Maryland doctors prescribe medication to manage pain, alleviate symptoms, and help with the healing process after a medical procedure. People trust the medical professional’s expertise to diagnose their medical conditions. Unfortunately, despite the safety protocols that exist, errors occur that harm patients. When a person takes medication that was either wrongfully prescribed or administered, they could suffer adverse medical consequences – or even death.
When a mistake occurs because of the careless conduct of a physician, a pharmacist, or a pharmaceutical company, you could hold the responsible party liable through a lawsuit. Our Maryland medication overdose lawyers might be able to help determine if you were the victim of medical negligence. Call the Law Offices of Randolph Rice at (410) 694-7291 today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.
Can I Sue for Medication Overdose Injuries in Maryland?
Medication is an integral part of many medical treatment regiments. It also can serve as an immediate relief if you are experiencing pain or severe discomfort. For many people, their very life depends on receiving the proper dosage of their medication. We trust our medical professionals, including doctors and pharmacists, to ensure the drugs we ingest are the appropriate prescription and dosage.
However, medication can present a danger. If someone takes the wrong medication or dosage, they could suffer serious harm. An accidental overdose could result in a stomach sickness or a more severe complication such as a coma, brain damage, or death.
Who Is Responsible for a Medication Overdose in Maryland?
If you have suffered a medication overdose, there are several possible responsible parties. In some cases, a patient just accidentally consumes the wrong number of pills or takes their medication at incorrect intervals. However, there are situations where the patient has overdosed due to the negligent conduct of another person, including their doctor, a nurse, or a pharmacist. Responsibility could also rest with a hospital or pharmaceutical manufacturer.
Typically, a person will get a medical prescription from their doctor or a treating physician. In many medical facilities and hospitals, medication is dispensed and administered by a nurse. There are times where the wrong medication is prescribed or administered. In some cases, a doctor will fail to consult a patient’s full medical history and prescribe a drug that will exacerbate a medical condition or interact dangerously with a medication the patient is currently taking.
Information is vital when a person receives medical treatment. Your doctor, specialists, nurses, and other healthcare providers need access to accurate and up-to-date information concerning your diagnosis, treatment, and medication. When this data is incorrectly inputted into a database or ignored by a treating medical professional, serious errors are likely to occur.
In many situations, a patient will rely on the instructions their doctor gives them. This includes instructions on how and when to take certain medications. When a physician fails to properly instruct a patient or warns them of potential side effects, they might make an error when taking the medication.
Sometimes the cause of an accidental overdose has nothing to do with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist. A pharmaceutical manufacturer could have made a defective drug, mislabeled it, or failed to provide an adequate warning label. A person could easily suffer serious harm from a defective or mislabeled medication. If this occurs, contact our Maryland medication overdose injury attorney to determine if you have the basis for a products liability claim.
Maryland Nursing Homes and Medication Overdoses
Medication mistakes are a growing issue in Maryland nursing homes. It is becoming more common for overworked staff to administer the wrong medication, incorrect dosage, or mix up patients’ records. Many facilities are understaffed, resulting in costly and harmful medication overdoses.
Perhaps more troubling than medical errors, is a growing concern that nursing home residents are purposefully overmedicated to keep them docile. When residents receive more than their required amount of medication, they could suffer behavioral issues and severe medical complications. If you have a family member who is experiencing erratic or unusual behavior, including anxiety, lethargy, or disorientation, call our Maryland medication overdose attorney for a free consultation.
Filing a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit for Medication Overdose in Maryland
The injured party has the burden of proof in a Maryland medical malpractice lawsuit. To prevail in a medical malpractice case, a plaintiff must establish four elements.
First, the plaintiff must show that they were owed a duty of care by the medical professional. For a duty of care to exist, a doctor-patient relationship must exist. A doctor must provide their patient care with a degree of skill similar to what an average medical professional, with the same training, would provide.
Next, it must be demonstrated that the medical professional’s conduct breached the duty of care. In a medical malpractice lawsuit, this usually requires expert testimony that shows that your healthcare provider failed or deviated from the standard of care. Every medical mistake does not constitute medical malpractice and it is the plaintiff’s burden to show that what occurred deviated from any reasonable practice.
The third and fourth elements are somewhat connected. The plaintiff must establish that the breach of duty caused the injury. For example, the evidence might show that a patient slipped into a coma because of an overdose of medication. If their doctor mistakenly prescribed the drug, then causation might exist. After causation is demonstrated, the plaintiff must prove that they suffered actual harm, typically additional medical expenses or lost wages.
Maryland allows plaintiffs to recover both economic and non-economic damages in a medical malpractice lawsuit. This means a person could be compensated for their pain and suffering in addition to their medical costs and lost income.
Call an Experienced Maryland Medication Overdose Attorney for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one was harmed due to a medication overdose error, contact our Maryland medication overdose attorney immediately. When you suffer an injury or harm because of another person’s negligent actions, they should be held liable for your financial losses and emotional distress. The Maryland personal injury attorneys and staff at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice have decades of experience representing victims of medication overdoses. Call (410) 431-0911 today to schedule a free consultation.