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Risks Associated with the Use of Cochlear Implants

Risks Associated with the Use of Cochlear ImplantsCochlear implants are implants that are inserted into the inner ear to help individuals hear better. They are different from simple hearing aids, which merely amplify sound and make it louder. Cochlear implants do not do this; instead, they transmit sounds to the auditory nerve by way of an electronic sound processor. The sounds are different from normal sounds and require a fair amount of training and understanding to fully process. Although Cochlear implants have provided a lot of assistance to those with difficulty hearing, the implants have not been developed and used without risk. There are numerous documented cases of injuries resulting from defective implants, some injuries of which are extremely debilitating. If you are in need of legal help to file a cochlear implant lawsuit, reach out to our skilled attorneys at the Downtown LA Law Firm. We have spent many years handling such cases and will help you from start to finish.

What is the Cochlear Implant?

Risks Associated with the Use of Cochlear ImplantsThe cochlear implant is a surgically-implanted device that is placed behind the ear and allows sound to be transmitted to the auditory nerve. It is used to help those who are hard of hearing or who have suffered ear damage and can no longer distinguish or differentiate sound.

Symptoms of Defective Cochlear Implants

Cochlear implants come with many warnings. It does not matter if the wearer is a young child or an elderly individuals; there are many problems that can arise by simply having the implant installed. Common risks that are present for everyone usually include surgical risks, such as going on general anesthesia, potentially being allergic to certain medication, suffering worse or additional damage, and much more. These medical malpractice injuries should be treated as such and resulted in ample lawsuits. If you suffer any of these symptoms, you should go the doctor immediately to get evaluated, as your implant may have failed.
  • Loud noises in inner ear
  • Device fails or stops working
  • Cracking or popping
  • Pain in face or subtle shocks in the face
  • Violent outbursts in kids
  • Reduced hearing altogether
  • Ear pain
Some of the risks associated with the use of cochlear implants include:
  • Total hearing loss or absence of sound
  • Bacterial meningitis (a rare condition that causes the membranes surrounding the brain and spine to swell)
  • Tissue death inside the ear and skull
  • Infection at the site of surgery due to improperly closed wounds, lack of sterility in the surgical environment, usage of improperly cleaned tools, and more
  • Collection of blood, pus, and other fluids in the ear or near the implant
  • Vertigo (loss of balance, often associated with looking down from a great height) and dizziness
  • Tinnitus (high-pitched ringing in the ears)
  • Trouble with the senses
  • Ear numbness, whether internal or external
  • Inflammation of the inner ear and implant rejection, which can lead to reparative granuloma
  • Nerve damage in the face
  • Leakage of fluid, such as spinal and perilymph
If these occurrences are ignored, you could very easily suffer long term damage. These risks can lead to permanent hearing damage or loss that would not be able to be brought back or fixed by another implant, and you could suffer various internal injuries as well.

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Our team of cochlear implant lawsuit attorneys can help you move forward with a claim and win you the compensation you deserve.

Liability for a Cochlear Implant Injury

In most cases, liability will fall on the manufacturer of the implant if it is defective or malfunctions in some way and causes injuries. The doctor will likely not be held responsible or liable if he merely performed the surgery, unless he made an error in the middle of surgery and can be blamed for subsequent damage (such as by severing a nerve or by causing fluid to build up). The company, though, can be held liable, as it is up to them to make sure that there are no issues with the implant and that it works according to plan. The company does a fair amount of testing and must make sure that it is properly manufactured and that any risks are clearly outlined. Product liability can be shown in one of the following ways:
  • A design flaw was present that prevented the product from being properly created and was doomed or destined to have trouble working
  • A manufacturing defect could have occurred during the creation of the product, which may have only affected a small number of them mechanically or electronically
  • A lack of a warning label or hazard notice on the item or on the packaging of the item, or there was no warning provided to medical professionals who recommended it or installed it

Learn more about your options for compensation by calling (213) 389-3765.

If you can prove that the company was responsible for the damage caused by the implant, you could file a product liability claim to pursue compensation. In order to show product liability, you must be able to prove that the company knew of these problems and proceeded anyway. One famous cochlear implant case consisted of the following timeline:
  • 1/03: Engineer from Advanced Bionics states that an important component of the implant may leak.
  • 3/04: Executive from Advanced Bionics confirms that they had not conducted proper tests on the implant to mimic the human body.
  • 8/04: Nearly 250 cochlear devices are discovered to have excessive levels of moisture.
  • 9/04: The HiRes 90k cochlear implant is recalled due to failures caused by moisture build up.
  • 11/04: The HiRes 90k is reintroduced to the market.
  • 2/05: The FDA warns Advanced Bionics about the safety of their recently returned product. The company president addresses the continued failures of the product.
  • 5/05-8/05: Advanced Bionics receives numerous reports of implants that stopped working because of high moisture levels.
Despite numerous warnings and failures, the company still produced the products and was aware of the issues. This should simply not be allowed to happen, and if you have been using a product manufactured by a company that acted similarly, you could receive ample compensation for your damages.

What Is a Class Action Lawsuit?

A class action lawsuit is a lawsuit enacted by numerous plaintiffs represented by a single attorney against one defendant. It is most commonly seen in lawsuits against large businesses or corporations that have caused widespread injuries or damages. With an increased amount of cases and evidence, it is much more likely that the class action lawsuit will be successful when compared to an individual claim, which will naturally have less evidence. Key Factors in Establishing the Estimated Value of a Product Liability Lawsuit The main issue with class action lawsuits is the compensation amount. A sum of money will be evenly distributed to the plaintiffs, which can be a smaller overall amount than you could possibly win if you pursued a solitary claim. This means that the degree of injuries will not be taken into consideration, and you could receive the same damages as someone who was only minorly injured while you were severely damaged. For help choosing the right lawsuit for you, talk with our cochlear implant defect lawyers today.

Winning a Cochlear Implant Lawsuit

If you file a lawsuit against the company responsible for creating the implant, you could receive ample compensation. To win, you should have a qualified lawyer on your side who can gather your evidence and negotiate a fair settlement. Evidence for a should include the following:
  • The implant itself, which is the most important piece of evidence
  • Witnesses who can make statements or testify to the damage the implant caused or who have suffered similar troubles with implants
  • Pictures and videos of the damages you suffered
  • Medical notes, doctor statements, and medical bills showing the treatment you received and what kind of wounds you were subjected to, as well as the kinds of treatment you received
Cochlear Implant Defects Resulting in Harm
You should not tamper with the item in any way or else you could potentially ruin your chances of compensation. You should also be sure to get medical treatment as soon as the injury occurs. If there is a gap between the injury and the treatment, it could be a red flag for the insurance agent.

Learn more about your legal options by chatting with a representative now.

If you have suffered injuries from a cochlear implant, it may be in your best interest to hire an attorney who can handle your lawsuit for you. You may not have any experience negotiating with an insurance agent and you may not know the first step in any legal matters. A skilled lawyer will be able to ensure that the risks and injuries associated with the use of cochlear implants are properly compensated. Call us for more help today.

The Best Firm for You

Victims of damages caused by cochlear implants should contact our expert lawyers at the Downtown LA Law Group for help filing a lawsuit. We have years of experience under our belts and have recovered millions of dollars for our clients. Your case may be worth in excess of $1,000,000 and we want to make sure you get every penny you deserve from the liable company. We will aggressively work to win your claim and will take the company to court if necessary. Call us for a free legal consultation today. You can ask us any questions you like and we will gladly answer them. We will also tell you what we believe your case is worth. If you hire us, we will give you our zero fee guarantee, which is a way of preventing you from paying for legal expenses. We won’t charge you any money throughout the case and our firm will only get paid if we win your lawsuit. If we lose, we won’t get any payment at all. To learn more about filing a cochlear implant lawsuit, reach out to the Downtown LA Law Group at once.

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