With the advancement of medical science and technology has come a tremendous boom in the pharmaceutical industry, as drug companies push drug after drug onto the marketplace. For some, these medications are a lifeline, saving lives and improving the quality of life. But for others, undisclosed drug side effects, flawed drug designs, or defective drug manufacturing issues can have serious life consequences.
A lawsuit may be the only chance that injured patients have to recover financial damages, but proving that a drug is responsible for your suffering can be a challenge. Here’s what you should know about the process.
Dangerous Drug Lawsuit Basics
Before beginning a legal claim against a drug manufacturer, it’s important to cast a critical eye on the situation. Not every bad reaction or poor outcome from the use of a drug, whether it’s prescription or over-the-counter, is grounds to file a lawsuit.
For successful claims, typically there are three ways that pharmaceutical injuries occur. These are:
- There was a defect during manufacturing. The manufacturing process for drugs is a complex process that’s highly regulated and requires strict adherence to safety and quality control. If the factory strays from the correct manufacturing process, drugs can become contaminated, may have the wrong amount of active ingredient than there should be, or the wrong active ingredient could be introduced. Labeling or packaging errors can also occur, leading to dangerous dosage mistakes.
- The drug is defective by design. Drug companies are supposed to follow a strictly-controlled and scientific process when creating and testing a new drug, and they are expected to create a product with more benefits than risks to patients. A drug that hasn’t been tested adequately or is rushed to market may later be discovered to be unsafe for the purposes the manufacturer claimed.
- The maker failed to warn of harmful side effects. Drug companies are expected to warn doctors and patients of any potential side effects so that they can make an informed choice about using a product. Advertising and labeling are also expected to be truthful and accurate as to the drug’s benefits and risks.
Any of these three basic causes may be grounds to make a product liability claim against a drug manufacturer.
Proving a Dangerous Drug Case
Once it’s been established that the manufacturer may have liability due to issues such as a defective design, bad manufacturing, or a failure to warn, there are generally three key points to prove, including:
- There are damages. To make a successful claim, you’ll need to show that you suffered harm or loss that you can be compensated for. This can include the costs of emergency treatment, follow-up care, physical therapy or rehabilitation, or other economic losses that can be calculated.
- The product is defective. You and your legal team have to demonstrate the manner in which the product is defective. This can be a very involved process and may take up a considerable amount of time, with expert witnesses and other legal professionals coming together to build your case.
- The product defect caused your loss. The next step ties the previous two parts of the claim together by showing that the defect is the direct cause of your injury or loss. You’ll also need to show that you took the medication as directed, yet the harm still occurred.
Be prepared for this process to take time. A considerable amount of expertise in both the legal and medical fields may be required to prove your case, which is why it’s important to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible after your injury. Your attorney can review the facts of your situation, investigate the claim, and present your legal options for moving forward.
Get Legal Help Today
If a defective drug has injured you or someone you love, Wayne Wright LLP would like to hear from you today. Our attorneys have decades of experience standing up for the rights of those who have been injured by dangerous drugs and defective medical devices for decades, and we’re here to help you and your family begin the recovery process. To arrange a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced legal professionals, call us by phone, use our online contact form, or click the live chat box on this page right now.