Though not all medication-related issues are grounds for a lawsuit, there are times when it’s wholly appropriate to seek compensation for an injury caused by a prescription. A lawsuit can help pay for medical bills and ongoing treatment related to the issue, rehabilitation, lost wages due to time spent away from work, and things like pain and suffering, too. But in order to pursue damages, it becomes a question of responsibility: who or what caused your injury? The answer depends on the nature of the incident.
Here’s what you need to know about determining liability after suffering harm from a dangerous drug, and how you can get legal help if you’ve been hurt.
Holding Manufacturers Liable for Dangerous Drugs
If the injuries caused by a drug were directly related to the manufacturing methods or distribution of the medication, the manufacturer may be held liable. For example, if the company’s production facility didn’t follow proper procedures and it resulted in an impure or contaminated drug that hurt patients, a lawsuit aimed at the manufacturer may be an appropriate response.
Another common situation in dangerous drug lawsuits is called “failure to warn.” In cases like these, a drug has a particular dangerous side effect or effects, yet the maker of the drug did not disclose the risks to doctors or patients. In some cases, it may even be possible to show that the manufacturer deliberately hid the evidence in order to gain FDA approval or sell more of the drug. In this type of situation, not only may the manufacturer be found liable for the harm caused to the patients who suffered, but the court may choose to award punitive or exemplary damages above and beyond the normal damages to financially punish the company for wrongdoing.
Improper marketing is another major concern for which manufacturers can be held liable. For example, if a manufacturer advertises a drug as being safe for a certain condition, yet evidence later proves otherwise, victims of bad marketing can file a lawsuit to recover damages caused by the drug.
Other Liable Parties in a Dangerous Drug Lawsuit
Doctors, nurses, and other personnel responsible for the prescribing, delivery, or administration of a drug could be liable for the injuries caused by a drug in certain cases. For example, a doctor may be found liable for a failure to warn, if he or she did not inform the patient about potentially dangerous side effects of a drug before prescribing or administering it. Medical professionals may also be found liable if they failed to give the patient proper instructions as to how the medication should be used, or if the wrong medication was dispensed.
Pharmacists may be liable for dangerous drugs, as well. A pharmacist may breach the duty of care he or she owes to patients in several ways, such as:
- By failing to ensure the right medication is dispensed
- By failing to ensure that the label is correct.
- By failing to warn a customer that there could be dangerous interactions with other drugs.
Sometimes certain drugs are mixed by special compounding pharmacies. These pharmacies may be independent, or part of a clinic or hospital environment, and are used to create specialty medications or blends of medications that are tailored to the unique needs of a particular patient’s condition. However, if these pharmacies make mistakes or don’t obey cleanliness standards, contaminants can be introduced, causing major harm. In such cases, it may be the pharmacy as well as the hospital or other institution that houses it that is responsible for the error.
Legal Help for Dangerous Drugs
Dangerous drug lawsuits are complicated and most lawsuits involve the liability of many parties, including doctors, hospitals, pharmacists, manufacturers, distributors, sales representatives, and more. When you choose an attorney with experience handling dangerous drug cases like yours, he or she will be able to perform a thorough investigation to help you determine all potentially liable parties and maximize your potential compensation.
If you’ve been injured due to a dangerous drug, Wayne Wright LLP would like to hear from you. We’ve spent decades standing up for the sick and injured by fighting against drug companies, insurers, negligent medical providers, and others whose actions have resulted in serious harm. To talk to a qualified professional about your legal situation, call us by telephone, use the contact form to send an email, or click the live chat box and arrange a free, no-obligation consultation today.