Dealing with Accident Recovery: Tips and Strategies for the Injured

Hi! My name is Sam, and I started this blog to help other injured people. Before you start reading, let me tell you a little about myself. Ten years ago, I slipped on a slice of fruit in a grocery store. My leg slid out from under me, and in a freak twist, it was rendered useless. I could no longer work and struggled with intense pain every day. Luckily, I found an accident and injury attorney who was able to get me the compensation I needed to cover my medical bills and my lost time at work. However, while I waited for the settlement to come through, I had to get creative physically and financially. This blog is dedicated to anyone who is in that limbo position. I hope the posts here help you decide what to do while you wait for the results of your trial.

Birth Control Pill Failure: Medical Malpractice Or Product Liability


It's a pretty well-known fact that birth control pills aren't 100-percent effective. Even when taken religiously according to the manufacturer's instructions, the failure rate for these pills is between 0.3 and 9 percent. However, user error isn't always the cause of unintended pregnancies. Sometimes the fault lies with the doctor or the manufacturer; the issue here, though, is determining whether you have a medical malpractice or a product liability case. Here's what you need to know to make the right determination for your situation.

Medical Malpractice

In a medical malpractice case, the medical professional's actions are the cause of the injury to the patient. This means that the healthcare provider must have done something to cause the birth control pills to fail in some way. For instance, antibiotics can reduce the effectiveness of the pills. If the doctor prescribed an antibiotic without notifying you that this was a potential side effect and you got pregnant as a result, then you may have a viable case for damages.

To prevail in a medical malpractice case, you must prove four things:

  • The medical professional had a duty of care towards you (e.g. a duty to provide adequate medical care)
  • The medical professional failed in that duty of care
  • You were injured as a result of the medical professional's actions
  • The injury lead to compensable damages

You'll have to show exactly how the healthcare provider failed in his or her duty (e.g. failed to warn of side effects or prescribed the wrong medication) as well as present evidence that you sustained compensable injuries as a result of that failure. For instance, you could submit bills for the cost of medical care associated with the unintended pregnancy. In addition to your out-of-pocket costs, you may be awarded pain and suffering and other non-economic damages as the court sees fit.

Product Liability

On the other hand, sometimes the failure of a birth control product is the fault of the manufacturer. For instance, over 100 women experienced unintended pregnancies because the manufacturer of a brand of birth control medication mixed up the pills in the packaging. Instead of three weeks of hormone pills and one week of sugar pills, the women received blister packs containing three weeks of sugar pills and one week of hormone pills.

In this type of case, a plaintiff can sue the manufacturer using product liability law. You would have to prove:

  • The product was defective in some way
  • The manufacturer caused or was responsible for the defect
  • The defect lead to you being injured
  • The injury resulted in compensable damages

As in the case of medical malpractice, you would need to provide proof of the company's wrongdoing and that the pregnancy was the direct result of that wrongdoing.

Proving medical malpractice or product liability can be very challenging in a birth control failure case because there are a number of factors that can contribute to the failure, and you would have to show the actions of the doctor or manufacturer were the most likely cause. It's best to hire an attorney who can help you litigate the case and get the court judgment you deserve.

To learn more, contact a medical malpractice attorney like R.J. Marzella & Associates, P.C.


24 November 2015