We trust that the medications we take are safe and reliable. We also trust that our doctors, pharmacists, and other medical professionals protect us from harm by prescribing and dispensing the correct medications and dosages for our condition. But sadly, that is not always the case.
Pharmaceutical injuries occur for many reasons. Unfortunately, patients are the ones to suffer for the negligence and wrongdoing that resulted in a pharmaceutical injury. A Fort Worth pharmaceutical injury lawyer can pursue claims involving prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications.
Injuries Caused by Pharmaceutical Errors and Defective Drugs
The injuries caused by pharmaceutical errors depend on many factors, including the type of medication being administered.
Injuries caused by defective drugs and prescription errors include, but are not limited to:
- Damage to internal organs
- Heart attacks and stroke
- Traumatic brain injury
- Depression, which could lead to self-harm
- Increased blood pressure
- Nerve damage
- Amputations and loss of limbs
- Loss of bodily functions
The adverse events caused by pharmaceutical errors and dangerous drugs can be life-threatening. Some patients sustain permanent injuries and disabilities.
Why Do Pharmaceutical Injuries Occur?
All drugs and medications have side effects. Generally, the drug manufacturer lists the potential side effects on the packaging and discloses the information in the materials provided with the medication. Physicians should discuss potential side effects with patients before prescribing medications.
Typically, a patient decides to take medication because the benefits outweigh the potential risks. However, that assumes the person knows about the risks when making that decision.
Therefore, a common cause of pharmaceutical injuries is dangerous and defective drugs.
Drugs and prescription medications can cause adverse events for many reasons, including:
- Failure to disclose potential side effects
- Defects in the manufacturing process
- Inherently dangerous components
- Incorrect marketing
- Mislabeled drugs
- Failure to complete adequate testing
- Hiding the results of dangerous side effects and risks
- Contamination of medications
However, other actions could cause or contribute to the cause of pharmaceutical injuries. For example, a doctor might fail to check drug interactions or patient allergies. In addition, a physician might prescribe the incorrect dosage or the wrong medication to treat a condition.
Pharmacists might fill a prescription incorrectly. Nurses in a medical facility or hospital might give patients the wrong medication or incorrect doses. A store might not pull recalled medications from the shelves.
It is crucial that you hire an experienced pharmaceutical injury lawyer to handle your case. A lawyer will investigate the cause of your injury. By determining the cause and gathering evidence proving causation, they can hold all parties who contributed to your injury liable for damages.
Who Is Liable for a Pharmaceutical Injury Claim?
The cause of the injury determines who is liable for damages. There could be more than one responsible party.
Potential defendants in a pharmaceutical injury case include, but are not limited to:
- Physicians and doctor’s offices
- Pharmacies and pharmacists
- Hospitals, nursing homes, and other medical facilities
- Pharmaceutical companies
- The medication’s designer or developer
The basis for a pharmaceutical injury claim depends on the specific facts of the case. There could be several allegations, including medical malpractice, product liability, general negligence, strict liability, and intentional wrongdoing.
The injured party has the burden of proving the legal elements for the cause of action to recover compensation for damages. The burden of proof is by a preponderance of the evidence. That means the jury must believe that the evidence proves there is more than a 50% chance the defendant engaged in the alleged conduct, and the behavior resulted in the plaintiff’s injuries and damages.
What Damages Can I Receive in a Pharmaceutical Injury Case?
Injured parties typically recover compensation for their economic damages. They are reimbursed for the financial losses and expenses they incur because of their injuries.
Economic damages include, but are not limited to:
- The cost of medical treatment and care
- The loss of income from being out of work because of a pharmaceutical injury
- Out-of-pocket expenses and costs
- Nursing care and assistance with activities of daily living (personal care)
- Diminished earning capacity and future lost wages for a permanent impairment
- Physical, occupational, and other therapies
- The cost of counseling and mental health treatment
In addition to financial losses, a person may experience severe pain and suffering because of a pharmaceutical error or defective drug.
Personal injury claims can include non-economic damages such as:
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Physical pain and discomfort
- A decrease in quality of life
- Impairments and disabilities
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental anguish and trauma
- Emotional distress
The value of damages can be difficult to calculate. There is no standard formula for placing a value on pain and suffering damages. Instead, a jury considers numerous factors to determine the level of suffering caused by the at-fault party’s negligence and wrongdoing.
Factors that impact the value of a personal injury claim include:
- The age of the injured party and their health before the injury
- The type and severity of the injury
- The financial damages the plaintiff incurred
- How the injury impacted the plaintiff’s daily life
- Whether the plaintiff can return to work
- The duration of the plaintiff’s recovery
Other factors could impact how much a pharmaceutical injury claim is worth. Your lawyer will work with you and your physicians to document your injuries and damages. They may also retain medical specialists, economists, and other expert witnesses to assist in valuing future damages.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Pharmaceutical Injury Claims in Texas?
The Texas statutes of limitations set deadlines for filing personal injury claims. For most personal injury claims, the deadline for filing lawsuits is two years.
However, there are several exceptions to the general statute of limitations. A person might not realize that a defective drug or pharmaceutical error caused their injury until several years after taking the drug. In some cases, the statute of limitations might be based on when the person should have reasonably known about the injury.
However, you should talk with an experienced Fort Worth personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Delays in seeking legal advice could cause you to lose your right to pursue a claim for pharmaceutical injuries.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Fort Worth Pharmaceutical Injury Lawyers
You deserve to be compensated if a dangerous drug causes you to suffer injuries or harm or if a doctor makes a pharmaceutical error that causes an injury. Contact our law firm to schedule a free case evaluation with an experienced Fort Worth pharmaceutical injury attorney at (817) 420-7000. Our attorneys from Stephens Law Firm, PLLC are here to help you recover fair compensation for the negligence and wrongdoing that caused your injury.