How to proceed with a defective hip implant lawsuit

by OnlineLawyerSource on August 15, 2012

Defective hip implant lawsuits became quite popular in the U.S. after in 2010 one of the most popular medical device manufacturing companies recalled two of its hip implants, the Depuy ASR™ XL Acetabular System and the ASR™ Hip Resurfacing System. Considering that the above mentioned devices were in use since 2004, there are a considerable number of patients who received the implants. As the manufacturing company admitted that its products were defective, the patients can expect to have problems before the 15 years period during which hip implants are designed to function properly.

The recalled devices were metal-on-metal hip implants, meaning that both parts of the device were made of metal. The human hip works by moving inside a basket shaped hole, named the acetabulum. By doing so it allows individuals to perform a wide range of movements. The implants are supposed to work similarly. However as two metal objects rube against each other tiny fragments can detach. The debris can affect the surrounding tissues and even different organs or nerves, in case it enters the blood stream. Patients can experience difficulty moving, constant pain or discomfort in the hip area or swelling. In case metal ions damaged the nerve system, affected individuals can have problems with vision or hearing. In case the heart has been affected, the symptoms might consist in chest pain or shortness of breath.

Another reason why the devices were withdrawn from the market is early implant failure. If normal movements cause the implant to become loose, the consequences can be extremely serious. The surrounding bone tissue will be affected and in severe case even hip fracture can occur. That is why if a patient experiences any problems with his implant during the first years after initial surgery, he or she should consult a doctor without further delay. Unfortunately the only way of treating a defective hip implant is by removing and replacing it with a new device. That involves another even more painful surgery with a longer recovery period. So besides pain and suffering, patients will have additional medical bills to pay, will need long term medical care and will be unable to work during recovery, resulting in more financial losses. So it is normal for them to be interested in obtaining financial compensation for their losses. Defective hip implant lawsuits are filed exactly for that.

Interested patients should know that in order to have a valid claim, they do not have to undergo a revision surgery. They only have to prove that the device caused them some kind of injury. Defective hip implant lawsuits are product liability lawsuits. They are always difficult to win, but the compensations can be consistent. The first step in winning such a legal action is to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as worrying signs occur. The attorney can advice his client how to gather important evidence regarding all medical procedures he will have to perform. The first problem to clarify is whether the patient has been implanted with one of the withdrawn devices. In order to know that, he should ask for his medical records and provide a copy to his attorney. If the client was unlucky enough to have such an implant, he can expect further complications. All symptoms and the results of medical tests should be documented and carefully preserved. Medical bills and all additional costs should also be kept. The injured patient should also be careful not to sign any agreements with the implant manufacturing company. Such an action will most likely compromise his chances of recovering damages through a lawsuit. In order to file a valid claim, plaintiffs will have to prove three distinctive facts: that the implanted device was defective, that the device caused them some type of injury and that the injury resulted in financial losses. If there is evidence for all that, the lawsuit can be filed and victims can receive compensation for medical bills, long term medical care, lost wages, pain and suffering, attorney’s fees and other related costs

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