The Difference Between A Product Liability Case and Medical Malpractice

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When you are injured or you suffer a serious side effect from a medical procedure or medication, it can be difficult to determine if you have a medical malpractice claim or a product liability claim. It is important to identify the claim correctly so that you can pursue the correct parties responsible for your injury. Each action has different elements you must prove to recover compensation for your claim.  Furthermore, there are slight differences in the deadlines and laws that apply to a product liability claim and a medical malpractice claim in Massachusetts.

Therefore, contacting a product liability attorney as soon as you suspect an injury or illness is strongly advised. An experienced attorney can evaluate your claim to determine your legal options and rights for recovering compensation for your losses.

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When Is It a Medical Malpractice Claim?

Physicians, medical facilities, and other medical providers owe a duty of care to their patients. When this duty of care is breached, the patient may have a valid claim against the provider under Massachusetts medical malpractice laws. Proving a breach of duty can be difficult because you must show that the medical provider was negligent and failed to act within the normal standard of care that other providers would have used in the same or similar situation. If the provider breached the duty of care, you could receive compensation for your injuries and damages.

When Is It a Product Liability Claim?

Drug manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies also have a responsibility not to produce, market, or distribute products they know or should have known are defective or dangerous. Defective medical equipment and dangerous drugs cause permanent and life-threatening illnesses and injuries. When a product is defective in its design or manufacture, one or more parties may be held liable for damages arising from an injury caused by that product. In addition, if the company fails to provide adequate warnings, instructions, or is negligent in marketing the product, it can be held liable for damages.

Can It Be Both?

Yes, you can have a medical malpractice claim and a product liability claim. You should always pursue all causes of action when you are injured to increase the chance of recovering full compensation for all damages. If a doctor knowingly uses a medical device that has been recalled, the doctor and the manufacturer may be liable for damages. Likewise, a physician who prescribes medication for purposes other than FDA-approved conditions because the drug representative said the drug had shown promise in treating this condition, both the company and the doctor could be held responsible for injuries resulting from the use of the drug.

There could be many reasons for claiming both causes of action. Our product liability attorney will conduct a thorough investigation to determine the liable parties based on the facts of your case. The investigation is a crucial step in the claim process, and you want an attorney with experience and resources to handle your claim.

What Damages Are Available Under Each Claim?

The damages for a product liability claim and a medical malpractice claim are the same. The types of damages sustained depend on the circumstances of your case.  Common damages that you may receive money for in an injury claim include:

  • Medical expenses, including your past, present, and future medical bills
  • Lost income, including past, present, and future lost wages
  • Loss of earning potential
  • Physical pain
  • Permanent disability, scarring, and disfigurement
  • Mental anguish, stress, and emotional suffering

Has a Defective Product Injured You?

If you suspect a dangerous drug or defective medical device has caused your injury or illness, contact Jim Glaser Law today at 781-689-2277 or fill out our online form to request a free case evaluation.