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Common Prescription Drug Errors: Medical Malpractice

prescription drug errors

Prescription drugs are an important part of treating hundreds of thousands of patients every year. Many patients take multiple prescription drugs on a continuous basis while others use them temporarily to heal from an infection or other type of illness. Some patients take prescription medication as outpatients (not admitted to the hospital) and some are prescribed drugs while being treated in the hospital. When patients experience prescription drug errors, the results can be devastating.

If you or a loved one was injured because of a prescription drug error, contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer right away. He or she can assess your injuries, the cause of your injuries and discuss your legal right to recover damages through a settlement.

What is a prescription drug error?

Prescription drug errors come in many forms, including:

  • Wrong dosage of medication
  • Wrong medication
  • Prescribing medication that interacts negatively with another medication the patient was prescribed or that the patient is allergic to
  • Failing to inform the patient about known serious side effects of the medication
  • Mislabeling the medication

Who can be sued for prescription drug errors?

When it comes to prescription drug errors, there is a fairly long list of parties who can be liable for an error:

  • Medication that was mislabeled by the manufacturer could fall under the responsibility of the pharmaceutical manufacturer.
  • Medication mislabeled at the pharmacy could fall under the responsibility of the pharmacy or the pharmacist.
  • Filling or instructing a patient to use the wrong dosage could fall under the responsibility of the pharmacy or the pharmacist.
  • The prescribing physician or nurse could be responsible for prescribing a drug that reacts negatively with other medications the patient is taking or that he or she is allergic to. They could also be held responsible for prescribing the wrong drug, wrong dosage or for failing to inform patient of known side effects.

Note that a hospital may be liable for prescription drug errors caused by the negligence of their employee.

What is the cause of prescription drug error medical malpractice cases?

Like other medical malpractice cases, prescription drug error claims stem from negligent care. Negligent care means that the health care provider failed to meet the duty of care they owed their patient; the degree of care provided was sub-standard to what a competent or reasonable health care provider who practices in the same specialty would have provided under similar circumstances. The courts will take into account the advances in the profession and resources available to the provider in determining negligence.

What damages may be recovered in a prescription drug error claim?

The value of a prescription drug error claim varies widely depending on the severity of the injuries and the monetary damages incurred by the injured party. Damages that may be recovered are pain and suffering, medical bills, long-term care, lost wages and others.

The Seattle personal injury attorneys at Morrow Kidman Tinker Macey-Cushman, PLLC have years of experience representing families harmed by medical malpractice and other types of negligence. We seek justice for patients who have been harmed by preventable accidents and medical errors including birth injuries, hospital-acquired infections, diagnostic errors, prescription drug injuries and wrongful death in Seattle and across Washington State. There are no fees or expenses to file a personal injury case as we only receive payment if we recover damages on your behalf. Do not delay; personal injury claims come with a Statute of Limitations, which means they must be filed within a certain time frame of the injury.

Call us now at 206-842-1000 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our compassionate, experienced attorneys.