Over 40,000 people in the U.S. have received the type of metal on metal hip replacements that have now been recalled. A new study published in the Lancet shows that high early failure rates for all-metal implants may not be relegated to a single design or manufacturer, but instead to an entire class of devices.
If you’ve received a metal on metal hip replacement and you continue to suffer from pain and health complications, you may be having a problem with your hip replacement. As a patient, you have legal rights, and it’s important to do everything you can to help preserve them.
Proper Compensation for Hip Replacement Failures
If you believe that you may be experiencing a metal on metal hip replacement failure, be sure to avoid these six common mistakes that could prevent you from receiving proper compensation.
Poor Medical Record Keeping
The biggest mistake patients make is inaccurate documentation of their medical records. Working with your doctor’s office can be tricky, as they are sometimes hesitant to automatically hand over medical records, but you are legally entitled to obtain a copy. Under Minnesota 2011 Statute “Patient Rights”, your doctor must give you a current copy of your medical records when requested. Review records carefully to check for accuracy, make copies, and keep duplicate copies in locked safe deposit boxes.
Accurately record every doctor’s visit in a journal or notebook, and include conversations with insurance agents or manufacturers. If you suspect metal toxicity or suffer from severe pain due to an implant failure, consult with your physician immediately so you can have proof of your injuries. Medical malpractice suits are lost many times when patients keep poor medical records or don’t even ask for a copy.
Waiver of Medical Liability Before Surgery
When you undergo hip replacement surgery, doctors and implant manufacturers want you to think you sign away your rights when you sign medical liability waivers. But that’s not always the case. Medical mistakes can happen unintentionally. However, a medical waiver cannot protect medical professionals (or manufacturers) if they intentionally put your life in jeopardy and are found negligent.
Settle for the Insurance Pay-Off
Do not sign off on insurance paperwork before you consult with a personal injury attorney. Insurance companies are notorious for offering low or unfair settlement rates when it relates to medical malpractice cases. Even if the offer is tempting, don’t settle or sign off with the insurance company. When you work with a personal injury lawyer, they will help you get the settlement you deserve.
Class Action Lawsuit
Don’t make the mistake of joining a class action lawsuit. It may sound like a good idea at first, but in the end you will likely receive a meager settlement. Most of the money in class action suits is awarded to the lawyers and not to the victims.
You Think Your Case Isn’t Worthwhile
Don’t assume that your personal injury case isn’t worthwhile. If you maintain accurate medical records and legitimately suffer major injuries as a result of negligence, a personal injury attorney can assist you with the process. He or she will able to determine what you fairly deserve, including monetary reimbursement for medical expenses and pain and suffering.
You Wait Too Long to Contact a Lawyer or Assume You Can’t Afford One
Sometimes you wait too long to find a lawyer, or think that you can’t afford a personal injury attorney. If you delay your case, you risk losing out on key evidence – i.e. keeping proper medical documentation and records – and missing crucial deadlines such as the statute of limitations.
Don’t assume you can’t afford a personal injury lawyer. Most lawyers won’t charge you fees until your lawsuit is settled and will only take a percentage from your settlement.
Do you have questions about your legal rights concerning a metal on metal hip replacement failure? Our personal injury attorneys at Meshbesher & Spence are here to help and get you the compensation you deserve.