When you are injured by a defective medication or medical device, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the doctor who prescribed you the medication or device. The doctor's job is to prescribe you the right medication—one that will cure or treat the condition that is ailing you. You are not supposed to be further injured because a doctor was negligent in their treatment of you. This negligence can lead to further medical complications, severe side effects, injury, or death. Sadly, this happens more often than people may think, but there is a way to hold the doctor who harmed you responsible for that negligence.
When you are injured by a doctor's malpractice in prescribing medication, the medical bills can quickly pile up. Fixing the issues caused by a negligent doctor can be very expensive, not to mention you may have to take time off from work. You are also entitled to compensation for the pain and suffering you endured as a result, not just the economic costs you suffered.
If you or someone you love has been harmed by a defective medication or device prescribed by a doctor, the highly experienced attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian are here to fight for you. Here, we answer frequently asked questions about personal injury cases against prescribing doctors, as well as what to do once you have suffered injury.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. When can I file a lawsuit against a prescribing doctor?
A personal injury lawsuit against a doctor is appropriate when that doctor commits medical malpractice in prescribing you certain medication or a medical device. Not every instance where you were harmed by a drug is the doctor's fault, instead, it may be a defective drug that caused the harm. However, if the doctor failed to warn you about the dangers of the drug, even when the doctor knew of those risks, they can be held responsible. Many drugs carry serious risks, and while it may still be appropriate to prescribe them, failure to warn the patient of those risks is medical malpractice.
2. What types of injuries can result from improper prescribing by a doctor?
When a doctor prescribes a defective medication with serious side effects and fails to warn you, or prescribes an otherwise safe drug that is dangerous to you uniquely, serious harm can result.
Serious side effects can include but are far from limited to:
- increased risk of developing cancer
- severe and uncontrollable bleeding
- 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 when a doctor fails to properly prescribe you medication or fails to warn you about the potential side effects you could face.
3. What are personal injury lawsuits?
A personal injury claim is a type of tort, which is a civil "wrong" that is the basis for a lawsuit. What this means is that someone has suffered an injury due to the actions or inaction of another, and the injured party is entitled to receive compensation.
Personal injury claims are typically governed by the laws of each individual state, or jurisdiction. Where your accident or injury takes place will greatly influence how the process will proceed, but the following is a general overview of personal injury claims.
4. What is a medical malpractice lawsuit?
Medical malpractice is an injury you suffer through a hospital, doctor or other healthcare professional's negligence or omission to act in accordance with the industry's standard of care. Negligence can be the result of errors made while diagnosing, treating, providing post-care, or managing a patient's overall health in any capacity. A claim for medical malpractice must satisfy certain criteria in order to have a chance at success.
In improper prescribing cases, medical malpractice occurs at an alarming rate. This can be as simple as prescribing the wrong medication or failing to warn about the potential harm a patient could suffer at the hands of a defective medication. In any case, you deserve financial compensation for the injuries you suffered at the hands of a negligent doctor or other medical professionals.
5. How do I prove a medical malpractice or personal injury lawsuit against the prescribing doctor?
To prove a case of medical malpractice or a personal injury lawsuit, you have to prove that a doctor's negligence resulted in harm. To prove negligence, you and your attorney must show that the doctor violated the standard of care. There are certain accepted standards of care in different medical professions that are established by expert testimony, and when a doctor violates those standards, they can be held responsible for those negligent actions.
To recover financial compensation for your injuries, you must also prove that your injury was caused by the breach of the medical standard of care. To do this, you will use your testimony and expert witness testimony to show how your injury was connected to the doctor's breach of the standard of care, such as a failure to warn. Once this connection is established, you can prove the extent of your damages, and recover compensation accordingly.
6. Can I sue my doctor for failure to warn?
You may file a medical malpractice claim against any doctor who did not properly advise and warn you of the possible side effects associated with prescription medication. Many medications have known risks, and as such, the physician is required to tell you of these risks, as well as give you important medical information about how your life will change while on the drug. Failure to warn you of these side effects can be considered medical malpractice in many cases.
A failure to warn is one of the more common types of medical malpractice committed by doctors. For many, it may simply be inadvertence, and they simply overlooked telling you of the risks. For others, it is a blatant disregard for the health and safety of their patients. In either case, but are medical malpractice, and as such are compensable injuries.
When a doctor or other medical professional commits medical malpractice, they should be responsible for the injuries caused by their failure to warn you of the potential side effects. Discuss with your attorney the facts and circumstances of your case to better understand how this may apply to you.
7. Can a medical malpractice lawsuit be filed alongside a defective products lawsuit?
Many times, when a doctor prescribes a defective drug, your lawsuit against the doctor can be filed alongside a lawsuit for a defective products lawsuit against the manufacturer of the drug. 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.
Filing both lawsuits with the help of an experienced attorney can help you recover from multiple sources, better enabling you to be successful and get a high return for your legal efforts.
8. Can a doctor be sued for prescribing even "safe" medications?
Not every drug has to be defective to cause harm. Even a drug that is otherwise safe, and maybe carries no side effects or very low-impact side effects can cause harm when it is mixed with other medications. Doctors are responsible for ensuring they do not prescribe drugs that interact in a dangerous way with other medications that you are taking. So, even a drug that is safe on its own can be dangerous or fatal when combined with certain other medications. A doctor who negligently fails to recognize the danger of prescription errors could be held responsible for this mistake.
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 improper prescribing by a doctor. 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 doctor's improper prescribing causes you harm, you are entitled to bring a personal injury and/or products liability claim against the doctor 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.