When you trust your health and wellbeing to a healthcare provider, you expect—reasonably—not to be harmed by their decisions or actions. Unfortunately, medical malpractice does sometime occur, and one of the most common causes is medication errors.
While drug mistakes may seem benign, they can have disastrous consequences for patients, including serious injury and even death. If a healthcare professional makes a medication error at some point in the distribution process that causes you harm, a Wheaton prescription drug errors lawyer could help you hold the doctor responsible for their actions and pursue compensation to further your recovery.
What is a Medication Error?
Medication errors can occur at various points in a patient’s treatment, from prescribing through administration. According to the FDA, common causes of preventable prescription drug errors include when a healthcare professional:
- Prescribes the wrong medication, dose, or duration
- Does not administer the medication correctly or at the right time
- Fails to check a patient’s medical history, drug interactions, or allergies
- Prescribes drugs to someone who has a history of medication abuse
- Fails to monitor the patient for adverse reactions
In addition, errors can occur at the pharmacy during the dispensing process, as well as with the labeling and instructions provided. Any error at this stage could cause a patient to misuse the drug. When a medication error is caused by a mistake, a Wheaton medical malpractice attorney who specializes in prescription drug errors could help the patient bring a cause of action for negligence against the responsible party or parties.
Proving Negligence in Medical Malpractice Cases
Whether a medical professional is overworked, insufficiently trained, distracted, or lacks necessary knowledge, their careless behavior can quickly turn a medication aimed at helping a patient get better into a threat to their health. If this occurs, that patient may have grounds to file a lawsuit for their injuries.
To prove that the defendant in their case was negligent, the plaintiff must prove the four elements of the tort of negligence. These requirements are:
- The defendant owed the plaintiff a legal duty
- The defendant breached their duty
- The plaintiff suffered injuries as a direct result of the defendant’s breach
- The plaintiff incurred damages that are compensable monetarily
Damages from Medication Errors
While many medication errors are minor and have limited impact on a patient’s health, others can cause serious consequences, including respiratory distress, brain damage, cardiac arrest and other health complications. When a plaintiff suffers injuries as a result of another’s negligence, they may sue for compensatory damages to help make them whole again. Compensatory damages may include compensation for economic losses, such as medical expenses and loss wages, as well as noneconomic impacts, including pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life.
Contact a Wheaton Prescription Drug Attorney Today
Medical malpractice cases are among the most complex kind covered under Illinois civil law, often requiring deep subject matter knowledge and input from qualified experts. If you are injured as a result of a medication-related mistake, a seasoned Wheaton prescription drug errors lawyer or medical malpractice lawyer could help you through all aspects of your lawsuit in order to bring it to a fair and just resolution. Call today to discuss your situation.