Dangerous drugs can leave you with long-lasting injuries. Learn more about these injuries and receiving compensation for the use of defective pharmaceuticals.
Written by: Enjuris Editors
We take medicine to make us feel better, heal our pain, or take away our annoying symptoms. Because of this, we’re taken off-guard when we find ourselves feeling worse or further injured from the pharmaceuticals we take.
Unsafe drugs, despite countless regulations and testing procedures, do make it into the public realm on occasion. Large pharmaceutical companies make billions of dollars a year from their wares, and they do like to protect their bottom line. It’s easier than you may think for shortcuts to be taken in the production or packaging process, and it’s a breeding ground for human error to go unnoticed.
Many Texas citizens find themselves victims of unsafe drugs every year, and the amount of defective pharmaceuticals is on the rise.
It can be unnerving to find yourself worse off because of the product that is meant to heal you, but it’s important to hold these large companies accountable for their actions.
Learn more about pharmaceutical liability and how you can file a lawsuit if you suffer injuries from unsafe drugs.
What is a pharmaceutical injury?
A person suffers a pharmaceutical injury if he or she takes a drug that is defective, is told by a professional to take the wrong dosage of a safe drug, or he prescribed the wrong drug by their doctor. Each of these situations is grounds for filing a pharmaceutical liability case.
Injuries from defective pharmaceuticals
There are numerous injuries that a person can sustain from unsafe drugs, especially when he or she is ill-informed on the proper dosage or dangerous side effects. Those injuries can range from minor to very serious and can include:
High blood pressure
Depression or other mental health issues
Defective drugs and product liability
Personal injury cases involving defective drugs most often fall under product liability.
Manufacturers of those pharmaceuticals have a certain responsibility to make their drugs (considered “products” in this case) as safe as possible for the consumer. This means subjecting those drugs to rigorous testing before they are released.
Additionally, drug manufacturers have a duty to warn doctors, pharmacists, and other health industry professionals about potential concerns or issues patients could have with their drugs. Failing to do this can mean liability, and it can be grounds for filing a personal injury lawsuit.
There are a few different types of product liability when it comes to defective pharmaceuticals. They include:
Drugs that have been manufactured incorrectly. Manufacturing companies that improperly test or create pharmaceuticals can be held liable in this sort of claim. Any instance in which a mistake was made at this point of the process can be traced back to a manufacturing company for liability.
Drugs with dangerous side effects. While some drugs are properly manufactured, there may still be dangerous side effects that no one is made aware of, including the manufacturers. If this is the case, manufacturers can still be held liable if you can prove that they concealed the dangerous side effects.
Drugs that haven’t been properly marketed. Drugs should come with proper warning labels for consumers that make them aware of any potential side effects. Additionally, doctors can fail to provide the proper instruction to patients about taking the drug correctly or with the correct dosage.
Who can be held liable for unsafe drugs?
Every dangerous drug liability claim is not the same, and manufacturers aren’t the only party that can be held liable.
Any party that had a hand in getting the drug from production to consumer could possibly be held liable for any injuries from said drug. These parties can include:
The drug’s manufacturer
The laboratory responsible for the drugs testing
Any party that has a hand in providing a defective drug to a consumer can be held liable in the event of an unsafe drug lawsuit.
When can I file a pharmaceutical liability lawsuit?
If you suspect that you’ve fallen victim to a defective drug, it’s important that you talk to your doctor. Letting others know of your symptoms or injuries can prevent the injury of others that may not be aware of the potentially dangerous side effects.
Keep in mind that Texas holds a two year statute of limitations for defective products including pharmaceuticals. This means that you have two years from the date of injury to file a claim or two years from the knowledge of your injury.
For example, if you begin taking a certain medication and don’t see the injuries it’s caused you until 5 years later, you have two years from when you knew the cause of injury to file a lawsuit. Your right to file a claim is not voided because you weren’t aware of the medication’s dangerous qualities when you started taking it.
How can I prove my case?
In order to have a strong pharmaceutical product liability case, you must have strong proof. You must be able to prove:
You used the drug and used it correctly. It may seem obvious, but you must be able to prove that you actually used the drug in question and that it was used correctly. If you fail to use the drug the way it is intended to be used, you may forfeit your rights to compensation in the case.
You were injured. You must also show that you were seriously injured. You can do this by showing medical records or by your doctor’s testimony.
You were not warned about the drug’s dangers. You must show that you were unaware that the drug in question could cause the injuries you’ve suffered or that you were not properly warned.
The drug in question directly caused that injury. This is where it gets tricky. You must be able to prove that your injuries were directly caused by the proper use of the drug. No pre-existing conditions or mistakes on your part could have caused the injury if you hope to receive full compensation.
Once you are able to prove the above conditions, you may receive compensation for any medical bills, pain and suffering, lost time at work, or emotional trauma that is associated with your injury from the defective drug.
Enjuris Tip: In Texas, and the rest of the country, properly calculating your injury settlement value is important to receiving proper compensation. Check out our article “How Much is My Injury Worth?” to learn more about how your total damages will be calculated in your claim.
Should I hire an attorney?
Proving the above aspects of your case is easier said than done. You will need to solicit scientists, medical experts, and other professionals in order to prove your case, and this can be tricky if you don’t have the resources.
Additionally, there are many combinations of parties that can be held liable for a defective pharmaceutical case, and they likely will not want to comply when it comes to providing evidence or settlement money.
Hiring an attorney can help give you an advantage. Large pharmaceutical companies aren’t easy to take on; they have insurance companies and their own lawyers at their disposal. An attorney that understands the complexities of pharmaceutical liability can help you negotiate your settlement, investigate your case, and find expert witnesses to testify on your behalf.