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Do I Need a Lawyer for a Faulty Knee Replacement?

Do I Need a Lawyer for a Faulty Knee Replacement?

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Do I Need a Lawyer for a Faulty Knee Replacement?

A faulty knee replacement is the last thing you expect when you go into this kind of surgery. The fact that you need a knee replacement means you're already in so much pain. However, the unfortunate truth is that some artificial knee replacement joints don't serve their purpose. Instead, they add more misery to an already painful situation. 

Every year, more than 700,000 knee surgeries are performed in the United States. Although some of these surgeries are successful, some are more harmful than helpful. This explains why many knee replacement manufacturers face lawsuits for various injuries caused by their products. 

When it comes to filing such a lawsuit, or any other for that matter, it's important to have an experienced attorney fighting for your rights. We'll discuss that in detail shortly. For now, let's look at common problems caused by faulty knee implants. 

Knee implants sometimes become loose due to various reasons, such as high-impact activities, bone deterioration, or wear and tear. In some cases, the bond between the cement and implant may fail, leading to the loosening of the implant. When that happens, you'll most likely experience serious knee pain. 

There's also the risk of infections, especially after knee replacement surgery. The infection might occur right after the surgery or later. These infections are usually known as peri-prosthetic joint infections, or simply PJI. Individuals with this kind of knee infection often require revision surgery. 

Periprosthetic fractures can also occur after knee replacement surgery. These fractures are usually caused by high impact or pressure exerted on the knee, especially during a fall or any other kind of trauma.  

In some cases, knee implants become unstable, especially due to damaged ligaments. In addition, they can become unstable when there's a mismatch between the soft tissue tensioning when the knee is fully straight or bent. Unstable knee implants can lead to unexpected falls due to a lack of proper balance and support while walking or standing. 

Some individuals with knee implants also suffer from arthrofibrosis, a condition caused by scar tissue build-up around the knee joint. When that happens, their knees become stiff, limiting their range of motion as a result. 

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FAQ

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  • What Are Some Common Symptoms of a Failed Knee Replacement?

    The symptoms of failed knee replacement vary depending on the original cause of the failure. Generally, a failed knee replacement can cause:

    • swelling around the joint;
    • extreme pain, especially when walking or even resting;
    • instability when walking or standing;
    • painful scratching or popping sounds;
    • unusual warmth around the knee, and;
    • limited range of motion or knee function. 

    In most cases, revision surgery is usually required to fix a faulty knee replacement. 

    However, knee revision surgery is not only painful but also intrusive. Additionally, it can bring your life to a halt for a while. For example, if a knee infection is detected, you may undergo revision surgery twice.

    The first procedure will remove the faulty knee implant. After that, you'll have to wait for a particular period to give the infection enough time to heal. After healing, you'll undergo another surgery to replace the faulty joint. This process is medically referred to as the “two-state exchange arthroplasty.” 

    Back to the original question of whether you need a lawyer for a faulty knee replacement, the answer is a resounding “yes.” Here's why. 

    Knee problems are frustrating and painful to deal with. Simple tasks, such as standing or walking, can be extremely painful. That's the whole point of having surgery.

    And, when you go in for surgery, you hope that you'll come out feeling better, not worse. That's where the importance of hiring an attorney comes in. 

    Here are some common reasons for knee replacement lawsuits. 

    When an implant is marked as safe and effective, you expect it to live up to its expectations. Unfortunately, some of these products are never as effective as advertised, and this is usually due to negligence on the manufacturer's side. 

    Suppose you have reason to believe that the manufacturer knew that the product was defective or unsafe but didn't do anything about it. In that case, it may be necessary to speak to an experienced attorney. 

    Some knee implants come with poor designs. Unfortunately, by the time such poor designs are discovered, it may be too late. You'll need another surgery to get rid of the poorly-designed implant and replace it with a better one. That's if you're lucky not to have suffered serious injuries or even infections caused by the poor design. 

    There's also the issue of failure to warn. Product manufacturers have the moral and legal responsibility to warn consumers about the potential harms and defects associated with a particular product. For example, in the case of a knee implant, the manufacturers should notify the consumer of any defects the implant might cause. This gives the consumer the chance to make informed decisions well in advance. 

    But some manufacturers simply refuse to warn consumers about the potential risks associated with their products. Such manufacturers are usually more concerned about making profits than their consumers' well-being. For this reason, it's necessary to hold them accountable for their negligence and dishonesty. 

  • What Type of Lawyer Do You Need for a Faulty Knee Replacement Lawsuit?

    Faulty knee replacement lawsuits fall under personal injury. However, not every personal injury lawyer can handle this kind of lawsuit. You need a lawyer who is specialized in product liability cases. 

    A product liability attorney can help hold the negligent party accountable for their negligence, ensuring that you receive the compensation you need and deserve. Here's a deeper look at why you need a product liability attorney for this kind of lawsuit. 

    Product liability cases are some of the most difficult to prove. To prove that the other party acted negligently, the plaintiff must satisfy all elements of a product liability claim or any other lawsuit filed on the grounds of negligence. They include:

    Duty

    You must prove that the other party had a duty of care. In this case, the knee implant manufacturer has the duty to ensure that their products are safe for consumers. 

    Breach

    You must also establish that the defendant breached their duty of care. In this case, the knee implant manufacturer acted negligently somewhere along the production line. 

    Causation

    It's also the plaintiff's responsibility to prove that the defective product, in this case, the faulty knee implant, caused them harm.

    Harm

    The plaintiff must also demonstrate the kind of harm suffered due to the defective product. 

    On paper, these requirements seem pretty straightforward. However, in reality, they're much more difficult to prove. Let's look at the issue of defective design as an example. 

    You probably don't know how a poorly-designed knee implant looks when you go for knee replacement surgery. All you want is to feel better. 

    So when you experience additional problems after the surgery, such as knee infections, a defective design will be the last thing on your mind. It takes the intervention of an expert to identify such problems. 

    But even if a product is poorly-designed, that might not be enough reason to win a lawsuit against the other party. In most cases, the plaintiff must prove that a better design would have prevented the harm the consumer suffered. 

    That's where the importance of working with an attorney comes in. Given that product liability attorneys are aware that they may be required to prove the defect in the product in question, these attorneys usually work with a vast network of experts. 

    Such an attorney can hire an expert to investigate the product and create a report, which will then be presented in court as expert opinion. The report identifies the specific flaws of the product and further demonstrates the manufacturer's negligence. 

  • What Kind of Knee Placement Lawsuit Can I File? 

    Faulty knee replacement occurs due to different reasons and also involves different products. This further explains the importance of consulting an experienced product liability attorney from Morgan & Morgan. A competent product liability lawyer will evaluate your case and explain your options. 

    Common Knee Replacement Lawsuits 

    Depending on the specifics of your case, a product liability attorney can file one of the following lawsuits. 

    Multidistrict Litigation
    Multidistrict litigation is a federal legal process involving complex cases affecting multiple individuals. Rather than settle one individual case at a time, this option puts all cases together to avoid duplicating discovery (interviewing each plaintiff one by one). As a result, multidistrict litigation is much faster. 

    Many medical device lawsuits take this path. This is because they usually involve multiple patients experiencing the same problems caused by a specific product. A good example is the Zimmer knee replacement lawsuit.

    Class Action Knee Replacement Lawsuits
    Most people tend to confuse class-action lawsuits with multidistrict litigation. But these two approaches are quite different. 

    Class action lawsuits involve a single lawsuit filed on behalf of many people who have suffered similar harm caused by the same defendant (or defendants). On the other hand, multidistrict litigation usually involves multiple lawsuits filed by different plaintiffs. 

    Individual Lawsuits
    It may be necessary to pursue an individual lawsuit through a state court in some cases. However, judges in charge of the process may decide otherwise and instruct the plaintiff to join multidistrict litigation. 

  • How Much Is a Faulty Knee Replacement Case Worth? 

    The actual value of a faulty knee replacement case varies from one case to another. However, to date, the largest settlement for this lawsuit was around $1 billion, paid by Sulzer Medica to settle up to 4,000 lawsuits. 

    Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, you may be able to sue for:

    Lost Wages 
    If you could not go to work due to the faulty knee implant, your attorney can help file a claim against the product's manufacturer. If you win the case, you will be compensated for the time you were unable to work and other expenses arising from your inability to work.

    Medical Bills
    This settlement covers medical expenses arising from the faulty knee implement. In most cases, it includes current and future medical expenses. 

    Pain and Suffering
    You may be able to receive compensation if you prove that the faulty implant caused you great pain and suffering. 

    Punitive Damages
    Punitive damages are usually awarded when the jury concludes that the defendant acted recklessly, causing serious injuries to the plaintiff. This kind of settlement may be offered when compensatory damages are deemed insufficient or as a punishment to the defendant for their gross negligence. 

  • Can You Sue a Doctor for Faulty Knee Replacement?

    Yes. You may be able to sue your doctor if you can prove that they acted negligently, leading to the faulty knee replacement. In that case, this could be a case of medical negligence, which is best handled by a medical malpractice attorney

    How Morgan & Morgan Can Help

    By now, you probably understand how difficult it is to win a product liability case without an attorney. Unfortunately, it's even more difficult to win a medical malpractice case. 

    So many factors come into play when proving that the defendant acted negligently. And, given that these cases involve huge settlements, the defense may opt for some of the best attorneys in town. 

    For this reason, you need to work with a personal injury law firm that has powerful legal resources and unmatched experience in handling such cases.

    That's where we come in as the largest personal injury law firm in the United States. If you or your loved one is suffering from the consequences of a faulty knee replacement, you deserve compensation. 

    Whether it's a case of product liability or medical malpractice, you can trust Morgan & Morgan to assemble the most experienced and knowledgeable legal team to represent you in and out of court. It all starts by filling out our free case evaluation form or giving us a call at 877-504-6923. 

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