Birth Control Injuries

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 What Is Birth Control?

Birth control is a term that refers to any device, product, or substance that is utilized in preventing conception and/or pregnancy. In most cases, the term birth control typically refers to medical pills that are ingested by a female partner in order to regulate hormones related to reproduction.

However, the term birth control is very broad and can include other methods or devices of preventing unwanted pregnancies, such as:

  • Implants and other medical devices that are used to regulate hormones;
  • Medical birth control injections such as Depo-Provera;
  • Medical devices that create physical barriers to conception, such as Essure and Mirena IUD or other similar IUD devices;
  • Medical surgeries that alter the body’s reproductive ability, including the male vasectomy; and/or
  • Any other drugs or devices intended to change the body’s chemistry and prevent unwanted pregnancies.

As can be seen, there are numerous different forms of birth control available to both biological male and females. The choice of birth control methods will usually depend on a person’s needs, physical health, insurance availability, and personal preference. Additionally, some methods and forms of birth control will have different risks and side effects when compared to other methods and devices.

A birth control lawyer is a lawyer that specializes in birth control methods and devices, and representing individuals who are either denied rightful birth control methods or devices, or who have been harmed as a result of utilizing birth control.

What Are Some Common Birth Control Injuries?

Although birth control methods and devices are intended to be safe and effective in preventing unwanted pregnancies, many birth control drugs and devices have been shown to increase the user’s likelihood of blood clots, cancer, heart conditions, or other physical injuries. Birth control injuries will vary and often depend on the type of birth control treatment or contraceptives involved.

Examples of common birth control injuries include:

  • Side effects related to the changes in hormones;
  • Temporary or permanent infertility;
  • Over stimulation of the user’s ovaries and other glands related to the reproductive system;
  • Physical injuries resulting from surgical errors, or as a result of medical malpractice;
  • Birth defects in children born while on the birth control; and/or
  • Wrongful death claims in the case where an individual died as a result of the birth control method or devices.

In addition to the above list of common birth control issues, an individual can also suffer injuries as a result of non-hormonal birth control. Non-hormonal birth control refers to any type of contraceptive device or product that does not involve altering a user’s hormone levels. Non-hormonal birth control is typically a physical barrier that is put into place in order to prevent conception from happening, such as a condom or cervical cap.

Although non-hormonal birth control methods are generally less dangerous than hormonal birth control methods, there use can result in injuries, such as:

  • Harmful skin reactions;
  • Internal infections;
  • More intense menstrual pain or premenstrual symptoms;
  • Temporary or permanent infertility; and/or
  • Other injuries related to the use of the product, such as a defective product claim.

What Are Some Legal Issues Associated with Birth Control Claims?

There are numerous legal issues that are associated with the use of birth control methods and devices. Examples of the most common legal issues associated with birth control include, but are not limited to:

  • Faulty or Defective Products: One of the most common legal issues associated with birth control methods and devices is based on the legal theory of product liability. The birth control product may contain either a design defect or a manufacturing defect.
    • A design defect is a product defect that affects how a product is initially designed to work that renders the product inherently unsafe to the consumers to whom the product is sold.
      • For birth control devices, such as an IUD, if they were intended to prevent unwanted pregnancies, but instead just result in blood clots, that would be a design defect.
    • A manufacturing defect is a defect that results from how the product is put together or assembled. In most manufacturing defects, before and up to the point of assembly, there is nothing defective about the product. Then, the product becomes defective during the assembly process due to some mistake or incorrect assembly.
      • For example, if during the manufacturing of condoms a harmful bacteria was on the assembly line, and that bacteria resulted in injuries to consumers that utilized the product for contraceptive use, the seller, manufacturer, or distributor may be held liable for the injuries suffered;
  • Medical Malpractice: Medical malpractice is a civil wrong that occurs when a doctor or other medical professional is responsible for an injury to a patient by falling below the standard duty of care that is required of them.
    • In the case of birth control, a medical professional that incorrectly performs a birth control procedure may be liable under medical malpractice laws;
  • Pharmaceutical Errors: A pharmacy that gives an individual the wrong birth control that results in any unwanted changes to their body may be held liable for that mistake;
  • False Advertising: False advertising falls under the legal theory of product liability. Advertising a contraceptive to be 100% effective, or failing to state certain side effects may result in liability to the company that advertised the birth control method or device.

Once again, legal claims involving birth control methods or devices often require a civil lawsuit being initiated by the individual injured by the product or method. Legal remedies for birth control injuries may include a monetary damages award for the injured party. In rare cases, wrongful death claims have also been associated with birth control injuries.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Birth Control Lawsuit?

A statute of limitations is a legal term that refers to the period of time in which an individual can legally bring a claim against another party. In the case of birth control lawsuits, an individual that has suffered a birth control injury will have to file a claim against the party that harmed them within the appropriate statute of limitations.

As far as the exact statute of limitation period, that will vary by state and jurisdiction. However, typically the statute of limitations begins to run from the time that the birth control injury manifests itself.

For example, in the state of Texas, a birth control injury or infant wrongful death claim must be brought within 2 years from the date the injury occurs or manifests itself. The statute of limitations for Depo-Provera would thus begin when the individual who took the birth control has the injury manifested, such as them learning that they are permanently infertile. From that point, they would have 2 years to sue the manufacturer, seller, doctor, or facility, depending on the facts of their case.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help with Birth Control Injury Claims?

As can be seen, there are numerous different injuries that may be associated with the use of birth control. As such, if you have suffered an injury as the result of a birth control method or device, it is in your best interests to immediately consult with an experienced class action lawyer.

An experienced attorney will be aware of any class action lawsuits that you may be able to participate in. Additionally, an attorney can also initiate a private civil lawsuit on your behalf if there are no available class action suits. Finally, an attorney will also be able to represent your interests in court, as necessary.

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