Personal Injury Cases Against Pharmaceutical Companies: Frequently Asked Questions

For people who have been injured by a defective drug, they are often left wondering what they are supposed to do next. The medicine they were prescribed was supposed to help treat or cure them, not cause them further harm. When a pharmaceutical company puts a defective product into the market, that company should be held responsible for any harm that occurs as a result. This happens far more often than some people may think, but there is legal recourse for people who have been injured by defective medications.

The cost of dealing with these issues can quickly pile up. Complications from defective drugs can lead to organ failure, severe bleeding, cancer, or even death. With these kinds of complications come extremely high medical costs, as well as the pain and suffering you or a family member went through. In either case, you deserve compensation for all that you have been through due to the negligent actions of a pharmaceutical company.

If you or someone you love has been harmed by a defective medication, the highly experienced attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian are here to fight for you. Here, we answer frequently asked questions about personal injury cases against pharmaceutical companies, as well as what to do once you have suffered injury.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. When Can I File a Lawsuit Against a Pharmaceutical Company?

A person can file a personal injury lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company when they have been injured by a drug or medical device created by that company. These pharmaceutical companies are typically the manufacturer of the drug or designed it. When that product causes serious medical complications or some other type of physical injury, a personal injury lawsuit for a defective product can help to win you the financial compensation you need to get your life back on track.

2. What type of injuries occurs as a result of defective medications?

The types of injuries that can occur as a result of a defective medication are extremely varied. Many side effects or complications may be minor, such as:

  • minor headaches
  • rashes
  • drowsiness

More serious side effects can include but are far from limited to:

  • increased risk of developing cancer
  • severe and uncontrollable bleeding
  • dizziness
  • loss of concentration
  • brain hemorrhaging
  • pulmonary embolism
  • extreme fatigue
  • trouble breathing
  • heart arrhythmia
  • spinal cord clots
  • red or black stool
  • liver failure
  • kidney failure
  • coughing up or vomiting blood

These types of serious injuries can be debilitating, or even fatal. You took medicine to get better, not worse. You deserve financial compensation for the injuries caused by defective medications.

3. What are some examples of drugs in the market that cause serious side effects?

Any time you are harmed by a medication in a way that was unexpected or overly severe, you have the potential for a personal injury lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company. The list below is a small selection of the types of medications known to cause these types of complications:

This is not a full list, as there are many other Defective Pharmaceutical Drugs on the market that can cause you harm. Contact our office to learn if your case qualifies for possible financial compensation.

4. What are personal injury lawsuits?

Personal injury lawsuits are those designed to compensate an injured person for acts committed by another party that constitutes negligence. They require the injured party to prove that the defendant committed some act of negligence that caused the harm suffered by the plaintiff. In these types of cases, the victim of the injury and his or her attorney present evidence to show how the pharmaceutical company's negligence caused the injury, and win financial compensation for individuals in those cases.

5. What are product liability lawsuits?

Product liability lawsuits are a type of personal injury lawsuit that focuses on the defective product, and the manufacturer's liability for putting the dangerous product into the market. People who are harmed by these defective products are able to file a lawsuit against the pharmaceutical company for money damages.

There are three types of product liability claims, each of which can be the method used to get you the compensation you deserve:

  • Defective Manufacture: When a drug is somehow created or manufactured in a way that is defective, and that defect causes harm, the manufacturer can be held responsible. This can include contamination, taints in formulas, components in devices that do not fit properly, or more.
  • Dangerous Side Effects or Complications: When drugs have overly dangerous side effects or complications associated with them, this can be a basis for a lawsuit. This is especially true when companies knew or should have known about the risk but never warned doctors and patients. Many companies attempt to hide these side effects so they can still make money at your expense.
  • Improper Marketing: Companies are required to put on proper label warning, instructions, and directions for use on any drug or medical device. When these warnings are insufficient, this may be the basis for a personal injury lawsuit. In other cases, false advertising or misleading advertising may be the basis for damages as well.

Determining what kind of case to file can feel impossible on your own, but with an experienced lawyer at your side, you can rest assured your case is handled correctly and in the best way possible.

6. Can I file a lawsuit even after the FDA approved a drug?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is in charge of approving new medications and medical devices for the market. However, just because the FDA approves a drug or medical device does not mean that the company is protected from lawsuits for defective products or personal injury. The U.S. Supreme Court rules in 2009 that FDA approval is simply a minimum standard to bring the product onto the U.S. market. 

Whether additional warnings, procedures, or standards are necessary to protect consumers is still the responsibility of the drug manufacturer. Failure to properly warn, manufacture, or otherwise protect consumers is still the responsibly of the pharmaceutical company.

7. Are there time limits for filing personal injury cases against pharmaceutical companies?

As with almost any kind of lawsuit, there are statutes of limitations placed on these types of cases. A statute of limitations is a set time after an injury occurs by which the victim must file his or her lawsuit, or the case will be dismissed. Failure to file by the applicable statute of limitations can result in dismissal of your case, even if it would otherwise have been successful. The time limit can start on the date you were actually injured, or when you became aware of the injury, depending on the circumstances.

Every state applies a different statute of limitations to these types of cases, and they can vary depending on the facts of your case. However, some statute of limitations can be as short as one year, and many are still as short as two or three years. A piece of advice: don't wait. The sooner you approach an attorney the more likely you are to be protected against the possibility that your case is thrown out on a legal technicality.

8. What experience does your firm have with personal injury and defective drug lawsuits?

Our firm is highly experienced in representing patients injured by the use of defective medications and defective medical devices. Our firm is also highly experienced in the area of medical malpractice law and product liability law. We understand the complicated medical issues associated with this medication, as well as how to prove that your injuries were caused by it. Our team of experts is ready to put in the time on your individual case to make sure your rights are protected.

We have the years of experience necessary to fight for your rights and get you the financial compensation you deserve.

9. What compensation can I receive?

An injured person is entitled to receive financial compensation in the form of money damages for any injuries that result from the use of a defective medication or medical device. This financial compensation may include, but is not limited to:

  • cost of medical bills
  • future medical costs
  • rehabilitation costs
  • pain and suffering
  • lost wages
  • loss of consortium
  • damages related to loss of ability to get pregnant
  • wrongful death damages

These money damages can help make you whole again and help pay for the costs you have incurred already, as well as any future costs as well. You also deserve compensation for any lost work, as well as money damages for the pain and suffering you were forced to go through. You should not be on the hook for the costs of your injuries—only the responsible party should be.

Personal Injury Lawyers in Philadelphia

When a defective drug or medical device causes you harm, you are entitled to bring a personal injury and/or products liability claim against the pharmaceutical company to receive financial compensation. The experienced attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian have the knowledge and years of practice to fight for your rights.

Contact us online or call our law office at (800) 529-6162 for a free consultation.

Let Us Help

If someone you are close to has been seriously injured or worse, you are naturally devastated not only by what has happened, but by the effect that the injury or loss has had on you and your family. At a time when you're vulnerable, traumatized and emotionally exhausted, you need a team that will support you through the often complex process that lies ahead.

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