Who’s Responsible When Medical Devices Break or Malfunction?
As a Memphis personal injury lawyer, I know how complicated certain kinds of law can be. Sometimes cases come up that could be either product liability or medical malpractice, depending on the situation. Here’s how to understand both areas of the law.
The Difference Between Medical Malpractice and Product Liability
Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare provider fails to provide proper care, treatment, or advice to a patient and it results in harm or injury. This can include:
- failure to diagnose a condition
- improper treatment
- or failure to obtain informed consent for a procedure,
- and a lot more.
In general, medical malpractice happens in healthcare settings and is the fault of a healthcare professional.
Product liability refers to the legal responsibility of a manufacturer, distributor, or seller for any harm caused by a product.
Here’s where it gets complicated: sometimes the product that malfunction is a medical device or was part of a medical procedure. In those instances, the law can feel a little murky around who is at fault for the injury.
But one thing you know: it’s not your fault, and you shouldn’t have to pay for what happened to you.
Example Case: CPAP Machines
For the last couple of years, we’ve been working with victims of CPAP machines. We’re still taking cases related to these dangerous devices.
Essentially, Philips CPAP machines have a foam inside that broke down. People inhaled the foam as they slept, which led to severe respiratory disorders, cancer, and even death.
At first glance, these are product liability cases. And the vast, vast majority are. But what if you went to the doctor for problems related to your CPAP machine, and they wrote off your complaints as the common cold? What if they told you there was nothing wrong, when you actually had lung cancer from using these machines?
That’s a misdiagnosis and could potentially be malpractice. However, it’s also where things get complicated and our attorneys step in to investigate the situation.
Who Pays in These Cases?
In many cases, the doctors have no idea the medical device might cause a problem. Like any of us, they trust the medical device companies, regulators, and their peers when making decisions about their patients’ care.
Then, they research and listen to their patients. They see the damage a bad product can cause. And with more knowledge and a fierce anger on behalf of their patients, they end up helping us get justice.
That said, if it’s a situation where you suspect malpractice, our attorneys will investigate. We can help you figure out which of these two areas of practice might apply to you.
What’s more, we can advise you on which path has the best chance in court and the best chance for success.
Hire a Memphis Product Liability and Medical Malpractice Lawyer
When you or a loved one has been injured due to the actions of a healthcare provider or by a faulty product, it can be a confusing and overwhelming time. Hiring an attorney who has expertise in both medical malpractice and product liability can make all the difference in your case.
Our attorneys have a deep understanding of the complex legal issues involved in these types of cases. We draw on our extensive knowledge of medical procedures and product design to advise you and build your case.
We will work tirelessly to get you the compensation you need to cover your medical expenses, lost income, and other damages. And we don’t get paid a thing until you do.
Don’t wait any longer to get the legal help you need. Hire an attorney who understands both medical malpractice and product liability today. Contact us at 901-327-2100 or fill out the form below.