Contrary to popular belief, medication errors are not always the fault of the pharmacist. In fact, 50% of medication errors are the fault of the medical professional who prescribed them; nurses and pharmacists are the ones to catch them. However, no matter who made the mistake, these errors can have critical and devastating effects when left unchecked, causing unnecessary pain and suffering for the patient and their loved ones.
If you or a loved one are suffering from the consequences of a pharmacy’s mistake, finding the best pharmacy malpractice attorney can be a challenging task. Explore four scenarios where you should hire a pharmacy malpractice attorney and how Nessler & Associates can help you pursue your medical malpractice claim.
You Were Given the Wrong Medication or Dosage
While most medication mix-ups are caught before the prescription is filled, these mishaps can still happen in a variety of ways. For instance, you can be prescribed the wrong medication entirely, given too high or low a dose, or prescribed the medication for the incorrect length of time. You may even be given another person’s prescription due to a pharmacy error.
However, prescribing or administering the wrong medication or dosage can be extremely dangerous and potentially lethal. If the medication error causes serious injury or death to the patient, a medical malpractice attorney can take on the case on behalf of the patient or their loved ones.
You Received Incomplete or Incorrect Instructions
Many prescription medications must be administered in a specific way to be effective. In some cases, however, your doctor or pharmacist may give you the wrong directions or forget to give you directions at all. If you don’t receive the medication insert with your prescription, you may administer the medication incorrectly, potentially leading to dangerous reactions or ineffective treatment.
For example, you may be told to take the medication three times a day when you should only take it twice per day, leading to an accidental overdose. Or, you might not be told that you need to take the medication at the same time daily for it to be effective, which results in your condition worsening. Conditions like these may give you grounds for a medical malpractice claim.
You Were Denied a Necessary Medication
Sometimes certain medications are necessary to treat a medical condition or emergency. However, some doctors and pharmacists may erroneously decide the patient doesn’t need the medication or are reluctant to prescribe a necessary medication (particularly if it has a high abuse rate). If refusing to provide the medication harms or kills the patient, a medical malpractice lawyer can seek to recover damages from the negligent medical professionals.
For example, a patient is suffering a severe allergic reaction and goes to the ER. The medical professionals, believing the patient isn’t having as serious a reaction as they claim, refuse or delay the use of an allergy treatment such as epinephrine, and the patient subsequently goes into cardiac arrest and dies. Their family may be able to file a wrongful death claim against the hospital, arguing that the loved one’s death was the direct result of the refused or delayed treatment.
Medical Professionals Ignored Known Allergies or Contraindications
Any known allergies should be documented in your medical charts. If you have a documented allergy to a medication or certain ingredient, any medical professionals working with you should ensure you aren’t prescribed anything you will react to. Similarly, if you take any prescription medications, those should also be documented in your medical records, as some medications are unsafe to take together.
When prescribing medication, medical professionals must watch for anything that may cause an allergic reaction or interact with other medications you take. If they overlook or deliberately disregard any potential reactions, and you suffer an allergic reaction or dangerous medication interaction; as a result, you may have a valid medical malpractice claim.
However, keep in mind that the allergy or contraindication must be documented. If you don’t tell your doctor about an herbal supplement you take, and they prescribe a medication that interacts badly with your supplements, neither the doctor nor pharmacist can be held responsible.
If you are incapacitated and receive emergency treatment at a hospital that you haven’t been to, you cannot hold them liable for giving you a medication that you’re allergic to because they don’t have access to your medical records. Some people with severe medication allergies wear medical bracelets listing their allergies in case of an emergency to prevent this situation from occurring.
How Can I Find the Best Pharmacy Malpractice Lawyer in Illinois?
While medical malpractice is a form of tort or personal injury law, the average personal injury lawyer can’t take on a medical malpractice case because it’s a very nuanced area of law. It’s important to search for a law firm with years of experience taking on medical malpractice cases. Many attorneys offer free consultations where you can inquire if they’ve represented clients with similar types of medical malpractice claims.
Finding the right medical malpractice lawyer is a complicated process. That’s why, at Nessler & Associates, we want to make the process as easy for you as possible. Our no-fee guarantee means we won’t take any payment unless we settle or win your case.
Our attorneys firmly believe medical professionals should be held accountable for their negligence. Whether you’re seeking justice for yourself or a loved one, we are prepared to take your case and fight for the compensation you deserve. Call us at (800) 727-8010 or fill out our online form to schedule a complimentary case evaluation today.