Meshes are widely used in hernia repair surgeries because they help to significantly reduce operating and recovery time. However, an increasing number of people have been experiencing hernia mesh-related complications and many have filed lawsuits against the manufacturers. If you’ve suffered from side effects, you could also be eligible to file a claim. Here are five things you need to know before you file a hernia mesh lawsuit.
1. You Need to be Eligible to File a Claim
There is strict criteria in place that determines who can file a hernia mesh claim. If this criteria isn’t met, it’s very unlikely that your case will even make it to court. That’s why before you file a lawsuit, you need to check your eligibility.
At the moment, lawsuits are only being filed against two types of hernia mesh products – Physiomesh by Ethicon and C-QUR by Atrium. You need to have one of these two meshes if you’re going to file a lawsuit. This is because these two are slightly different to the other products on the market.
For starters, they’re made from lightweight polypropylene mesh. Physiomesh was designed to promote strong and comfortable healing while C-QUR was covered in a natural Omega 3 gel coating which was meant to reduce inflammation. Both meshes were marketed as safer options for patients who wanted a reliable hernia repair solution.
However, there have been many cases where people have suffered from severe, life changing, long term side effects and complications from their hernia mesh. These have ranged from extreme pain and infections to organ perforation and adhesions (where the mesh has become stuck to other organs).
2. Keep an Accurate Record of How Much Damage the Mesh Has Caused You
You should keep an accurate record of how much damage your mesh product has caused you. This will make it easier for your attorney (when you come to choosing one to handle your case) to prepare your case and calculate how much compensation you might be entitled to.
The damages can include:
- How much physical pain and internal damage has been caused. E.g. the extent of the complications and how that has affected your ability to perform your daily activities.
- Whether you had to receive additional medical care as a result of these complications. E.g. corrective surgery, rehabilitation, medication.
- Whether you had to pay for the above medical expenses and how much.
- How much time off work you needed to take for the surgery and recovery.
- How much income you lost from time off work.
- Whether you’ll need to take additional time off work. E.g. will you be unable to work due to these complications and their aftermath?
- How much income you’ll lose in the future as a result of the above.
Note that these damages are a mixture of physical and financial. Be sure to try and collect evidence of your additional medical expenses and lost income. This will help your attorney when they’re calculating how much compensation you can claim for.
3. Know that Compensation Can Vary and Not All Cases Result in Multimillion Dollar Settlements
Be aware that the amount of compensation that can be won can vary greatly from case to case. It depends on the complications you experienced, the trauma you went through and the losses you suffered. The point we’re trying to make is that no two cases are ever going to be 100 percent alike because it depends on your individual experience.
The highest ever hernia mesh lawsuit settlement was $57 million. It was awarded to a woman after her mesh eroded into her urethra and caused her extreme pain. The mesh required three corrective surgeries to remove it but even now, some pieces of it still remain.
But know that not all hernia mesh cases result in huge multimillion dollar settlements. It depends on your individual case. Your lawyer will be able to calculate how much compensation you might be eligible to claim. You can help out by gathering evidence beforehand.
4. Hernia Mesh Lawsuits can Take Years to Settle
Hernia mesh lawsuits can take several years before the manufacturers are even willing to discuss settlement terms, never mind closing the case. This is because these lawsuits are highly complex, requiring deep investigation into your medical file and the mesh product. And this is all before the case goes to court.
In addition, there are thousands of lawsuits that have been filed against hernia mesh manufacturers. However, if your case is placed under a Multidistrict Litigation (MDL), it may be settled quicker. The alternative is a Class Action lawsuit where cases are tried in groups and everyone in that group receives the same amount. Class Actions can take at least one to three years to settle.
5. The Importance of Choosing Right Lawyer
If you want to increase your chances of a successful lawsuit that settles more quickly, you should choose the right lawyer. Consider these questions when you’re choosing a lawyer:
- Do they have experience in handling personal injury cases, particularly hernia mesh ones like yours? Law is an extremely wide, complex area and it’s impossible to know everything about every single topic. Your case has a much better chance of success if you find a personal injury lawyer who has handled hernia mesh cases before.
- Do they have court experience? Not every case goes to court but your lawyer should always be someone who is experienced in court and is ready to go – just in case.
- What is their track record? Qualifications and experience are important but so is their track record. Even the best lawyers will lose cases from time to time, but the higher their success rate, the better. Particularly if they’ve been involved in a hernia mesh lawsuit before.
- What have people said about them? This reflects both their professional and personal demeanor. So, look for review websites where people (members of the public and other lawyers) rate lawyers. You can also ask around your local community, particularly among other lawyers. In any profession, people who work in them usually know who’s good and who’s not.
- Do you feel comfortable around them? This one’s very important. You need to tell your lawyer everything related to your case but in order to do that, you need to build a rapport with them. The best lawyer for you will be someone you can trust to represent your interests.
Find the Best Attorney for Your Hernia Mesh Case
Meshes were introduced as the solution to your hernia troubles but instead, they’ve only served to make matters worse. At Coxwell & Associates, our expert team of lawyers have been helping Mississippians find their justice for over 35 years. We can help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free case consultation.
Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.