Incorrect dosages, unsafe medications and side effects — when is it a lawsuit?
Medications exist to improve our lives and make us feel better. When we pop these pills, whether for back pain, headaches or some other type of malady, we expect that in just a little bit of time, we will feel the effects of relief. Sometimes, however, we find ourselves besieged by side effects or overcome by defects. And what are we supposed to do then? And is there anything to know about if you live in Colorado?
Despite rigorous testing by pharmaceutical companies, unsafe drugs do occasionally land in the public marketplace. Big Pharma makes billions of dollars every year pushing medications to pharmacy shelves, so sometimes, bad drugs will wriggle past quality control processes.
What is a pharmaceutical injury?
Pharmaceutical injuries occur when someone takes a defective medication, is told by his or her medical professional to take the incorrect dosage of a drug, or is prescribed the wrong medication.
Each of these instances would constitute grounds for filing a pharmaceutical liability case. Actually proving a case like that, however, is much easier said than done.
Common types of injuries from defective medications
A person can suffer from various types of injuries because of unsafe medications, especially if that individual is not informed of hazardous side effects or the correct dosage to take.
These are some (but not all) of the injuries that can occur:
- Heart attack
- High blood pressure
- Depression or other mental health issues
- Organ failure
List of class action lawsuits for medications
Wondering if a drug you are taking is the subject of a current lawsuit?
Who can be held responsible for unsafe medications?
Any person or company in the chain of custody from the manufacturer to the consumer can be held liable. This means it isn’t just the manufacturers that are responsible for a dangerous drug liability claim. These parties can include:
- The manufacturer
- Doctors or nurses with prescription authority
Defective drug cases and product liability
Defective drug cases normally fall under the purview of product liability cases.
Manufacturers of medications are responsible to consumers and must make their products as safe as possible, meaning that they have to be rigorously tested before being released to the public.
Big Pharma also has a duty to warn pharmacies, doctors and other health industry professionals about potential issues that patients might have with the medications. Failure to do this can mean additional liability, and it could be grounds for filing lawsuits against the manufacturers.
Here are the types of cases when it comes to defective medications:
- Pharmaceuticals that have not been properly marketed: Medications must have appropriate warning labels so that consumers are aware of potential side effects. Doctors also need to provide the suitable dosing instructions.
- Pharmaceuticals with dangerous side effects: Some medications have unsafe side effects that nobody is aware of, including the makers themselves. Manufacturers can be held liable if the consumer proves that the manufacturers knew of and concealed those side effects.
- Pharmaceuticals that have been manufactured incorrectly: Manufacturing companies that do not test or create pharmaceuticals correctly can be held liable. Any instance in which a mistake was made can be traced back to a manufacturing company for liability.
When can (and when should) I file a pharmaceutical liability lawsuit?
The very first thing you must do if you think you’re taking a defective medication is to speak with your doctor. That way, a professional is monitoring your symptoms and can make sure you do not need to be hospitalized. (Technically speaking, if your doctor was the person who prescribed the wrong dosage in the first place, then you at least have it recorded for your Colorado lawsuit before you go to the emergency room. Remember, a paper trail is the best thing to have for your attorney.)
How can I prove my Colorado pharmaceutical liability case?
Pharmaceutical cases, like any product liability case, can be difficult to prove. You are obligated to illustrate the following:
- You used the medication correctly: This might seem obvious, but you have to show the court that A.) You used the drug and B.) You used it right. Was it a suppository medication that you accidentally took orally? Yeah, that’s gross, but believe us, it’s happened. If you do not use the medication in the way that it was intended to be used, your case may be tossed out before you even get in the door.
- You weren’t warned about the drug’s dangers: Were you unaware that the drug in question could cause the side effects that you suffered? Were you not properly warned? This is imperative.
- You were actually injured: You have to show that you suffered real injuries, and you can do this with medical records or your doctor’s testimony.
- The medication caused the injury: Tie it all together. Your attorney will help you with this.
Should I hire a Colorado lawyer?
A case of this magnitude is going to need lots of assistance. Medical experts, scientists and other professionals will have to weigh in so that you can prove your case, and that will be difficult if you don’t have someone in your corner.
Also, pharmaceutical companies have resources... lots of resources. Think of how much money a company like Purdue earns per year. It’s mind-boggling. Then think about them using that money in a case against you.
Consider sitting down with an Enjuris listed Colorado attorney who is well-versed in this area. Pharmaceutical liability is not something you want to go alone.
Resources to help you hire the best Colorado pharmaceutical lawyer
- Choosing a personal injury attorney – interview questions
- Preparing to meet with a personal injury attorney
- When do you NOT need an attorney after an accident?
- How to talk to a lawyer
- How damages are calculated
- Negotiating lawyers fees - how do accident lawyers charge? Are there any hidden costs?