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Modern medicine has made our lives so much better in so many ways. Medical devices like pacemakers, artificial hips, hernia meshes and more keep us healthy and active for much longer than what was possible in years past. Unfortunately, many of the medical devices currently being used today are prone to malfunctioning or otherwise doing more harm than good.
While defective medical devices are rare, they can be potentially deadly. What’s more, the companies that manufacture these devices are often hesitant to make the issue known to the public. That means the Food and Drug Administration generally has to step in and issue a recall. Because recalls come after months of complaints and investigations, hundreds or even thousands of people could be affected before the issue is ever made public.
At Auger & Auger, our attorneys have over 26 years of experience helping people in Charlotte get the help they need if they or their loved ones have been injured or killed by a defective medical device. We know what it takes to get compensation from the manufacturers of these devices, whether it’s through an individual lawsuit or a class action suit.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed by a defective medical device, we’re here to help you. Give us a call at (704) 364-3361 or contact us online today to speak to a defective medical device lawyer in Charlotte.
When you or a loved one has been injured by a defective medical device in Charlotte, you have a few different legal options to recover compensation. The most common option is a personal injury lawsuit. This means you, as an individual, are seeking compensation for the losses you suffered. You may be able to recover compensation for:
If a large group of people is affected by the same type of device from the same manufacturer, you may be able to join a class-action lawsuit or an MDL (multidistrict litigation). Each of these options has its own nuances, but the main similarity is that they all involve a large group of people filing similar lawsuits together against a single manufacturer. While these types of lawsuits can take longer, you are more likely to get the compensation you deserve. After all, there’s power in numbers!
According to the FDA, a medical device is “an instrument, apparatus, implement, machine, contrivance, implant, in vitro reagent, or other similar or related article” that is used to diagnose, treat or prevent a disease or other condition, or “intended to affect the structure or any function of the body” of a person. There are three general classes of medical devices based on their intended usage. Each class has different requirements for getting approved by the FDA.
A Class I device is generally considered the lowest risk. These may include elastic bandages and stethoscopes. Generally, Class I devices are approved in under a month, and most are exempt from any kind of premarket approval requirements. Around 35 percent of medical devices are in this class.
Class II devices are those that present a moderate risk of harm but are often not too dangerous if used properly. These types of devices could include a powered wheelchair, contact lenses or syringes. Class II devices generally have to go through a 510(k) premarket notification, basically stating that this device is equivalent to other devices already on the market. About 53 percent of devices fall into this class.
Finally, Class III devices are considered the highest risk. They are used to support or sustain life, are implanted, or otherwise present a high risk of injury or illness. Pacemakers, implanted prosthetics like metal hips, and defibrillators. Class III devices have to go through a rigorous approval process, including a premarket approval or humanitarian device exemption. About 10 percent of all devices are Class III.
There are also unclassified/not classified medical devices. About 3 percent of devices simply haven’t been classified yet. In addition, most Class I and some Class II devices don’t need to be approved before hitting the market. However, the manufacturer is still required to register their business with the company with the FDA, including a list of their devices.
At Auger & Auger, our lawyers have over 26 years of experience handling defective medical device cases. We represent clients if they have been injured by certain medical devices, and if we don’t specifically handle your type of case, we have a large network of other law firms to whom we can refer you.
Examples of defective medical products that have been known known to cause injury include:
No matter the product, it’s important to know who you can hold accountable for your injuries. In most cases, the manufacturer is held responsible. You simply have to prove that the device was defective, and therefore it caused harm. Common types of defects include:
In some cases, the doctor who used the device could also be held accountable. This is generally the case when a recall has been issued or the problem with the device has otherwise been made public, and the doctor still uses it.
You may also be able to sue the doctor if they make a mistake during the process to fix the problem, such as if a hernia mesh is improperly removed. However, these cases may be considered medical malpractice instead of defective medical device injuries. Your Charlotte personal injury lawyer can help you determine your best course of action.
When you or a loved one is affected by a defective medical device, the results are often severe. You may deal with infections, internal injuries, severe illnesses, and more. In some cases, injuries and illnesses from defective medical devices can even result in death.
At Auger & Auger, we know how serious your injuries can be. We are also familiar with the process of helping you get the compensation you deserve, whether that’s through an individual lawsuit or a class action. Give us a call at (704) 364-3361 or contact us online today to speak to a defective medical device lawyer in Charlotte.