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Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer | Panio Law Offices

Products Viability Vs. Medical Malpractice

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When a patient is injured by a medical device in a hospital or medical treatment setting, the most immediate response is typically to seek damages in a defective products claim. However, it may also be true that damages may be awarded in connection with medical malpractice as a result of the incident.

The good thing is that claimants do not have to choose which to pursue: products liability or medical malpractice. Claimants are eligible to fight for damages under all available legal theories. As such, it is very important to understand when you are eligible for multiple awards or for damages under multiple legal theories.

In the case of a patient injured by a medical device in the course of treatment, it is important to make the distinction between the two legal theories at play.

Products Liability

Under the theory of products liability: (1) a claimant must have been injured; (2) the defective  medical device must have been defectively designed or manufactured or packaged/promoted with language that failed to properly warn of any inherent danger related to the device’s use; and (3) the defect or improper marketing was identified as the cause of your injuries.   

To successfully win a products liability claim, it is important to understand that you are not entitled to damages if you were never actually injured by the defective device.

Medical Malpractice

In the context of an injury caused by a defective medical device, medical malpractice typically comes into play when the physician, nurse or technician improperly operates the medical device or even fails to recognize that the device is defective when other qualified medical professionals in their position would have understood that it posed a significant danger to the patient.

There are many ways a medical professional commit medical malpractice, but essentially, when a medical professional, be it a doctor or a nurse or EMT, fails to carry out the standard of care as recognized by the medical industry (and identified as common to other qualified medical professionals in the same circumstance), any resulting injuries may entitle the patient eligible to  medical malpractice damages.

It is advisable that you seek the counsel of an experienced medical malpractice attorney like those of Panio Law Offices. We are very experienced in negotiating personal injury claims and litigating medical malpractice cases. Our attorneys know well the intricacies of Illinois medical malpractice law. We will work assiduously to ensure you are awarded all of the damages to which you are entitled.

Call us at 888.799.7561. We can help!

Products Liability: Failure to Warn

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There are numerous products on the consumer market that are inherently dangerous. Yet they are sold every day and often those who suffer injury as a result of their use may not actually be eligible to recover personal injury damages.

Meat cleavers, lawn mowers, sundry power tools and even household cleaners all pose specific hazards, but only certain conditions precipitate a valid personal injury claim. Manufacturers and distributors of many products seen as inherently dangerous must by law provide warning of the danger inherent in the products they put on the market.

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Defective Products: Statute of Limitations

Most people understand that Illinois, like every other state in the nation, has a statute of limitations on filing a personal injury claims, imposing a time limit on how long a plaintiff has to file an injury lawsuit.

But filing a defective products personal injury claim has its own time limits, which set further restrictions on how long a claimant has to bring their case before the courts and when that clock actually stops ticking.

Every state has such restrictions for defective product cases and time limits vary. In Illinois, a plaintiff must bring action in a defective products case within two years of the date on which the injury occurred. This differs from other states, which set specific time limits from the date upon which the injury was discovered. The distinction is important because you might suffer an injury and not discover it for weeks or months after (as in the case of a fall that seems harmless but leads to back pain later or exposure to toxic chemicals that later develop into lung injury, for instance).

Illinois also has enacted a 12 year statute of repose that begins the day the product is sold and a 10 year statute of repose that begins the day the product is delivered to the consumer. A statute of repose sets further restriction on defective products suits in that it limits the amount of time you have to file suit irrespective of when you discovered or suffered injury as a result of the product's use.

This places the onus on the consumer to be vigilant in using the product within a time period that the courts deems reasonable.

So if you had purchased a hair dryer in the year 2000, and just recently suffered shock while using it because of what turns out to be a defective switch, even though you filed your case within two years of the injury, your case would likely be summarily dismissed because of the Illinois statute of repose.

These limitations underscore the importance of bringing your claim before the courts as early as possible in these cases. It's also extremely important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney when filing a defective products case.

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