When Your Medication Does More Harm Than Good
Our Medication Error Lawyer Can Help
Has the medication prescribed by your physician and filled by your pharmacy made you ill? If so, you may be the victim of a medication error.
We rely strongly on our doctors and pharmacists for quality care. However, they are not infallible; more often than we would like to believe, errors due to negligence or carelessness occur. These mistakes, while not intentional, can be incredibly harmful.
If you or someone you love has been hurt as a result of a medication mistake, consider contacting our attorney about a medication error lawsuit.
Our professionals are well-versed in the laws governing these issues and are experienced in representing individuals who have been wronged. The lawyers for seniors at the National Injured Senior Law Center understand the special needs of this segment of the population. Contact our team today at (410) 625-4878 and learn how we can help you.
Overview of Medication Errors
An Overwhelming Issue
Have you been prescribed the wrong medication or dosage, or has your pharmacy filled a script incorrectly? If so, you are not alone. Medication errors are a significant issue. According to the National Center of Biotechnology Intervention (NCBI), U.S. National Library of Medicine, “Each year, in the United States alone, 7,000 to 9,000 people die as a result of a medication error. Additionally, hundreds of thousands of other patients experience but often do not report an adverse reaction or other medication complications.”
The senior population of our country is extremely vulnerable to medication errors. In general, senior citizens take more prescription medications than those who are younger. In fact, the Kaiser Family Foundation states that “[m]ore than half of adults 65 and older (54%) report taking four or more prescription drugs compared to one-third of adults 50-64 years old (32%) and about one in ten adults 30-49 (13%) or 18-29 (7%).” It stands to reason that the more medication prescribed, the greater the chance for an error to occur.
Our attorneys at the National Injured Senior Law Center are experienced in representing seniors who have been injured as a result of medication errors.
Understanding the Causes of Medication Errors
Physicians and pharmacists are highly educated; they are professionals in whom we place our trust for protecting our health. While their training is indisputable, it doesn’t prevent mistakes from occurring.
Medication errors can occur at any point during the prescribing process, but the majority (almost 50%) occur in the ordering stage.
Some of the most common errors made by physicians include
- Unawareness/misunderstanding of patients’ allergies
- Illegible handwriting
- Inaccurate dosage/duration
- Incorrect medication.
Errors also occur in dispensing medication. In this case, the pharmacist/pharmacy staff would likely be the responsible party/parties. Errors at this point include, but are not limited to:
- Confusion between drugs whose names are alike
- Incorrect labeling
- Mixing up clients
- Mistakes in preparation (diluting substances)
- Failure to identify drug interactions
- Inaccurate filling of prescriptions (wrong dosage).
The reasons behind the mistakes made by both doctors and pharmacists are numerous. Quite often, distraction plays a role. Everyone has a lot to do and multiple responsibilities. Because medical professionals are so busy, they may forget information told to them or important steps that need to be taken. It is not unusual for them to be in a hurry, which can be a recipe for disaster.
Medication Errors Cause Injury
Everyone makes mistakes, right? Of course, we all do. But when mistakes are made with regard to medication, the result can be devastating. Issues resulting from medication errors can range from unpleasant reactions to death.
Consider some of the injuries experienced by seniors who are the victims of medication errors:
- Breathing issues
- Allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis
- Organ failure
- High blood pressure
If your injury or illness is a result of a medication error, you may be entitled to compensation. A prescription error lawyer can help determine if you should file a pharmacy error lawsuit. They will review the facts of your case and provide advice and counsel on the best way to move forward.
Recovering Damages: Medication Error Lawsuit
If you or a loved one is a senior who has been harmed, a medication error lawyer at the National Injured Senior Law Center can provide you the help you need.
You may be wondering what type of damages you are entitled to receive. Of course, the specifics of your situation will come into play. But, historically, if you have been injured as the result of negligence by your physician or pharmacist, you may be entitled to receive compensation for:
- Medical bills (including emergency treatment/hospitalization and necessary ongoing care)
- Rehab and therapy
- Physical pain
- Emotional suffering
- Lost Income
- Diminished future earning capacity.
Contact our medication error lawyer today to better understand how to approach your drug injury lawsuit and what you may expect.
Frequently Asked Questions About Medication Error Lawsuits
Our Prescription Error Lawyer Provides Answers
If you are injured or sick as a result of the medication prescribed to help heal you, you likely are frustrated and upset. Medication should make you feel better, not worse. When determining what to do, a number of questions come to mind. Below, our medication lawyer from the National Injured Senior Law Center has provided answers to some of those we hear most often.
Nothing. We offer all potential clients a complimentary, no-obligation meeting (either in person or via telephone) so we can determine the viability of your case. It is incredibly helpful if you can share documentation regarding your experience (including copies of prescriptions, medical bills, etc.) so we can provide educated advice as to how you should proceed.
Accidents happen. We all know that. However, to be eligible for compensation, you and your attorney will have to prove negligence and show that the mistake in your medication directly caused your illness or injury. For example, if a physician fails to inquire about drug allergies and prescribes a medication to which you are allergic and you get sick, he or she was negligent and you could be eligible for compensation.
The guidance of a reputable attorney is incredibly valuable in medication error cases. Physicians and pharmacists are insured, and insurance companies employ powerful legal teams. You, too, should have experience on your side. You must level the field.
Insurance companies are businesses. As such, they are always looking out for their bottom line. Their goal is to convince you to accept the lowest possible settlement. They may view your age as a weakness and try to take advantage of you. Your drug error attorney can work with you to accurately determine a settlement to which you are entitled, one that takes into account future expenses, as well as your pain and suffering. Don’t get taken advantage of by big business; work with a professional who understands the ins and outs of medication error lawsuits.
The timeframe in which you must file your case is dependent upon its facts. Each state has it’s own timeframe for filing a lawsuit for a medication error. Should you file a personal injury suit, the statute of limitations in Maryland is three years. However, if you are looking at a medical malpractice case against your physician, you would have to file within 5 years from the date you were injured or three years from the date you realized the injury. (The difference is attributed to the fact that, in some circumstances, time can pass before an injury is recognized.)
While we would like to believe that all medications on the market are safe, we can’t. Drug injuries are real. Over time, numerous cases have been brought against drug manufacturers due to the injury or illness caused by their medications. Many of these drugs are taken by senior citizens. They include, but are not limited to, Taxotere, Viagra, and Lipitor. The medication error attorneys at the National Injured Senior Law Center can help you pursue a bad drug lawsuit if necessary.
When you have been injured as a result of negligence in prescribing or filling prescription medication, it’s important to understand all your legal options. Contact our Baltimore prescription error lawyer today at (410) 625-4878 for answers to all of your questions.