- Pain medications, including prescription painkillers that affect the brain and steroidal medications that reduce swelling
- Anti-depressant medications that assist with mental well-being and can be used to treat pain
- Anti-seizure medications that are known to help treat pain related to nerve damage
- Topical pain-relieving creams and medical equipment
- Physical and behavioral therapy
- Electric nerve stimulation
- Hot and cold therapy
- Targeted injections
Friday, November 17, 2017
Whether it was a car accident, a trip and fall on a sidewalk, or an injury suffered at work, a medical term no one wants to see on a record after suffering a serious injury is “maximum medical improvement.” Unlike when doctors register that an injured individual has recovered, rehabilitated, or healed from an injury, when a patient reaches “maximum medical improvement,” it essentially means that the injury is so severe that medicine can do nothing more for an individual. In this case, it means that you are still suffering from one or more of the injuries sustained in an accident even if you have seen some improvement. In the case of spinal or traumatic brain injuries especially, the physical complexity of those regions can mean that there is no complete recovery. In such cases, the only option is often pain management.
Pain Management Options
In the case of paralysis, some people don’t realize that the pain is constant, and you may need pain management treatment on a consistent basis for the rest of your life. Similarly, traumatic brain injuries can lead to severe headaches and migraines that require continued monitoring and treatment for each episode. In fact, many physicians and anesthesiologists actually specialize in pain management, and the following treatments are common during recovery from painful injuries and after patients have reached maximum medical improvement:
More often than not, patients in need of pain management care will subject themselves to multiple pain management treatment types, and they may have to try various combinations before they find something that works for them. Unfortunately, this may mean more money out of pocket to manage pain—and a plethora of side effects.
Side Effects of Pain Management
According to the New England Journal of Medicine, chronic pain is actually one of the most prevalent and debilitating medical conditions in the country, which is why addiction to prescription pain medications is so prevalent. Long-term pain management can have the unintended effect of causing addiction to prescription pain medication and even result in overdose and death. Furthermore, because all medications are processed through the liver, continued use of medication to manage your pain can result in liver disease and failure. Unfortunately, other methods of pain management may not work to mitigate your pain, and you may not be able to afford, or your insurance policy might not cover, continued massage therapy or specialized injections. So if you have reached maximum medical improvement but continue to require pain management as a result of an accident, how do you receive full compensation for your future care?
Calculating the Cost of Continuing Treatment
The cost of your continuing pain management care is dependent on multiple factors, including your age, health, occupation, type of injury, level of pain, and desire for specific treatment. Considering all of these factors, you may need to hire expert economic and medical witnesses to estimate the duration and fluidity of your condition and calculate the expected cost of your future care. Under Florida law, “if scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the [jury or judge] in understanding the evidence or in determining a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education may testify about it in the form of an opinion.”
One such expert witness is an economic expert who can calculate future expenses. The expert is permitted to give a professional opinion regarding the potential economic value of your case by determining the approximate cost of your future pain management care and even how that can affect your work-life and occupational capacity. For example, the expert could testify that, due to your inability to work due to pain, you should receive compensation of $100,000 each year during your recovery time of 15 years, and that the future cost of your care is about $20,000 a year. This would result in the expert testifying about the approximate value of your case so that a jury can award an appropriate verdict or you can work to settle your claims with an insurance company.
Seeking Compensation for Your Pain in Florida
Because the cost of continued pain management can be hard to calculate and is mostly an educated guess on the part of economic experts, always discuss your serious injury claims with a Florida personal injury attorney who can help you understand your options. If the injuries are permanent, you have the right to seek compensation in Florida’s courts, but you can always choose to forgo litigation and work directly with the liable party’s insurance company to reach a settlement agreement. If you were injured at work, however, you must generally avail yourself of Florida workers’ compensation insurance. In this case, you will have to work with a Florida workers’ compensation attorney to obtain a settlement from your workers’ compensation carrier that can help compensate you for your pain management.
Contact a Clearwater Personal Injury and Chronic Pain Attorney Today
If you suffered a painful and debilitating injury as the result of an accident, your life will often change forever. Seeking compensation in court or from an insurance company can help cover some immediate expenses, but working with a Tampa Bay personal injury lawyer may ensure that the compensation you receive for your injuries is enough to cover your future lost wages, pain management, and additional treatments. The attorneys at the Dolman Law Group can help analyze the facts of your case and explain your options for financial recovery under Florida law if you are suffering from chronic pain as the result of an accident. Contact them online or at (727) 451-6900 today for a free, no-risk consultation.
Wednesday, November 1, 2017
The term "medical device" refers to just about any device used by medical practitioners to treat a disease, illness, injury, or disability. Some examples of medical devices that have run into medical and legal problems include:
• defibrillators (small electronic devices implanted in the patient's heart that deliver electric shocks to maintain normal heart rhythm)
• implants (synthetic devices implanted to restore function to the patient's disabled body part, such as a hip or shoulder)
• contraceptive devices
• silicone implants that cause damage to the immune system
• artificial knee joints
• heart valves
• artificial hip replacements
• Any malfunctioning device, such as a pain pump or insulin pump
In 1976, the FDA adopted a process called 510(k) This process allowed for quicker approval of medical devices that were similar to existing products already available without the normal testing that would usually be required. This is a quicker, less expensive way for medical device companies to get their products onto the market. Consequently, we are seeing defective medical devices entering the market that simply are unsafe and that lack any long-term studies.
Product liability claims resulting from defective medical devices are based on one of the following:
• Defectively manufactured medical devices. These are devices that were improperly manufactured or otherwise damaged. A defectively manufactured medical device can be created as a result of an error at the manufacturing facility, a shipping problem, or an error that occurs at the hospital or doctor's office. These are medical devices that were properly manufactured but have an unreasonably dangerous design that results in injury. Sometimes, a medical device will have been on the market for a long time before causing serious injuries, typically because the device breaks down in some way. In some cases, the victims may claim that the manufacturer knew of the danger but deliberately concealed it or delayed taking the product off the market.
• Defectively marketed medical devices. The "marketing" of a medical device refers to any recommendation, warning, lack of a warning, or instruction concerning the use of that medical device. This category of claims involves anything from a failure to provide adequate or accurate warnings regarding the danger posed by the medical device to a failure to provide adequate instructions regarding its safe and appropriate use. The "bad advice" may have been given by the manufacturer or by a doctor, hospital, sales representative, or other medical provider.
Who Is Liable in a Clearwater Defective Medical Device Case?
If you have been injured by a defective medical device, it is important to speak to an experienced Clearwater products liability attorney to determine if any third party or business is liable for your injuries and damages including.
• Laboratories: Any testing laboratory that performed tests on the medical device.
• Sales representatives: Medical device manufacturers often use sales representative who meet with doctors and other members of the medical community to sell devices and made recommendations for uses and applications.
• Doctors: The doctor who recommended the medical device may be liable based upon their failure to warn you about potential dangers or to provide adequate instructions regarding the proper use of the medical device.
• Hospitals: Hospitals and clinics that are part of the chain of distribution between the manufacturer of the medical device and the consumer may be liable for your injuries.
• Retailer: Products obtained from a pharmacy, drug store, or other retail supplier may also be liable.
As a consumer or patient, you deserve to be protected against unsafe medical devices. Too often consumers do not discover until it is too late that the medical device they have been using causes short-term or permanent damage. The costs of related to this harm from medical expenses, lost income and rehabilitation can run into the millions of dollars. You have a right to recover your losses.
Contact a Clearwater Product Liability Lawyer
If you have received an injury while using a medical device a third party individual or business may be liable for your damages. At the Dolman Law Group, our skilled product liability lawyers will investigate your case and protect your rights under Florida law. Please call our office at 727-451-6900 today.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 3375