Those interested in obtaining compensation from DePuy for its defective hip implants may be on the fence as to whether to sue the company or accept a quick settlement without seeing a lawyer. Initiating a lawsuit against DePuy sounds like a serious undertaking “and it is” but it’s better to start the process soon. There are several reasons to do so:

(1) DePuy may try to strong arm you with its claims process and other tactics to limit your compensation. Negotiating a settlement against DePuy on your own is perilous since you may not know the full merits of your own case. In the process, DePuy will try to obtain your case’s information for its benefit. For instance, its claims process serves its interests and not yours. DePuy also created a “help line” designed to elicit information that should be held confidential with an attorney. It has even tried to convince recalled hip implant recipients to sign forms that would authorize doctors to turn over patients’ medical information to the company.

The hip implants DePuy designed were faulty. Many fail after only 5 years as opposed to the 15 years hip implants are meant to last. Consequently, DePuy should pay you for the revision procedure, other medical costs, travel expenses, pain and suffering (something DePuy will definitely not voluntarily pay you), income loss, and compensation for scarring or disfigurement. DePuy’s claims process and its “help line” won’t pay you these damages, which is why it’s important to have your case evaluated by a lawyer.

(2) Time is not on your side.State laws require plaintiffs to bring cases within a certain time period. These are “statutes of limitations.” Often, this period is only three years from the date of injury. At best the date will be from the day the hip implant was removed. At worst it will be from the date it was implanted. Because DePuy hip implants have been on the market since 2003, some people may’ve had revision procedures long ago. Time may have already run out for some recipients. This is a very important reason for seeing a hip implant lawyer.

(3) DePuy is paying doctors to convince patients not to sue DePuy. Scary, but true. You need to know the full extent of your damages, and a doctor is the appropriate expert to turn to run the tests required to determine if your hip implant is failing and if it released metal ions into your body. At the same time, DePuy is also working with doctors to limit your compensation on its terms.Because not all doctors are on patients’ sides, Bernstein Liebhard advises recalled hip implant recipients to seek a second medical opinion. Consulting with a lawyer beforehand, however, will help you determine how to proceed and if your orthopedist has been compromised by DePuy.

(4) Full compensation from DePuy requires well-preserved evidence. A hip implant lawyer will tell you that the following materials are necessary to prevail against DePuy: medical test results, insurance documents, Medicare forms, your personal correspondence and records of your experiences, and the defective DePuy hip implant itself. A hip implant lawyer is the only person who can evaluate your case based on the evidence you have, and tell you how much compensation you can expect to receive.DePuy’s faulty ASR XL Acetabular System and ASR Hip Resurfacing System affect recipients differently: Some felt debilitating pain soon after the implant procedure while others still feel fine. Regardless of how you feel today, contacting a qualified hip implant lawyer will help you know your rights against DePuy as well as how much compensation you are entitled to, but the sooner you contact an attorney the better your case will be.

Published November 17, 2011 by