DC Defective Medical Device Attorney

Medical equipment malfunction refers to the situation in which a piece of medical equipment stops working as intended. Regrettably, this situation can often result in patient injury, illness, or even death. To determine if your injury or illness, or the loss of a loved one, was due to such errors, you should contact a DC defective medical device lawyer.

In these scenarios, often there is a case for either a medical malpractice or product liability lawsuit, depending on the exact cause of the malfunction. If the malfunction was caused by product defect, for example, it may be a case where the manufacturer of the product is liable. If it is a case of improper use of the product by a medical professional in some capacity, it could be a medical malpractice issue. Because time is a factor in these types of cases, you should contact a DC defective medical device lawyer as soon as possible. The earlier that you contact a well-qualified attorney, the faster they can assess your case and explain to you the legal process that is required if you have a viable claim.

To understand what may qualify for a medical device malfunction claim, please read on for examples of medical equipment malfunctions, the injuries they cause, and the reasons behind the malfunctions. Further education will provide you with the knowledge you will require to make your next move.

Examples of Medical Device Malfunctions

When a medical device or piece of equipment stops working suddenly, this can cause a number of injuries including, but not limited to, the following examples:

  • If a defibrillator or ventilator stops working, this can delay proper treatment and require staff to initiate manual treatment options immediately
  • If a monitor — such as a heart monitor or blood glucose monitor — stops working, medical or hospital staff may no longer be able to track a patient’s vital signs
  • Surgical robots can malfunction, causing burns or improper incisions
  • Malfunctioning pumps within IV lines can stop delivering needed medication or, conversely, deliver an overdose of medication

These are just a handful of examples of medical equipment malfunctions. In reality, there are myriad ways for such equipment to fail, especially as reliance on such technologies is increased.

When something goes wrong with a piece of medical equipment and an injury is caused it can be particularly severe. That injury can lead to additional pain and health challenges, as well as increased costs for extra treatment. These costs will only multiply when lost wages from extra time away from work are added. Some injuries or illnesses exacerbated by such malfunctions can lead to long-term or permanent disabilities that may require long-term and permanent medical costs.

Causes of Malfunctions

This question is not always easy to answer. It can be due to any number of factors, including:

  • User errors, such as incorrect settings
  • Design problems, in which the machine design itself is flawed
  • Defective materials (a component used in the machine is not up to standard)
  • Manufacturing problems (in manufacturing something was left out or created incorrectly)
  • Programming errors within the device software
  • Loss of power or power surges
  • Lack of training on how to properly use the equipment
  • Improper or ineffective cleaning of the equipment, resulting in contamination
  • Inadequate maintenance and repairs
  • Changing the alarm settings to only sound once dangerous levels are reached (rather than the pre-determined levels, which can alert medical staff to an issue before it is a crisis)
  • Missing safety components, such as guards and shields
  • Not having secondary procedures in place or failing to train staff on secondary measures in the event of malfunctioning medical equipment

Working with a Lawyer

Securing the services of an experienced DC defective medical device lawyer is crucial in determining whether you have suffered a personal injury as a result of a medical equipment malfunction and, if so, your next logical steps. An attorney can easily and gently guide you through the confusing and intimidating realm of personal injury and product liability law in DC, all while helping you determine whether you have a claim that is likely to prove successful.

Having an attorney who is well-versed in medical equipment malfunction in DC is particularly important, because there are legal considerations that apply specifically to this area. In both medical malpractice and product liability cases, the statute of limitations is three years from the time of injury (or the time the injury is detected or should have been detected). In cases of wrongful death, then the statute of limitations in DC drops to two years after death. Wrongful death cases are not covered in this article, but they could indeed be the result of a medical equipment malfunction. Please click here for more information on wrongful death cases.

If you have suffered injury or illness due to medical equipment malfunction, or you have lost a loved one due to this kind of negligence, do not hesitate to contact a DC defective medical device lawyer today. Though no legal professional can guarantee the outcome of a claim or case, an attorney who has experience in both medical malpractice and product liability is your best chance at securing a settlement or receiving a favorable judgment in court. Their ability to develop a strong strategy based on their first-hand knowledge of the topic and the region will increase your odds for finding satisfaction. To find out more about this specific area of law, contact a dedicated DC medical device malfunction attorney today.