Understanding What Counts as Medical Malpractice
It's estimated that among the 7 million patients who receive the wrong treatment or prescription each year, anywhere from 7,000 to 9,000 will sustain fatal injuries. Medication errors are an unfortunately common occurrence that has proven to cause significant harm to a patient, from allergic reactions to improper dosages.
Because of how severe these drug reactions may be, patients may be able to pursue legal action for the damages caused by an incorrect prescription.
Making a Medication Error Claim
It's important first to understand that the evidence needed to file a claim over a prescription error could be significant. Many questions may need to be assessed to determine who exactly would be held responsible for damages, including:
- Did the pharmacist fill your prescription with the incorrect medication?
- Did you have a known medication allergy and neglected to tell the doctor? On the other hand, were you prescribed something you told them you were allergic to?
- Was the listed dosage incorrect, or did you not take it as prescribed?
- Are you receiving the medication from a caregiver who could have given the incorrect dosage?
A mistake may not always equal malpractice. In order to pursue a lawsuit for the wrong prescription, negligence would need to be proven.
Four elements of negligence would need to be proven to pursue your claim: (1) duty of care, (2) breach of duty, (3) cause of injury, and (4) damages that resulted. In a medication error case, it may look like:
- A doctor-patient relationship existed, medication was prescribed, and the doctor ensured the patient received said medication.
- This duty could have been breached if the medication prescribed had adverse interactions with already prescribed medications, the medication prescribed was a known allergen to the patient, or an incorrect dosage was prescribed.
- The prescribed medication directly caused injury to the patient.
- The patient suffered economic damages or pain and suffering from the incorrect medication.
Working with an experienced medical malpractice attorney will help you better understand this process and if you have a case.
Schedule a Consultation with Angel Law, P.C.
Our Portland firm has been advocating for patient rights for years and are dedicated to helping you achieve the most desired outcome for your case. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to a medication error, call (503) 862-8666 to schedule your free consultation. Our attorney is available 24/7 and willing to travel to prospective clients.