When Medication Kills, Who Can You Sue?

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Every prescription medicine comes with side effects. However, not all side effects show in clinical trials, and no one knows about them until someone becomes injured after it's prescribed to them. Other times, doctors make mistakes by overprescribing or misdiagnosing patients. When someone dies or becomes seriously injured from a prescription medication, the person's family deserves compensation for the hardship it causes. If this happened to your loved one, here are some of your options regarding lawsuits.

Class action lawsuits

If the medication itself caused the problem, one thing you can do is join in on a class action law suit. You can search online for current class action suits, and request to join if you find one for the medication in question. You'll give some of your information so one of the lawyers can contact you. Once you are contacted, you will explain what happened as a result of the medication. The lawyer will then add you to the lawsuit.

You'll most likely provide a written statement as well. You can usually type them up and submit them online. Sometimes they'll call a couple of people to join the court appearance. It's usually a couple of the people who have suffered the most due to the medication. Once the lawsuit is over, the amount of money that is rewarded will be divided up between everyone who joined the class action suit. If you can't find a class action lawsuit, you can hire a class action lawyer to try and start one. The process takes time, because the lawyer has to find several other people in your situation.

Sue the doctor

Another option is to sue the prescribing doctor. You can do only this, or do it in addition to the class action lawsuit. Since the class action suit sues the drug manufacturer, the two lawsuits don't interfere with each other. When you sue the doctor, you will hire a lawyer to sue for wrongful death and medical malpractice. If your loved one didn't die, but became seriously injured, you can sue for personal injury and malpractice. Your lawyer will compile evidence to prove the doctor's negligence caused the injury or death. Negligence can include:

  • Overprescribing medications
  • Prescribing medications that interact with each other
  • Overlooking an allergy or problem that affects the drug
  • Not addressing earlier complaints about the medication

Doctors carry malpractice insurance, so these cases often get settled out of court. Doctors don't want other patients to know that they made an error, so they try to settle as quickly as possible. The malpractice insurance provider will haggle an offer with your lawyer, and if you choose to accept, you will take your compensation and sign a paper stating that you have been compensated and you won't seek further judgment against the doctor.

Other lawsuits

Depending on the situation, you can sue the pharmacist, the hospital or clinic, a nurse, or anyone else who may have caused the problem. For example, if the pharmacy put the wrong medication in the bottle, you can sue the pharmacists who filled it. Every situation is unique, and your lawyer will know who would have been responsible for the issue and give you an idea of where to go from there.

If your spouse or a relative has died or suffered from a medication error, it's a serious offense that needs to be addressed. If your loved one was improperly diagnosed, overprescribed, prescribed the wrong medication, or given the wrong medication, the people who were responsible for the error need to pay for their mistake and your hardships. Contact a lawyer so you can receive the compensation that you deserve.

Click here for more information, or contact a local law firm.