Medication should help you. Sometimes a person experiences adverse reactions that could not be predicted. Other times, mistakes occur that result from negligence. In these situations, you may be able to pursue compensation for your losses if you can show that a medical professional did not do what they should have to ensure your safety. Medication errors are not uncommon, but when you are seriously harmed by one, you should trust your case to an experienced medical malpractice attorney.
Types of Medication Errors
Medication errors can occur in many ways. Here are some examples:
- A doctor prescribed a medication to a patient with a known allergy to it
- The provider prescribed a medication not considered normal for the treatment of a particular condition
- The provider prescribed a dosage of medication that was outside the scope of what other providers would prescribe in the same situation
- The provider failed to prescribe medication that would have been beneficial and expected in the type of treatment offered
- A patient receives the wrong medication from a nurse or pharmacy
How Medication Errors Happen
Medication errors occur in a variety of ways. In some cases, you simply don’t know what went wrong. Other times, it’s clear that there was negligence involved in the incident. A medical malpractice attorney will work closely with you to determine what the underlying cause was, if possible. Some examples may include:
- A professional fails to take a full medical history for the patient prior to prescribing medication
- The provider notes are impossible to read, and that lead to the mistake in medication dosing or use
- A provider gives medication to the wrong patient, often due to confusing one person for the other
- Medication is unsupervised for a period of time, leading to confusing
- A provider fails to update a patient’s chart, resulting in confusing
- A pharmacist fills a prescription incorrectly
Common Injuries and Losses Caused by Medication Errors
Patients can react to a medication error in a variety of ways—some more serious than others. In situations where serious adverse reactions occur, a person’s life may be on the line. Medication errors can lead to wrongful death. Injuries that may come from this type of mistake may include:
- A person doesn’t recover from their medical condition
- Symptoms worsen and lead to complications
- The medication causes an allergic reaction that leads to complications
- A person dies as a result of the medication or the resulting injuries or illnesses that occur
- An unwanted or undesired outcome occurs that could lead to losses
- A person experiences unnecessary pain and suffering from taking the medication
Who May Be Liable in Your Situation?
The details of your medication error may pinpoint a specific person who was negligent. Other times, it may be a series of events that led to the negligent action. Sometimes, it is the doctor who prescribes the medication who is at fault for not following the standard protocol or by making a misjudgment that their peers would not make.
Other times, it may be the pharmacist who dispensed the medication who could be at fault, especially if the doctor’s prescription is accurate and valid. The nurse administrating the medication could be at fault if they did not follow protocol to check patient identification, verify the medication dosage, or follow standards of care when providing patients with that medication.
What to Do When You Are Suffering From These Losses
Medication errors like this are very difficult to pinpoint. Oftentimes, a patient doesn’t learn that a medication mistake occurred unless it becomes obvious. Yet, if you believe that you’ve suffered a loss like this, it’s critical to take action to protect your rights.
Even if your doctor or other provider does not provide you with information about what happened, you should reach out to a medical malpractice attorney in Texas for guidance. It’s often best not to make accusations until you have spoken to a lawyer.
Potential Damages You May Qualify for
The damages in these cases are dependent on the losses experienced. In some situations, these may be obvious losses, such as a loved one suffering an adverse outcome from taking the medication and becoming very ill or passing away from the use. Other times, the potential damages are more complex, such as if a person already has life-threatening health complications and it’s hard to know what damage the medication error itself made.
In some cases, a victim may recover losses such as:
- Medical expenses, including any additional care needed as a result of the medication
- Rehabilitation and recovery support
- Lost time at work
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death claims including loss of companionship and earnings
How a Personal Injury Attorney in Texas Can Help You
After a medical error occurs, take the time to gather any information available to you, such as the names of nurses on staff and any witness information. Then, seek out the help of a medical malpractice attorney specifically. Your attorney will work closely with you to determine if you have a case and, if so, what evidence may be available to support it. Your attorney may also be able to gather more information about what happened to help you determine your next steps.
In situations like this, it’s often important to speak to the attorney to determine not only if you have a case but how likely it is that you will receive compensation for it, especially if there is limited information available. You may also want to discuss how much this mistake has cost you in terms of your quality of life. This information may help the attorney to know how to proceed in recovering compensation for your losses. If your loved one passed away due to the mistakes made by a medical provider, contact our team to learn more about your legal rights.
The Button Law Firm provides support in these complex cases. If you believe that someone’s mistake led to a medication error, and you’re struggling as a result, let our team provide guidance and support to you today. Schedule an appointment online or call us to learn more about how we can help you in your medical practice case.