If you are prescribed a dangerous or defective drug, you may have grounds for one or two different types of civil lawsuits. You may be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit if the physician who prescribed the drug knew or should have known that it had been recalled or was otherwise unsafe. If you cannot file a medical malpractice lawsuit, you may still have grounds for a product liability claim against the pharmaceutical company. Learn more about your legal options by consulting with an attorney.
What Is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice occurs when a health care provider injures a patient by committing an act of negligence or recklessness. If a physician fails to check your medical history and prescribes a drug that you are allergic to, for example, this constitutes medical malpractice. You may have grounds to file medical malpractice claim in Pennsylvania if your physician, nurse or another medical practitioner contributed to the injuries you suffered by taking a recalled drug.
If you have evidence that your doctor knew or reasonably should have known that the drug prescribed to you was recalled, not approved by the FDA, was a dangerous off-label brand, or posed other health or safety threats, you may have grounds to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the practitioner or hospital. Contact a Pittsburgh medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. If your injuries were caused by being prescribed the wrong drug or dosage, this could also give you the right to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
What Is a Dangerous Drug Claim?
If your physician had no way of knowing that the drug prescribed to you was dangerous or had been recalled, however, such as if the manufacturing company had not yet announced the recall to the public, you may not be able to bring a medical malpractice cause of action. This does not mean that you do not have other legal options. You may be able to pursue financial compensation through a dangerous drug lawsuit instead.
A dangerous drug lawsuit takes the form of a product liability claim in Pennsylvania. Product liability is the area of law that deals with the safety of products sold to the public. Product liability law states that all manufacturers and distributors have a legal responsibility to ensure the reasonable safety of their products. This means manufacturing companies, including drugmakers, must take certain steps to minimize the risk of injuries and illnesses to their consumers, such as conducting drug safety tests before releasing them.
If a pharmaceutical company created a drug with a dangerous defect, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the company for your economic and noneconomic losses. You could base your claim on negligence if there is evidence that the company committed a careless act or omission that contributed to the drug defect.
If the drug contained a design, marketing or manufacturing flaw, you may not have to prove that the pharmaceutical company was negligent to be eligible for financial compensation. This is known as a strict product liability claim. You may not have to prove negligence if you can demonstrate that the drug contained a defect and that this is what caused you injury or illness.
What to Do If a Drug You Were Using Has Been Recalled
Depending on the circumstances, it may be possible to seek financial compensation through both a medical malpractice lawsuit and a product liability claim in Pennsylvania. Protect your legal rights by documenting the incident from the beginning. Keep the box or packaging that the recalled drug came in. Take photographs of the drug, as well. If you receive a notice of the recall, keep a copy for your records.
Write down what you can remember about taking the drug, including the date you began your prescription and all of the side effects experienced. Ask for copies of the medical records where you were prescribed the recalled drug, as well as all related medical bills. Then, contact a Pittsburgh dangerous drug lawyer to request a free legal consultation. An attorney can help you understand your right to file a civil lawsuit after taking a dangerous drug.