and medications even more so. But sometimes, those devices fail. There could be a number of reasons, some malicious, others neglectful, and others just random happenstance. There were days when pharmaceutical manufacturers didn’t know to test for some things. Other examples could be from fudged data. It could also be as simple as a mechanical failure in the device itself or the manufacturing plant.
Whatever the reason, a failing medical device could have a lifelong impact on the patient; they shouldn’t become bankrupt due to someone else’s mistake. If a manufacturer releases a product without proper safety indications or one that fails its intended use, they need to be held accountable— and they need to help the victim. That’s where product liability comes into play.
This subset of the legal system helps hold companies accountable for defective or malfunctioning products and decides an amount for the liable party to pay the victim. These amounts are calculated from any lost wages, medical expenses, and estimated future medical costs.
The Dangers of Failure
When medical devices fail, it’s not the same level of concern as, say, when your hair dryer blows a fuse. Sure, it could be something insignificant like water working past a waterproof bandage to get at your paper cut. But it could also be an insulin pump suffering an electrical failure and not dosing properly. It could be a spinal fusion stimulator implant containing chemicals that could cause harm to surrounding tissues and organs.
A defective medical device can lead to increased health issues and rising medical costs. In nightmare scenarios, device failure could lead to the patient’s death. Patients with severe and/or chronic conditions rely on medical devices every day to help improve their quality of life; the severity of the consequences that can come from device failure is part of the reason we hold manufacturers of medical devices to a much higher standard.
How Chicago Personal Injury Lawyers Are Helping Patients Find Justice
If you or a loved one have been victimized by the failure of a medical device, then you need to find a reliable Chicago personal injury lawyer to help. These attorneys have the tools and experience necessary to guide you through the claims process and a lawsuit and to help ensure you get maximum compensation and aren’t scammed by a stingy insurance adjustor.
In Illinois, the statute of limitations to hold a manufacturer accountable for their product’s performance is five years, two higher than the federal standard. Your lawyer can help ensure you have a case and help solidify it by gathering additional evidence and pulling in expert testimony. They will help you calculate damages, i.e. the financial burden directly caused by the device’s failure, and will represent you during negotiations and, if needed, court proceedings.
You want to find a Chicago personal injury lawyer who has experience in both product liability and medical malpractice— and a successful record. By working and winning both styles of cases, you know they have the knowledge to determine who is at fault in your case and fight for the best results.
If you or a loved one have suffered harm, be it an injury, illness, worsening condition, etc., due to the failure of a medical device, don’t wait— you deserve justice. Help Chicago lawyers hold manufacturers accountable by understanding and pursuing your legal options, and get peace of mind to focus on your recovery, knowing the expenses won’t haunt you.