What should I do if a defective medical device harms me?

There are many situations in which a medical device may be recalled, but it may not necessarily have caused you harm. For example, as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration points out, some defective products merely need to be reviewed or adjusted so that it works properly.

Unfortunately, the FDA also receives thousands of reports regarding devices that have caused serious injury and even death. Manufacturers and facilities such as a hospital are required to report these incidents to the FDA.

As the victim of such an incident, you also have the responsibility to hold a negligent party responsible for your damages. Tennessee does permit you to file a lawsuit seeking damages.

Generally, the state gives you one year to file a personal injury claim, though there are some exceptions that are specific to filing a product liability case. For example, many people harmed by a defective medical device may not know about the injury right away. However, the state requires any lawsuit to be filed within six years of the injury, regardless of whether or now you knew about it. Additionally, Tennessee law requires that you file a lawsuit within 10 years of the date that the product was either used or purchased.

You should put together all the facts of your case in order to have the best chance possible of recovering damages. That includes demonstrating that the device was either defective or unreasonably dangerous. Further, the device must not have been substantially altered since leaving the manufacturer. For example, if you take apart an inhaler and incorrectly reassemble it and it then fails, you may not have a case.

While this information may be useful, it should not be taken as legal advice.

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