Doctors prescribe medication to help alleviate pain, manage chronic illness, or mitigate the effects of a medical condition. We rely on a doctor’s expertise to diagnose and properly treat our medical problems. Despite levels of safety procedures and protocols, mistakes happen. Mistakes involving an overdose or a patient taking the wrong medication can lead to harm – or even death.
When these errors stem from negligent conduct on the part of your doctor, a pharmacist, or a pharmaceutical company, you may be entitled to sue the responsible parties. Our Baltimore medication overdose attorneys may be able to help determine if you were the victim of medical malpractice or other negligence. Call the Law Offices of Randolph Rice at (410) 431-0911 today to schedule a free legal consultation.
Medication Overdose Injuries
When it comes to their medications, patients put their trust in medical professionals, such as doctors or pharmacists. However, mistakes can happen when someone takes the wrong dosage or the wrong medication. These patients can suffer serious harm if the wrong medication dangerously interacts with other medications or causes an allergic reaction. An accidental overdose can result in brain damage, coma, deterioration of internal organs, or death.
Determining Fault for Medication Overdoses in Baltimore
In a medication injury claim, anyone along the chain from manufacturing to administration of the medication can be liable for the harm caused by prescription medication errors and overdoses. This includes doctors, nurses, hospitals, pharmacies, and pharmacists as well as pharmaceutical manufacturers.
Prescribing or Dispensing the Wrong Medication or Incorrect Dosage
Doctors and nurses are liable for prescribing or administering the wrong medication or the wrong dosage. There are many ways that this can happen. For instance, a doctor may fail to consult a patient’s medical history and negligently prescribe medication that will dangerously react with other medications or exacerbate a medical condition. A pharmacist may not be able to read a doctor’s poor handwriting and might dispense an incorrect dosage. Additionally, a doctor may have written the wrong medication or dosage on the prescription.
Failing to Provide Proper Instructions or Relay Manufacturer’s Warnings
A doctor often has a duty to instruct a patient on how to take medication properly. This means a doctor must inform the patient of any potential side effects or manufacturer’s warnings. Failing to properly instruct a patient may result in dangerous use of the medication.
Pharmacy Mistakes in Dispensing Medication
People trust their pharmacists to fill their prescriptions correctly. Mistakenly filling a prescription can result in either the wrong dosage or wrong medication being filled. Maryland law does not, however, impose a duty on a pharmacist to warn a patient of potentially harmful side effects.
Defective or Mislabeled Medication
The cause of an accidental overdose or medication injury does not have to be an error in either the prescription or dosage. A drug manufacturer may make a drug that is either defective or inherently dangerous. Furthermore, the drug manufacturer may mislabel medication or fail to provide sufficient warnings of potential side effects. Suffering harm from defective or mislabeled medication can give rise to a products liability or strict liability claim. Contact a Baltimore medication injury attorney to see if you have a strict liability claim.
Wrongful Medication and Overdoses in Nursing Homes
Administering the wrong medication is a growing problem in nursing homes. Understaffed facilities have tired, overworked staff mistakenly administering medication or mixing up medical records. These errors can result in patients receiving medications that dangerously react with other medications they take or cause an overdose.
An even more troubling concern is intentional overmedication or chemical restraint of nursing home patients. According to a 2010 study, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services found that 17% of nursing home residents received more than their required amount of antipsychotic drugs daily. If your loved one’s behavior seems erratic or unusual, they seem unusually lethargic, they are disoriented, or they suffer from unexplained mental or physical complications, call an experienced Baltimore medication overdose attorney for a free consultation.
Filing a Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawsuit for Medication Overdose
In a Maryland medical malpractice case, the burden of proof is on the injured party. To prove a medical malpractice claim against a negligent doctor, you must first show that the medical professional owed you a particular duty of care. Next, you must show that the medical professional breached the duty of care when making the medication error. Finally, you must show that the medical professional’s conduct was the direct cause of the injuries. To complete your claim, you must also prove the damages you faced so the court can compensate you for the proper amount.
If you or a loved one has suffered any injuries from the negligent administration of medication, it is important to call a Baltimore medication overdose lawyer. The statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases in Maryland is five years from the date of the injury or three years from the discovery of the injury, whichever period is shorter. Failing to file within this deadline might mean losing your right to recover damages altogether. Claims against pharmacists and drug manufacturers might work differently.
Maryland allows for compensation for both economic and noneconomic damages, allowing payments for pain, suffering, additional medical costs, and lost income. Call a Baltimore medication overdose lawyer today to help determine if you have a medical malpractice claim or a claim against a negligent pharmacist, nursing home, hospital, or drug company.
Call an Experienced Baltimore Medication Overdose Attorney for a Free Consultation
According to the Food and Drug Administration, medication injuries affect 1.3 million people yearly. If you or a family member suffered injuries due to a medication overdose, call an experienced Baltimore attorney today. The lawyers at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice can help you with your medication overdose claim. Call (410) 431-0911 today to schedule a free consultation.