Defective Medical Devices and Medical Malpractice

26th February 2011
By Ben Glass in Medical Malpractice
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Copyright (c) 2011 Benjamin Glass

There's a fine line to walk when it comes to filing a lawsuit for injuries caused by a defective medical device. In some cases, you may have a product liability claim on your hands where you hold only the designer or manufacturer of the product accountable for your injuries. But in some cases it may be a case of medical malpractice in which a medical malpractice lawyer will be of assistance.

Determining Medical Malpractice or Product Liability

In a product liability case, a medical device is used properly under normal circumstances but the user sustains injuries because of a design or safety defect. These types of claims are typically brought against the product's designer or manufacturer, who should have done proper safety and use tests before selling and distributing the harmful device.

A medical malpractice claim for a defective medical device is a bit different. Medical malpractice is when the doctor is negligent in their use of a defective medical device in your treatment. A medical malpractice lawyer is best suited to determine whether or not your injury case is a medical malpractice case or a product liability case.

Every year there are numerous product recalls related to defective medical devices causing injury or death in patients. Hip replacement devices are often culprits, as are electronic pumps for things like insulin. There is a combined danger with a defective medical device as it fails to treat the actual condition and can cause additional injury to the patient.

Medical Staff Negligence and Defective Medical Devices

When your doctor neglects to make sure the medical device they are using in your treatment is in good working condition with no known product recalls you may be able to hold them liable for any damages you incur through a medical malpractice lawsuit. Your medical malpractice lawyer can help you investigate the defective medical device and determine if the doctor should have known the device was dangerous to use in your treatment.

Another type of defective medical device injury that can result in a medical malpractice claim is when the hospital staff neglects to properly calibrate the machines, leading to injury or death. An improperly maintained device is a huge danger to patients, and the hospital staff may be held liable when they are negligent ensuring the device's and the patient's safety.

Because there can be overlap between product liability claims and medical malpractice claims when it comes to defective medical devices you will need to talk to a medical malpractice lawyer to determine your legal options. Your medical malpractice lawyer will be able to best differentiate between the two types of claims and advise you on how to proceed.


Ben Glass is a medical malpractice attorney in Virginia. He is the author of numerous consumer books including "Why Most Malpractice Victims Never Recover a Dime" and "The Truth About Lawyer Advertising."
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