Medication Errors


Updated

Jul 23, 2018

Our attorneys have successfully handled cases on behalf of clients who were injured after a doctor, nurse or pharmacist failed to take proper care when prescribing, administering or dispensing medication. When drugs are prescribed and dispensed, these healthcare professionals must take certain steps to ensure the patient receives the correct dosage and type of drug.

Although many assume the medication they are prescribed will have its intended effect, prescription drugs can, in some cases, put a patient’s well-being at risk. When a doctor, nurse or pharmacist acts negligently, and a patient is injured as a result, they may be liable for damages related to the medication error, such as medical expenses and lost wages. 

At Morgan & Morgan, the medical malpractice attorneys in our Florida offices have decades of experience helping patients who were injured due to medication errors receive compensation for losses. If you or a loved one has been injured due to a medication error, fill out our free case evaluation form to find out if our medical malpractice lawyers may be able to help you.

How can an Attorney Help me?

At Morgan & Morgan, our attorneys have access to doctors and nurses who have years of experience administering and prescribing medication in hospitals and other medical facilities. These healthcare professionals can help us determine the cause of your medication error. If our attorneys find that your doctor or pharmacist was negligent (i.e. supplied an incorrect dosage, failed to read your medical chart), we may be able to help you seek legal recourse to collect compensation for damages. 

Causes of Medication Errors

In some cases, medication errors can be caused by the negligence of the prescribing doctor, nurse, or pharmacy. Negligence claims may stem from poor oral or written communications, carelessness, system errors, understaffing, work overload, and ineffective precautionary measures. Medication mistakes can be serious, as they may deprive patients of necessary medication or put them at risk for an adverse reaction to an unintended drug or an overdose due to incorrect dosing.

A doctor, staff, or pharmacist may be considered negligent if they:

  • Carelessly prescribe the wrong medication
  • Give a patient the wrong dosage, unintentionally
  • Give a patient an unintended medication
  • Fail to take a history of the patient’s prescription drug use
  • Fail to warn of all risks associated with the medication 
  • Dangerously mixed different prescription drugs

Negligence and Medication Error Lawsuits

When a patient suffers an injury as a result of a medication error, they may have the right to file a medical malpractice lawsuit; however, not every complication or medical mistake warrants legal action. Negligence must be directly responsible for the injury for a malpractice claim to be valid. In a negligence claim, the plaintiff will have to prove the following:

Duty of Care: Healthcare providers have an obligation to their patients to act in the way the medical profession would require of a qualified doctor in similar circumstances. The duty of care applies to physicians and healthcare providers in all specialties and acts as a contractual relationship between the patient and medical professional. In regard to prescribing medications, it is the healthcare provider’s duty to be aware of the patient’s allergies or other medications they may be taking. 

Breach of Duty: When a healthcare provider fails to perform up to the required standard of medical care, resulting in further injury or sickness, they can be found liable for breaching their duty. Should a healthcare provider, such as a doctor or pharmacist, fail to inquire about the patient’s medical history, allergies, or other prescriptions, they may be found liable for any harm caused by this oversight.

Causation: The medical professional’s negligence must have been directly responsible for the injury. Prescribing or filling the wrong medication in and of itself does not constitute malpractice.

Damages: The injury must have caused either economic or emotional damage. Economic damages may include medical bills or lost wages. Patients who suffer long-lasting physical injuries may be able to receive non-economic compensation for pain and suffering.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a medication error, you may be entitled to compensation. To understand how our medication medical malpractice attorneys may be able to help, fill out our free case evaluation form

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