Everything we put into our bodies impacts our overall health. When a licensed physician hands us a prescription, we are trusting they have our best interest in mind.
However, many of these prescription drugs can lead to a drug injury, which can cause long-term negative effects on our bodies.
Adverse drug events are injuries that are connected to drug use. These injuries can include medication errors, adverse drug reactions, overdoses, and allergic reactions.
Adverse drug events account for one-third of hospital adverse events.
They also account for approximately two million hospital stays every year.
Do not let a drug injury ruin your life. Instead, keep reading to discover what you can do if you are the victim of a drug injury.
Understanding Defective Drugs
Almost 70% of Americans take at least one prescription drug, while more than half take two. Every year, the pharmaceutical industry creates new drugs that are designed to save lives. However, many of these drugs can have devastating side effects.
Due to improper testing, these pharmaceuticals can end up on the market and in the hands of trusting, unsuspecting patients.
These drugs can cause side effects, pain, and complications in addition to the symptoms they are meant to cure. In fact, many pharmaceutical drugs can hinder your overall health and lead to a drug injury.
Drugs are rigorously tested. Before they are approved for public use, they also need to meet the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) guidelines. However, it can sometimes take years for researchers to discover certain side effects and defects.
Some pharmaceutical companies know their drugs can cause these side effects.
Instead of delaying the release, they calculate the potential profits and decide those profits outweigh the risks. These pharmaceutical companies would rather generate revenue than keep the patients using their products safe. These companies often hide the details about a drug’s side effects in order to receive FDA approval they need.
Other companies rush their drug for release on the market without adequate testing beforehand.
Once it is determined that a prescription drug is harmful, it is removed from the market.
According to federal law, pharmaceutical companies that distribute defective drugs are held liable for the damages they cause. These drugs are subject to class action lawsuits. If you were injured, you have the right to a claim.
A defective drug lawyer can help you make a case to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Determining if a Lawsuit is Viable
Before a drug injury lawyer can take your case, they need to make sure your lawsuit is viable. Several factors are considered beforehand, including:
- The type of defective drug in question
- How long the drug was used
- The reason the drug was prescribed by a doctor
- The side effects the drug caused
Once your drug injury lawyer determines you have a viable lawsuit, they will consider the amount of compensation you could receive. The compensation is determined based on:
- The severity of the side effects
- How long the patient experienced these side effects
- Whether or not the side effects are life-threatening
- If the drug caused the need for additional treatment or surgery
After reviewing these details, your drug injury lawyer will determine if you have a viable lawsuit and how much you could receive as a result.
Who is Held Liable for Defective Drugs?
Defective drugs fall under the product liability category of practice. The product liability category refers to the responsibility of negligent producer companies—companies that create faulty products. The manufacturer or seller is at fault if their product causes unexpected harm.
Product liability claims are organized under one of three categories.
The first is manufacturing defects. These occur when the product, such as a pharmaceutical drug, is incorrectly manufactured or contaminated. The error then causes the patient to drug injury, such as adverse side effects.
Once the drug is created, it is the manufacturer’s responsibility to perform tests to determine possible side effects.
Then, they are responsible for listing these side effects so consumers can decide whether or not to use the medication.
If a drug does not undergo this testing and pharmaceutical injuries are reported, the producer is held responsible.
The second type of product liability claim is a design defect. This occurs when a drug is produced correctly but still caused dangerous injuries. The responsible party is held liable for the injuries.
They are also held accountable for criminal punishment if the side effects are hidden.
The third type is the absence of warning. This can include poor marketing. In the absence of warning, the company fails to list drug use guidelines, warnings, or suggestions.
The labeling can indicate if the product is safe for a patient. This can impact the doctor’s judgment when they prescribe a drug for an individual. For example, a doctor needs to consider their patient’s allergies and other medications they are taking before prescribing a new medication.
Failure to label a product correctly could result in a drug injury.
Protect Your Rights
If you were injured – or worse, after taking a prescription drug, a defective drug lawyer can help. You might receive compensation for your pain, suffering, and/or losses. The compensation could help cover:
- Pain and physical suffering
- Your medical bills
- Lost wages
- Funeral costs (if the situation is fatal)
- Rehabilitation care
In order to protect your rights, make sure to seek medical attention right away.
Do not take your side effects lightly. Instead, visit a hospital if necessary.
Remain honest with your doctor. List the medications you are currently taking. This can help them determine if you have suffered from a serious drug interaction or sustained a drug injury.
Make sure to keep the packaging of all the pharmaceutical drugs you are using. You should also keep:
- The receipt
- Information on the pharmacy where the prescription was filled
- A list of issues you experienced
- The date you began experiencing side effects
Keep all notes regarding your symptoms and doctor visits.
Then, contact a defective drug lawyer. Make sure they have experience with drug injury cases.
Big pharmaceutical companies have teams of lawyers ready to protect their interests.
You need someone who will protect yours. By hiring an experienced law firm, you can make sure someone who is interested in protecting your interests is there to help.
Facing a Pharmaceutical Injury: Seeking Help as the Victim of a Drug Injury
If you are facing a pharmaceutical injury, do not hesitate to ask for help. As the victim of a drug injury, it is important that you receive the compensation you deserve.
You do not have to go at it alone. Instead, contact our team today for a free case evaluation. We are here to help.