Drug Side Effects
The “side effects” of drugs are well-known to those who take certain types of medications. While drugs may do wonders in treating illnesses, many also come with a list of other possible effects that, in some cases, can be worse than the disease itself. Many victims who have suffered serious side effects from medication question whether they can sue for their injuries. That question is complicated and the answer often requires help from an experienced attorney.
What Are Drug Side Effects?
When manufacturers create and doctors prescribe medication, these professionals are responsible for delivering safe products and informing patients of potential dangers. Almost every medication has some type of side effect, or an outcome that is not part of the therapeutic effect of the drug.
Side effects are often harmless. For example, many people taking over-the-counter medication for a headache find that the drugs cause a slight upset stomach. However, this side effect is not only not harmful to the body but usually goes away very quickly. Therefore, many people who suffer nausea from headache remedies still consider them a good way to treat this type of pain.
However, sometimes side effects are much more serious. Approximately 4.5 million doctor’s office and emergency room visits occur each year due to unforeseen effects of medication usage. In addition, another 2 million patients who are already in hospitals or nursing homes suffer serious side effects from medication. Some of these side effects result in serious illness or injury; some can even result in death.
Can I Sue For Drug Side Effects?
While federal regulations are designed to protect the consumer from dangerous drugs, there is a certain amount of leeway allowed to manufacturers and doctors when it comes to drug side effects. This is because people simply react differently to drugs and because in many cases the relatively minor side effects are outweighed by the good the drug does in treating disease.
However, that does not mean that a manufacturer, doctor or other party cannot be sued for drug side effects. Even after gaining FDA approval, a manufacturer can be held liable if a drug causes serious problems for users.
Drug lawsuits fall under an area of the law known as “product liability.” In order to support a product liability claim, the victim must show that the product was defectively designed, defectively manufactured or failed to provide adequate warnings on its use.
Patients who suffer serious side effects may be able to sue if they can show that the drug was not tested properly before being released or was flawed in its manufacture.
They may also be able to sue if they can show that the drug company or doctor failed to warn them of potential side effects of the medication. However, if the doctor or a pharmacist warned the patient of possible side effects, or if there were adequate written warnings on or in the drug’s packaging, it is less likely the victim will have a strong product liability case.
What Types of Drug Side Effects Are The Subject of Lawsuits?
In order to have the basis for a drug lawsuit, there generally must be serious injuries resulting from the use of the drug. Some types of injuries that have been the basis for successful drug lawsuits include physical debilitation, such as chronic pain, inflammation or birth defects; liver damage; stroke; cardiovascular complications; suicidal thoughts or suicide attempts; and death.
In order to determine the best approach to a drug side effect injury case, it is often helpful to speak with an attorney who has experience in dealing with these types of complicated lawsuits. The personal injury attorneys at David & Philpot, P.L. have been helping victims obtain compensation for Drug side effects and medical malpractice for over 20 years. The understand this complex area of law and can answer any questions you have. Contact them today at 800.360.7015 or fill out a free case evaluation form. The consultation is free and could be the first step in obtaining the compensation you deserve for your injury.