The Food and Drug Administration reports that 1.3 million individuals are harmed as a result of medication (or prescription) errors each year in the United States. The primary issue in malpractice cases is whether a party was negligent in performing its duties. To constitute negligence, an act of medical malpractice must be something more than just a mistake. Instead, for malpractice to occur, it must be established that a competent professional would not have made the same mistake.
Among the various types of medical malpractice that are known to exist, medication errors are one of the most common types of malpractice. The following will take a closer look at situations in which a person is able to initiate legal action for errors involving prescription medication.
The Most Common Types of Medication Errors
When prescription errors occur, they tend to take one of several forms. Some of the most common types of medication errors include the following:
- Failing to warn a patient about side effects associated with a medication
- Prescribing the incorrect dosage of medication
- Prescribing the wrong medication
- Prescribing medication that was meant for another patient
Unlike some types of malpractice, medication errors can be made by anyone involved in administering medication to a patient. While a drug manufacturer could be responsible for producing a dangerous drug, a nurse could also administer the incorrect medication or a pharmacist might fill a prescription with the incorrect dosage.
The Evidence Required in a Prescription Error Case
To be successful in a medical malpractice case, there are several elements that must be satisfied, which include the following:
- A medical relationship that exists between the person who is being sued and the person who received the medication
- That the medical professional’s behavior fell below the standard of reasonable care that other medical professionals with similar positions follow. The standard of care can change based on a variety of factors, which include a patient’s health and age. As a result, medical malpractice in New Jersey requires more than an individual being injured during the administration of treatment.
- That the medical professional’s negligent behavior was the reason why the person who received the medication was harmed
- That the person who was subject to the medication error was harmed. This can involve establishing damages in the form of mental or physical harm.
Product Liability Case Involving Prescriptions
In addition to initiating legal action as a result of medical malpractice, it is also sometimes possible to initiate a product liability claim. In these situations, a person must establish that:
- A prescription was defectively manufactured
- A prescription was defectively designed
- The manufacturer failed to provide adequate warning of risks associated with a medication
Claims of this nature are often initiated against the pharmaceutical company that was responsible for designing, manufacturing, or selling the medication.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
When medication malpractice, one of the best steps to take is to obtain the assistance of an experienced accident attorney. Contact Ferrara & Gable today to schedule a free case evaluation.