When someone mentions a medical malpractice lawsuit, our minds immediately picture an error in the operating room. However, malpractice charges can result from other types of medical errors, including medication errors. In fact, medication errors are the most common cases of medical malpractice, especially when it comes to treatment of newborn children.
Such errors take place on daily bases all around the world, including Texas. Unfortunately, many mistakes of this kind have serious repercussions, such as permanent health issues and conditions, suffering and pain, and the worst of them all – wrongful death.
With medicine gone so far ahead during these past decades, it is crucial to understand that medications are not to be played with. The correct dosage of the appropriate medication can result in the health benefits we expect, but a wrong dose or a wrong medication can cause serious problems for the consumer.
However, in the case of medication malpractice, the guilt is not found in the consumer, but the healthcare provider.
Types of Medication Errors
Injuries that are life-altering can result when a healthcare professional such as a doctor, nurse, or a pharmacist, prescribes an incorrect drug or an incorrect dosage of a drug. There is a myriad of types of Texas medication errors, but some of the most common mistakes are:
- The doctor prescribes the wrong medication or drug
- The pharmacist fills the prescription with a different, wrong medication or drug
- The doctor prescribes a wrong dose of a medication or drug
- The pharmacist fills the prescription with a wrong dose of the medication or drug
- The doctor or the pharmacist provide wrong instructions about the medication or drug consumption
- The doctor or the pharmacist provide the wrong person with a medication or drug that was intended for someone else
- The doctor or other healthcare professional treats the patient with a wrong drug or a wrong combination of drugs and medication
If you find yourself in such situations, or have lost a family member because of medication errors, this is considered medical malpractice. You should take the appropriate steps immediately and consult a personal injury lawyer to meet the deadlines for such claims in the state of Texas.
Injured by an Error in Medication? Get Help Today!
Medication Prescription or Administration Malpractice
Medication errors happen on daily basis. There are thousands of people who were injured or died as a result of medication errors. Because of the frequency of this type of negligence and the serious consequences it may result in, the state of Texas has set very high safety precautions and standards in place to limit such happenings.
When a doctor or other medical professional, including a pharmacist, fails to meet such standards, the victim of their negligence may be entitled to a certain type of compensation. If the plaintiff can prove that there was indeed negligence on behalf of the medical personnel, doctor or pharmacist, they will be compensated for their suffering.
In the case you have suffered any type of injury or damage to your health because a doctor or nurse administered a wrong medication, prescribed the wrong drug, or the pharmacy made an error with the prescription, you need to file a claim as soon as possible. The timeframe within which Texas accepts such lawsuits is two years after the malpractice occurred.
Doctors and other staff at a hospital can misdiagnose or mistreat a patient, and we are all aware that this is a solid ground for malpractice lawsuits. What most people do not know is that pharmacy negligence is equally terrifying, and is often considered medical malpractice in court.
Pharmacy negligence occurs in many stages and forms of the treatment process. Such negligence includes:
- Wrong medication
- Overdose or under dose
- Incorrect instructions for dosage
- Entering incomplete or incorrect information about the patient
- Entering incorrect dosage units in the system
- Providing incorrect labels for prescription
- Failure or inability to recognize drug interactions that are dangerous
- Failure to provide counsel to the patient
- Lack of supervision or training of a technician
What Can You Do?
In the case that you are unsure if your problem falls under medication negligence in Texas, contact a pharmacy error attorney. But, if you or a family member have suffered any type of injury you believe is a ground for medical malpractice lawsuit, save the medications, bottles, labels, prescriptions, and receipts related to this case. If you do not save these, it will be very hard to prove your case.
An experienced lawyer will first send a letter of representation to the defendant. After this, he will open up your claim. At the point where you have already completed the treatment that resulted from the pharmacy’s or doctor’s error, your attorney will order the medical records and bills, obtain all the necessary evidence, and start negotiating your malpractice claim.
The amount of time given to a malpractice victim to bring a claim for personal injury for malpractice or negligence against someone is called Statute of Limitations. Starting from the day when this injury occurred, you have a specific deadline of 2 years to file your lawsuit.
For some very specific cases, a victim of negligence cannot file a personal injury claim after this period has passed. However, in most cases, the court will not rule in the favor of the one who hasn’t filed a claim in this timeframe.
For example, in March 2010, the Texas Supreme Court had to rule against a woman who found a sponge inside her body, left there during a hysterectomy she had over 10 years before.
Damages in Medication Malpractice Lawsuits
The law allows for the person who has been injured due to medication malpractice or negligence to file a personal injury lawsuit. In such case, the plaintiff is allowed to recover the appropriate compensation for the following damages:
- Lost wages because of missed work
- Medical expenses of treatment that resulted from this negligence
- Non-economic damages for physical pain, mental anguish, physical impairment, disfigurement, or wrongful death
In some cases, the defendant may be requested to pay punitive damages, too.