Can I File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit for a Medication Error?
Medical Negligence Lawyers Discuss Compensation for Drug Errors
Statistics published in the Journal of Patient Safety show that 440,000 people in the U.S. die from preventable medical errors each year. These errors may occur due to negligence in the doctor’s original diagnosis and prescription. However, mistakes by pharmacists or nurses administering the drugs may be just as harmful. Patients hurt by these mistakes can suffer permanent disabilities or wrongful death. Depending on the circumstances, patients and their family members may have legal options to recover compensation.
Our Georgia medical negligence lawyers have seen many cases where medication errors involving prescription or over-the-counter drugs cause serious injuries or wrongful death to trusting patients. Over the last three decades, Macon medical malpractice attorney Kathy McArthur has helped people in Georgia recover settlements or verdicts after medical errors devastated their health or harmed their loved ones. In one case, McArthur Law Firm recovered $5.2 million for a client harmed by medical negligence. If you suspect a preventable medication error caused your injuries or a loved one’s death, then we can help you find the answers you need and hold the liable party accountable for your damages.
What Are Common Reasons for Medication Errors?
Multiple parties may be responsible for a medication error. Some of the most common reasons for medication mistakes include:
- Dosage errors. The wrong dose of medication can put patients at an increased risk of suffering severe side-effects. Dosage errors may occur due to a doctor’s incorrect prescription, pharmacist error or poor preparation of an injection or IV. Depending on the medication, dosage errors can result in wrongful death.
- Wrong medication. Negligent health care professionals may prescribe or dispense the wrong medications entirely. This may happen if two medications share a similar name. However, poor handwriting, distraction or other negligent actions may contribute to this common medication mistake.
- Mislabeling medications. Pharmacies may mislabel medications they are dispensing to patients, possibly causing patients to take their medications incorrectly. For example, patients may suffer harm after taking medications at the incorrect time interval.
- Failure to detect an interaction. Some medications can cause death or serious injury when taken together. In other cases, medications cannot be taken by patients with certain health conditions or drug allergies. Health care professionals and pharmacists must detect these potential interactions before prescribing or administering drugs to patients.
- Failure to warn of side effects. Medical professionals may fail to warn patients of potential side effects of a given drug. In addition, they may not tell patients of certain foods, supplements or over-the-counter drugs to avoid while taking medications.
- Incorrectly administering drugs. Nurses and doctors may make mistakes while administering medications. For example, a hospital nurse may administer a medication and then fail to monitor the patient for damaging side effects. In other cases, patients may not receive required medications at the correct times or in the correct dosages.
Did Medical Malpractice Cause My Medication Mistake?
A medication error must have been preventable to be considered medical malpractice. If a medical expert investigates your situation and believes the error was preventable, then you may file a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, it is not always easy to determine whether an adverse medication outcome resulted from medical malpractice. Negative side effects from taking over-the-counter or prescription drugs could be normal in some cases. However, if the side effects you experience are not something the doctor warned was a prior risk, then a medication error may have occurred.
If you are experiencing unexpected side effects after taking medication, go to the emergency room and contact your doctor immediately. Afterwards, call an attorney who has experience handling medical malpractice lawsuits. Depending on the situation, one or more parties may be liable for your injuries and damages. It may be possible to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the pharmacy, hospital or clinic responsible for the medication error.
Harmed by a Medication Mistake? Contact a Macon Medical Malpractice Attorney for a Free Consultation
If a medication mistake harmed you or a loved one, then our Georgia medical negligence lawyers can help you discover possible legal options for recovering compensation. Damages from a lawsuit can help you or a loved one by covering costs associated with medical bills, lost income, funeral expenses, and pain and suffering. The McArthur Law Firm works with experienced medical experts that can help determine whether you have a medical malpractice case.
Evander Holyfield is our spokesman because he knows we fight for people who might otherwise have no voice. People cannot fight back against medical malpractice alone. We represent patients and their families from Atlanta, Columbus, Savannah and nationwide. In addition, we also file medical malpractice lawsuits on behalf of individuals in Albany, Augusta and across Georgia. For a free case review, contact our medical malpractice attorneys at (888) WE-FIGHT or fill out our confidential online contact form. If you need assistance outside of Georgia, then please call (478) 238-6600.