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Medication Errors

Harmed by Medication Errors? Explore Your Legal Options with a Cook County Medical Malpractice Lawyer.

Patients trust their doctors when they prescribe them medications. Trust that a doctor is well-qualified to diagnose disease and prescribe an appropriate treatment lays much of the basis for the patient-doctor relationship. Most people aren’t surprised to learn that medication errors happen. But they may be surprised to learn how frequently they happen. If you or a loved one have suffered harm because of medication errors, it would be wise to have your case evaluated by a Cook County medical malpractice lawyer at Buttafuoco & Associates.

A famous 1999 report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), appropriately titled To Err is Human, estimated that preventable medical errors caused up to 98,000 preventable deaths a year. Among those deaths were an estimated 7,000 deaths each year due to medication errors in hospitals. Thousands more cause non-fatal injuries, some of which can be very serious. So if you’re suffering from an injury after a doctor’s medication error, you’re definitely not alone.

While doctors – like everybody else – make mistakes, their mistakes have the potential to significantly affect a patient’s life. In these cases, doctors are liable for the damages. Patients can file a medical malpractice claim against the doctor and his or her insurer to recoup the damages they suffered.

Basis for Malpractice Cases Stemming from Pharmaceutical Errors

Doctors need to account for patients’ current symptoms, medical history, and the medications they are currently taking to safely prescribe drugs. They should also warn patients of and discuss any potential side effects or complications. A doctor who negligently fails in that duty is liable for any resultant damages related to the medication error.

A doctor may be legally responsible for the following types of medication errors.

  • Prescribing the wrong medication.
  • Prescribing the wrong dose.
  • Failing to account for a patient’s allergy to an ingredient in the medication.
  • Failing to account for drug interactions with other medications the patient is taking.

Parties Liable for a Pharmaceutical Error

Pharmaceutical errors can occur in a variety of ways, and could involve various negligent parties depending on the circumstances.

  • A doctor who prescribes the wrong medication or dosage
  • A doctor who fails to take an adequate history of patient medications
  • A nurse or physician who fails to chart patient drug allergies
  • A nurse who incorrectly administers prescribed medication
  • A pharmacist who incorrectly fills a prescription
  • A pharmacy that incorrectly labels the medication container or doesn’t provide necessary literature

Every case is different, so the party liable for your injuries will depend on what led to the error and which parties were involved. You’ll have to review the details of your case before you determine liability and ultimately file your claim.

Take Action if Drug Errors Cause Injuries

Like all medical malpractice cases, to successfully recover damages after a medication error causes injury you’ll have to establish that a doctor – or other party – was negligent and that negligence caused your injuries. You’ll also need to prove that you suffered damages because of the doctor’s medication error and the resultant injuries.

Our firm can gather the medical records and other evidence needed to prove your case. Your attorney can establish the circumstances that led to the error, negotiate with the liable parties’ insurance carriers to reach a fair damage settlement, and – if necessary – represent you at-trial.

If you have been seriously harmed due to a medication error, or a family member has been killed, get in touch with Buttafuoco and Associates. You can set up a consultation with an attorney to review all aspects of your case and get a better idea of what you can expect. Call us at 1-800-NOW-HURT to schedule your appointment today.