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Who Is Liable If You're Harmed by Your Medication?

  • Jul 15, 2022
  • The Harr Law Firm

Collection of prescription medicine bottles on gray backdropPrescription medications are supposed to ease your symptoms and help you live a healthier, happier life. But what if the opposite happens, and your medication actually causes more harm than good? Medication-related injuries are surprisingly common, and if it happens to you, you might feel uncertain about your rights to pursue compensation for prescription-related injuries. Who can be held liable when you’re harmed for your medication? How can you prove that liability? Keep reading to learn more about this particular form of liability, and who can be held liable under different circumstances.

Prescriber’s Liability

The primary question that you need to answer when determining liability in these cases is where the error occurred. If the error was on the part of the prescriber (e.g., the doctor, nurse, or hospital), then they are the ones you will need to look to when pursuing compensation. These medical professionals, and the administrations of the hospitals that employ them, are responsible for ensuring that their patients receive the proper prescriptions for their conditions.

The prescriber is required to write clear and correct prescriptions, as well as correctly diagnosing their patients to provide proper treatment. If you are misdiagnosed, or if you receive the wrong prescription for some other reason—such as miscommunication or a simple error in writing out the prescription—this can have disastrous consequences for your health. In these cases, the prescriber and/or the hospital where they work can be held liable for any ensuing injuries.

Pharmacist’s Liability

If the prescription was written correctly, and your condition was properly diagnosed, then the next place to look is at the individual who filled the prescription. A medication error can sometimes occur in the pharmacy the delivers the prescription to you. Though pharmacies have very careful and detailed processes to ensure that the right prescriptions get to the right patients, errors can occur in this stage. A pharmacist can misinterpret the order from the doctor, mix up the orders of different patients, or provide an incorrect dosage to a patient.

Any and all of these errors can result in serious injury to a patient, and may even cause life-altering health issues. If you can determine that the error in your medication was caused in the pharmacy, the pharmacist or the company itself can be held liable for your injuries.

Pharmaceutical Company’s Liability

What if there was no error in your prescription at all? What if it was prescribed and filled correctly, but the medication itself caused you direct harm? In cases like these, the liability would fall to the pharmaceutical company that manufactured and sold the drug. However, it’s not quite as simple as it sounds. Medications generally have a long list of potential side effects and disclaimers that can insulate a company from being held liable for harm caused by their medications.

In order to prove liability of the pharmaceutical company, you must be able to prove that they were directly negligence in the manufacturing or marketing of the drug. For example, if the company did not properly test the effects of the medication to determine its effectiveness or potential long-term side effects, your doctor may be recommending the medication to you based on a poorly executed medical study. They would have no way of knowing that the company’s claims are unfounded or that there are potential long-term complications not listed by the company. Therefore, the doctor could not be expected to know the potential harm that the medication could cause you. Rather, the company would be at fault for misrepresenting the medication’s effectiveness or safety, and you could reasonably sue them for negligence and the harm that that negligence caused to you.

Receiving Compensation for Harm by Medication

Medical treatments of any kind can have their risks, which can make claiming liability for harm incurred by a medical treatment quite difficult. However, if you were harmed by medication that you believed would improve your life, then you deserve to have your case heard. Contact The Harr Law Firm today to discuss your liability case. We’ll go over it with you in detail to determine where the liability lies, and what we can do to help you receive the compensation you deserve. If we take your case, we’ll help you negotiate with the liable party to receive a fair and just settlement, and, if necessary, take the matter to court to ensure that your rights are being protected. Call The Harr Law Firm now to schedule your consultation.