Companies that make prescription drugs should have a duty to ensure that their products meet certain safety standards and don’t cause more harm than they cure. There are times, though, when companies seem to put profit before people and release a drug that hasn’t been properly tested, or a failure in manufacturing leads to a drug causing harm to consumers. Common prescription drugs like Abilify, Invokana, Risperdal, Benicar, Prilosec, Nexium, and others are leading to thousands of lawsuits as injured patients seek help recovering from injuries that never should have happened.
Here’s what you should know about dangerous prescription drug lawsuits, damages that patients could potentially recover in a court of law, and how to get started with your own lawsuit if you’ve been hurt.
Prescription Drug Use Statistics
Prescription drugs are far more common than many people realize. According to data gathered by the Centers for Disease Control, nearly half (48.9 percent) of people in the United States took at least one prescription drug between 2011–2014, and over three-quarters (76.2 percent) of all doctor visits resulted in drug therapy for patients. This widespread use of medication means that when a dangerous drug enters the marketplace and causes harm, it can cost a great deal of pain and suffering for many thousands of people. Likewise, a drug injury can cause real money problems, as astronomical medical bills and time away from work put severe strain on the family finances.
Damage Awards in Prescription Drug Lawsuits
The best recourse that many patients and their families have when they’ve been hurt by a prescription drug is to file a lawsuit and seek recovery from the manufacturer. By pursuing a lawsuit and proving that the manufacturer is responsible for releasing a dangerous drug, it’s possible to receive financial compensation for your health issues. Compensation is typically in the form of legal damages, which are a type of monetary award granted to make up for an injury or loss incurred by a defendant.
There are several types of damages that you may be eligible to receive for your injury. The two main categories are:
- Economic damages. Economic damages are expenses that can be easily quantified and added up, such as hospital and doctor bills, the cost of any surgeries, physical therapy and rehabilitation, lost wages from time spent away from work, the loss of future earnings if your ability to work has been reduced or you can no longer work at all, and so on.
- Non-economic damages. These damages aren’t as easy to quantify as economic damages, but they are just as important. Non-economic damages that you could receive compensation for include the pain and suffering that you endured, mental anguish caused by your situation, and even loss of consortium or companionship if the drug has affected your relationship with your spouse, significant other, or family in some way.
There is a third type of damage award, known as exemplary or punitive damages. Exemplary damages are not designed to compensate victims for any specific cost or expense, but instead is used to punish a defendant who has engaged in particularly bad behavior. Punitive damages serve as both a warning and deterrent to prevent other people from engaging in similar behavior in the future. This type of damage award isn’t as common as the other two, as it requires a higher than usual standard of evidence in court, but it’s not uncommon for punitive damages to be awarded against drug companies with deep pockets who have caused serious harm to patients.
How to Start Your Dangerous Drug Lawsuit
Pharmaceutical companies are frequent targets of lawsuits, so it takes solid evidence and persuasive arguments to have the best chance at winning your case in front of a jury. A personal injury attorney with experience litigating dangerous drug cases will be able to help you make your case by investigating your situation, examining medical records and other treatment documents, looking at other similar claims, and even calling in expert witnesses to testify on your behalf.
Get Legal Help Now
If you’ve been hurt by a dangerous prescription drug, Wayne Wright LLP would like to hear from you today. We believe in standing up for the rights of patients who have been injured due to the negligence or recklessness of drug companies who have put profits before people, and we are here to help you and your family seek the justice you deserve in a court of law. To arrange a free consultation with an experienced member of our legal team, call us by phone, use our contact form to send us an email, or click the live chat box on this page right now.