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Who’s Liable? The Difference Between A Product Liability Case and Medical Malpractice

Doctor Writing A Prescription For Patient Stock Photo

When you go into the hospital for a procedure, you’re literally putting your life in someone else’s hands. You have to trust that the doctor or other healthcare professional caring for you is well-trained and qualified to handle the job. When it goes bad, it’s not just a factor of repairing the injury you suffered, it’s a betrayal of trust.

However, what if the situation goes wrong because there was a flaw in the instruments or equipment used? In such cases, you may have a case against both the hospital and the manufacturer of the product itself. Learn about when a medical malpractice case can overlap with a defective product case, and why you need a product liability attorney to help you.

Medical Malpractice Cases

Medical malpractice cases, like many personal injury cases, revolve around the concept of negligence. The basic idea is that the doctor, hospital, clinic or healthcare professional had a duty of care to do no harm to you. In this case, it’s even greater than the normal duty we all have to each other because they take an oath to this effect.

The hospital or caregiver, then, violated this oath and, in doing so, they caused you direct harm. If you can prove these three things — that they had a duty, they violated this duty, and you got hurt as a direct or proximate result, you may have a malpractice case.

Product Liability Cases

Product liability cases, on the other hand, don’t have anything to do with negligence. Rather, they focus on the product itself. You need to demonstrate that a product was either designed or manufactured defectively, or was marketed poorly, and as a result came to market with a distinctly dangerous defect that could cause harm when the device was used as intended.

Product liability can extend not only to medical equipment but to prescription drugs as well. If you’re prescribed a drug that has unintended side effects which you were not warned about, you could have a product liability claim against the drug manufacturer.

Overlapping Cases

If you can prove that both the product in question was unreasonably dangerous and you believe that the doctor was negligent in using the product or prescribing the drug, you can have a case to sue for both malpractice and product liability. These cases can be some of the most complex to pursue. There can be a wealth of responsible parties, and no insurance company is eager to pay out significant damages.

Working with a Product Liability Attorney

That’s why your best bet is always to work with a qualified medical malpractice and product liability attorney. The right lawyer will know exactly how to pursue your case, how to challenge insurance companies who are trying to avoid payouts, and how to protect your rights. If you’re in the Columbia, South Carolina, area, and you need help with your malpractice or liability case, contact Harris and Graves today, and let’s sit down to talk about the details of your case at no cost to you.