Many Americans depend on medical devices with the hope to improve the quality of their life, and many others use prescription drugs to address various health conditions. Medical device and pharmaceutical manufacturers constantly introduce new products with the best interests of users in mind. However, sometimes these products prove to be defective and cause injury when they should have been beneficial. Lack of adequate testing, failure to warn consumers about risks involved etc. lead to adverse events and product liability lawsuits. In any product liability case – for instance those involving artificial hip implants, knee implants, transvaginal mesh, or failed drug – review of medical records is the initial step to evaluate the extent of injury and whether the injury is a direct result of the faulty product.
The plaintiff’s entire medical history including the medical records dated may years before the injury date may be requested by defense attorneys. Attorneys on both sides have to deal with thousands of medical records, possibly from many healthcare providers who may have provided treatment. To consider an example, it is estimated that more than 500, 000 patients in the U.S were implanted with artificial metal-on-metal hip implants during hip replacement surgery. The main problem with these implants is when the device moves, it releases microscopic shavings and metal debris into the tissue and blood surrounding it. This result in the buildup of metal debris in the body’s soft tissues and a painful condition called metallosis. Patients experience serious tissue and muscle damage and extreme pain after the surgery. They have to go for revision surgery to remove the faulty implants and insert new devices.
In cases such as the above, product liability attorneys gather all the relevant medical records and review them to understand the case. The entire medical record review process is made simple by a medical record review company that is usually called upon to assist the attorney. Expert reviewers organize the records, review them and prepare a detailed medical chronology and summary. This is a great help for attorneys, who are saved the tedious task of hunting through voluminous medical records for the required information. Each circumstance is different and most cases of this type are highly complex.
Attorneys help their clients understand their legal rights and options if a device or drug is recalled.
- By carefully studying defects in the product design or problems with specific drugs, attorneys evaluate whether the client has a weak or strong claim.
- If there is ground for a claim, the attorney files a claim on the client’s behalf.
- The attorney would help negotiate a settlement or take it to trial.
In the case of cases that go to trial, the attorney has to make the jury understand how the plaintiff was injured and why the device manufacturer or pharmaceutical company is at fault. Here medical evidence, the law and how it applies to the facts become very relevant.
Product liability litigation has an unavoidable medical component, and that is why attorneys require professional analysis of the medical records involved. With the help of effective and economical medical record review services, attorneys can go on to win their product liability case.