Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers
Medical Product Liability
Millions of Americans rely on high-tech medical devices and prescription drugs to improve their health and quality of life. Unfortunately, many of these products are not safe for their intended use or are used improperly by the medical professional. Every year, thousands of Americans are injured or killed after being treated with the medicines and medical devices that were supposed to make them better. Often, the injuries are more debilitating than the condition that brought them to the doctor in the first place. When this happens, patients and their families have a right to learn who was responsible for the harm they have suffered and hold them accountable for their actions.
Defective Medical Devices
Medical devices are designed to assist health care professionals in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of a number of medical conditions. Unfortunately, sometimes these devices fail in their intended use, causing significant harm or even death to patients. Patients may have to undergo additional surgeries, or suffer life-threatening complications or infections resulting in severe emotional distress and economic hardship for the victims and their family. Our Maryland medical malpractice lawyers have experience helping victims gain justice and compensation after being harmed by:
- Defective diagnostic equipment
- Devices designed to assist in weight loss
- Heart stents
- Hip replacements
- Implantable contraceptive and intrauterine devices
- Power morcellators
- Silicone implants
- Surgical mesh, including bladder slings and transvaginal mesh
Most Americans assume that implants and other high-risk devices have been thoroughly tested for safety and effectiveness before going on the market. Sadly, however, manufacturers often have to do little more than file the appropriate paperwork and pay a relatively small fee to get the FDA’s approval to begin selling their product. In most cases, the only testing being done is in the bodies of unsuspecting patients. Additionally, unlike your coffeemaker or your toaster, medical implants do not have a unique serial number that can be used to identify and notify patients if a problem is found.
The pharmaceutical industry is a multi-billion dollar business that is constantly growing. Every year, an average of 24 new drugs hit the market, including many that pose significant health risks and potential for long-term side effects. Some of these drugs include:
- Acne medications
- Antidepressants and mood stabilizing drugs
- Blood thinners
- Cholesterol lowering drugs
- Dialysis treatments
- Hair loss pills
- Hormone replacement therapies
- Oral contraceptives
- Osteoporosis treatment drugs
- Pain medications
- Type II diabetes drugs
- Weight loss pills
According to the FDA, more than two million serious adverse drug reactions are reported every year. The cause of these drug mishaps vary widely, but may be a result of a doctor prescribing the wrong drug, a mistake made by the pharmacist, or a mistake made by a patient who was not given proper instructions on how to take the medication. In some cases though, the drug itself is defective. Profit-driven drug companies eager to get a hot new drug on the market frequently look for ways to get around the FDA’s stringent regulations. Too often, later investigations find flawed or dishonest clinical trials, or gaps in reporting of negative side effects. Sadly, this is often not discovered until after scores of victims have already suffered the ill effects of the drug maker’s reckless and negligent actions.
Filing a Defective Medical Device or Dangerous Drug Lawsuit
The complications associated with defective medical devices and dangerous drugs can be severe, life-altering, and in some cases, fatal. Fortunately, the law provides victims and their families with a method for recovering some or all of the costs associated with the injury. The total amount of compensation can vary greatly depending on the circumstances of the case, but typically includes money for medical expenses and the cost of future care; lost wages and loss of future earning capacity; and pain and suffering. In certain extreme cases involving a manufacturer’s gross neglect or willful disregard for safety standards, juries will award punitive damages designed to punish the responsible party and deter them from similar behavior in the future. If the case involves a wrongful death, the family of the victim may also be entitled to compensation.
Statute of Limitations
Generally, the statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice or medical product liability claim in Maryland is three years from the time the patient discovers the injury. Though some exceptions do exist, it is always best to consult a qualified Maryland medical malpractice lawyer about filing a claim as soon as a problem is suspected.
Filing a Product Liability or Medical Malpractice Claim
Whenever a patient’s injuries are caused by a defective medical device or dangerous drug, there is the potential for both a medical malpractice and a product liability claim. Both medical providers and the makers of medical devices and drugs have a duty to adhere to a reasonable standard of care, which includes providing adequate warning about the potential dangers of using their products. Many times, the manufacturers of these products can fulfill their obligation by informing the doctor, nurse, or other medical professional about the potential hazards of using the product. Then, it is the duty of the medical professional to pass this information on to the patient. These types of cases can be extremely complex, and require a personal injury lawyer with an in-depth knowledge of medical liability laws and extensive experience handling both types of claims.
Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Help Those Harmed by Defective Medical Devices and Dangerous Drugs
If you suspect that you or a loved one was injured by a defective medical device or dangerous drug, the Maryland medical malpractice lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton can help. Call 800-547-4LAW (4529) today to schedule a free consultation with one of our highly qualified and experienced Baltimore medical product liability lawyers or contact us online. A member of our legal team is here to answer your questions 24 hours a day.
Our Baltimore, Maryland offices represent clients throughout Baltimore County, including those in Baltimore City, Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland, Eastern Shore, Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Towson, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Glen Burnie, Pikesville, Parkville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood and Elkridge.