When a Hip Replacement Goes Wrong
Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran
With the everyday wear and tear, we place on our bodies, certain parts grow weak or even wear out occasionally. This is particularly true for anyone who experiences degenerative hip disease, such as osteoarthritis. Not only does walking or climbing stairs become a challenge, but these may be accompanied by severe pain and stiffness, leading to bouts of immobility. A hip replacement is often your only option to get your life back to where you are comfortable daily.
According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, approximately 450,000 total hip replacement surgeries are performed each year. Out of this number, 80-85% of recipients will have their joint last 20 years or more.
Yet, not all hip replacements achieve such a high rate of longevity. Problems can arise from the start, resulting in potential medical malpractice situations. In other instances, while the surgery may go well, the hip replacement device may be defective, leading to a case for product liability.
Regardless of whether your hip implant fails due to medical malpractice, product liability, or a combination of both, you’re going to need legal advice and assistance. The experienced attorneys at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. in Michigan are available to help you navigate all the processes involved and help you get back on your feet physically and financially.
Symptoms of Hip Replacement Problems
While there is a range of symptoms that occur when a hip replacement fails in some way, the most common ones include:
- Swelling of the hip joint
- A localized pain in the hip, groin, or leg
- Decrease in mobility
- A pronounced limp or affected gait
- Complete joint failure
- Hip fracture
- Metal toxicity in the bloodstream (if the hip device is made of metal)
Surgeries to repair the joint and medications and other treatments to ease these symptoms can be costly, not to mention significantly interfere with your quality of life.
When Hip Replacement Fails Because of Medical Malpractice
If you experience complications after hip replacement surgery, it’s vital to seek legal advice right away. Your medical malpractice attorney will take the time to review your case for negligence on the part of the medical staff who performed the hip replacement surgery and all other surrounding factors at the time.
If medical malpractice is found, you may be compensated for medical bills, caregiving services, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other identifiable costs you were responsible for as a result of the complications you had to endure.
In the state of Michigan, you must initiate a medical malpractice claim within two years from the negligence date or within six months of discovering negligence per the state’s statute of limitations.
When Hip Replacement Fails Because of Product Liability
Even when hip replacement surgery goes well with no known negligence occurring on the medical staff part, problems can still occur. Often, the fault lies with a defective product.
Product liability laws are in place to protect you, the consumer, from subpar and defective products. Manufacturing companies of medical devices owe a standard of care to their consumers, just as your doctor and the medical team do. When they fail to provide a duty of care and do not act to prevent harm from occurring, they can be held liable, and rightfully so.
Per Michigan product liability law, for those injured due to a defective product, they may be able to receive economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages refer to costs associated with healthcare and any repair or replacement of the defective products. Present and future lost wages are also awarded.
Non-economic damages, on the other hand, may include emotional distress, pain, and suffering, as well as disfigurement or physical impairment. Non-economic damages cannot exceed $280,000. Yet, if the defective product has led to permanent loss of a bodily function or death, the capped amount rises to $500,000.
The statute of limitations for filing any product liability claim in Michigan is three years. While this may seem like plenty of time, it will go by quickly as you will be involved in the revision surgery and rehabilitation.
Many hip replacement patients may be victims of faulty devices and need to know their rights regarding hip replacement lawsuits.
A Word on Product Recalls
Another factor to consider is the existence of hip replacement product recalls. You will be personally notified that you need to schedule a revision surgery to replace the defective product in these instances. If you receive a notice, contact our skilled attorneys at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. before moving ahead with a second surgery, so you know your rights, both now and in the future.
Even though there may be a medical product recall, that doesn’t mean the manufacturer is off the hook in a product liability case. It also doesn’t serve as an admission of guilt in your particular case. You still need to prove that the manufacturer’s product is responsible for your injury or medical condition following hip replacement surgery.
Contact Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. Today
Product liability and medical malpractice cases are complicated and can be overly time-consuming. They can also cause emotional turmoil on the part of those who experience hip replacement failure.
We understand this at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., and are ready to help ease your burden. With our experienced legal team, including Eileen Kroll, a registered nurse, as well as a personal injury attorney, we will handle all facets of your case. Call us today at 866-MICH-LAW for a free consultation to discuss your case and legal options.
Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.