Recovering Damages for Losses Caused by Dangerous or Defective Drugs
Modern medicine has changed our lives. We now have access to many “miracle drugs” that allow us to live mostly normal lives in the wake of serious illness or injury. However, the pharmaceutical business is highly competitive—the first to market with any new “wonder drug” can reap untold profits. As a consequence, many drug companies cut corners, often when assessing the potential side effects or other harmful consequences of using a specific medication. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports more than 1.5 hospital visits every year by individuals suffering from side effects from prescription drug use.
When you have suffered unwanted side effects after using a prescription medication, how do you go about recovering compensation for your losses?
Recovering Compensation after a Prescription Drug Injury
The two most common avenues for pursuing damages for injury or loss caused by side effects from prescription pharmaceutical products are product liability claims and medical malpractice claims.
What Is a Product Liability Claim?
Under the principle of negligence, all persons in society have a duty to use reasonable care in all their actions, so as to minimize the risk of injury to others. That includes people driving a car and it includes product manufacturers, including companies producing prescription pharmaceutical products. When a product manufacturer fails to use reasonable care, persons who suffer injuries can file a “product liability” claim, seeking damages.
Product liability generally takes three potential forms:
- Negligent, careless or defective design—This involves a failure to consider potential risks (side effects), often demonstrated by a failure to conduct necessary safety tests. This can also involve a failure to consider the interaction of the product (a prescription drug) with other substances the consumer may use.
- Negligent, careless or defective manufacture—This may involve the use of improper or substandard materials, the failure to ensure that products are correctly assembled or produced, or failure to put reasonable safety precautions in place during manufacture of a product
- Negligent, careless or defective marketing—This generally involves a failure to provide adequate warnings as to known risks, or to provide proper instructions with a product
The Potential for Medical Malpractice
When providing medical care, which includes prescribing pharmaceutical products, a doctor or physician must exercise a certain standard of care. That standard is higher for medical practitioners, requiring that they use the same amount of care as a similarly trained and experienced professional would in similar circumstances in the same geographic area. As a general rule, when prescribing medication, a doctor should:
- Become familiar with the drug’s potential side effects
- Understand how the drug will interact with other medications taken by the patient
- Recognize how the drug will affect the patient’s other existing health conditions
Contact the Proven Medication Injury Lawyers at Bailey & Galyen
At the law offices of Bailey & Galyen, we will aggressively help you pursue full and fair compensation when you have suffered harmful side effects from a prescription drug. Contact us by e-mail or 844-402-2992 call our offices at one of the convenient locations listed below. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.