Defective/Dangerous Medical Devices and Drugs
Athens, GA Dangerous Drugs and Medical Device Attorneys
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has established rigorous standards for manufacturers of medical products. Unfortunately, some dangerous drugs and medical devices still make their way to patients, causing catastrophic injuries, financial hardship, pain and suffering, and many other losses.
Our dangerous drugs and medical device attorneys at Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley, P.C. are committed to assisting victims whose lives are turned upside down by injury-causing products. Please contact our Athens, GA office at (706) 354-4000 for more information about your legal options, and read on for some helpful information regarding the most commonly asked questions in products liability cases.
What are the Laws on Dangerous Drugs and Medical Devices in Georgia?
Medications and medical devices have the potential to heal injuries, prolong life, prevent illness, assist with surgery, and offer a wide range of benefits. However, when those products are dangerous or malfunction, they can cause serious injuries to a patient. It is true that the FDA strictly regulates medications and devices used in the healthcare setting, but certain products may still contain different types of dangers.
Do I Have Rights as an Injured Victim?
Georgia has enacted a law regarding products liability, and dangerous drugs and medical devices fall under these provisions. Unlike other types of personal injury claims that are based on negligence, these cases proceed under the theory of strict liability. You do not need to show fault by the manufacturer, but must prove four elements:
- The dangerous drug or medical device was defective in some way;
- The defective condition caused your injuries, or death to a loved one;
- The product was in the same condition when it reached you, as compared to when it left the control of the manufacturer; and,
- You used the drug or device in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions or intentions, so you did not misuse it.
How May Drugs and Medical Devices Become Dangerous?
Despite compliance with FDA regulations, a manufacturer may release a product that contains certain types of defects. As a victim, you may have a claim based upon:
- Defective Design: If there is a flaw in the design process, the manufacturer may be liable for injuries that result from defective design. In these cases, the entire line of drugs or devices is considered dangerous, because they were all produced in accordance with the original design.
- Manufacturing Defect: When some error is incorporated into the manufacturing or production process, the dangerous drug or medical device may have a manufacturing defect. Unlike products having a design defect, these manufacturing defects only affect one or more lots of the product.
- Warning or Labeling Defects: Device and drug manufacturers must provide warnings about potential hazards and how they could affect certain patients or surgical procedures. The labels, marketing materials, and accompanying paperwork must include information regarding side effects, drug interactions, allergies, and other details. Failure to provide this information could lead to liability for the manufacturer
Should I Contact the Manufacturer of the Dangerous Drug or Medical Device?
While it may seem logical to reach out to the manufacturer, doing so could negatively impact your claim. A company will try to minimize their legal exposure and the amount they may have to pay you for your injuries. They will offer as low an amount as possible as compensation, because any money paid to you is a hit on their profits.
For the same reasons, you should avoid conversations with an insurance company regarding compensation. Insurers work closely with medical device and drug manufacturers, so they do not have your best interests in mind. Insurance representatives will also try to resolve your claim quickly for much less than it is worth.
Will I Have to go to Court to Resolve My Case?
It may be possible to recover fair and reasonable compensation through settlement negotiations with a manufacturer or insurance company, but there is a possibility that you will need to file a lawsuit for your injuries. Still, you may not need to actually go to court. In many cases, a dangerous drug or medical device has caused injuries to other patients, too. There may be grounds for a class action lawsuit, many of which settle before going to trial.
Are There Time Restrictions on Filing a Lawsuit?
Yes, Georgia has a statute of limitations that requires you to file a lawsuit for a dangerous drug or medical device within two years after your injuries. However, many victims do not discover their injuries within this amount of time. To avoid a harsh result for patients who suffer losses due to these dangerous items, Georgia included a statute of repose in its products liability statute. You can file a lawsuit to recover compensation within 10 years after the product was first made available for sale.
When Should I Hire an Athens, GA Dangerous Drugs and Medical Device Attorneys Lawyer?
It is critical to consult with an attorney as soon as you start feeling pain, experiencing negative effects, or become aware of potential issues. Our lawyers at Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley, P.C. have in-depth knowledge of the laws and concepts governing dangerous drugs and medical device cases. We also have strategic skills when dealing with manufacturers and insurance companies, so we are dedicated to obtaining the best possible settlement in your case. If we cannot reach an agreement, our lawyers have extensive experience in litigation, so we will aggressively fight for your rights in court.
Talk to Our Athens, GA Dangerous Drugs and Medical Device Attorneys Right Away
If you were injured by a dangerous drug or medical device, please contact Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley, P.C. You can reach our Athens, GA office at (706) 354-4000 or via our website. We are happy to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our experienced lawyers.