Although prescription medications save millions of lives every year, they can also pose a serious risk of harm if not properly prescribed, dispensed, or consumed. Fortunately, it is possible to hold negligent healthcare professionals accountable for damages when their carelessness in prescribing a medication causes a patient to suffer an injury, so if you recently sustained an injury after taking a certain prescription drug, it is important to contact an experienced lawyers who can walk you through your legal options.
What Qualifies as a Medication Error?
Medications don’t always work as intended or may come with certain known risks. This does not, however, mean that a prescriber or pharmacist can automatically be held liable. Instead, the injured party must establish that the defendant in question made a medication error, which the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) defines as any preventable event that may lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm while the drug is in the control of:
- A healthcare professional;
- A patient; or
- A consumer.
Unfortunately, medication errors occur much more often than most people realize. In fact, researchers estimate that between 7,000 and 9,000 people die as a result of medication errors every year in the U.S.
Who is Liable for Medication Errors?
The majority of medication errors take place during the ordering or prescribing stage and involve requesting the wrong type of medication or dosage. In fact, these types of ordering mistakes account for nearly half of all medication errors. That is not to say that medication errors cannot occur at other phases of the medication use system, as mistakes have also been made when:
- Documenting a prescription or drug order;
- Entering information about a prescription into a computer system;
- Preparing or dispensing a drug;
- Administering the drug; and
- Monitoring a patient after the administration of a prescription medication.
Because errors can occur at a variety of different points in the medication use system, a wide range of individuals and entities could potentially be held liable for causing or contributing to a medication error, including prescribing doctors, physician’s assistants, nurses, and pharmacies.
Medication errors can have devastating results for consumers, who could require hospitalization for life threatening complications, suffer permanent disability, or even lose their lives. Fortunately, patients who suffer adverse effects as a result of a medication error can recover compensation both for their monetary losses, including additional medical expenses, lost wages, and loss of future income, as well as compensation for the psychological distress and pain and suffering endured that they and their family endured. For help determining whether you or a loved one could be entitled to compensation for a negligence based medication error, please contact our legal team today.
Experienced Brandon Medication Error Lawyers
Please call 813-506-5651 to learn more about your legal options after sustaining a medication mistake-related injury from one of the experienced medication error lawyers at Palmer | Lopez today. We can also be reached via online message.