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Can I Sue a Doctor for Making a Medication Error?

Posted on behalf of Lynch Law Firm on Sep 13, 2018  in Medical Malpractice News

prescription medicationWhen medication errors are made, serious side effects and even death can result. Prescription medications must be carefully written, prescribed and administered to avoid causing harm to the patient.

Medication errors leading to injury can be cause for a medical malpractice lawsuit. If you were harmed due to a medication error, contact our New Jersey medical malpractice lawyers for help today. We will provide you with a free, no obligation consultation to discuss your claim and help you determine if you have a case against a negligent health care provider.

Below our several factors we consider while reviewing a medical malpractice claim for a medication error.

Who Can Be Held Liable for a Medication Error

A medication error can be made by any health care provider who prescribes, administers or provides medication to the patient. This includes:

  • Physicians
  • Pharmacists
  • Nurses
  • Anesthesiologists

To avoid causing a medication error, health care providers have a legal duty of care to exercise caution when prescribing or administering a drug to a patient. This includes:

  • Determining the benefits and risks of a medication
  • Evaluating how the new medication will interact with the patient’s existing medications
  • Informing the patient of a medication’s risks and side effects

Additionally, pharmacists must also take certain steps to avoid causing a medication error by:

  • Accurately reading the prescription from the doctor
  • Filling prescriptions with the correct type of medication
  • Filling prescriptions with the correct dosage of the right medication

Types of Medication Errors

There are several types of medication errors a health care provider can make. Some of the most common types of medication errors include:

  • Prescribing the wrong medication
  • Prescribing the wrong dosage of a medication
  • Administering the wrong medication
  • Administering incorrect doses of a medication
  • Not taking a history of a patient’s medication use
  • Failing to foresee dangerous complications of mixing medications
  • Failing to give the patient all risks associated with a medication

Causes of Medication Errors

Due to the stress and long hours many health care providers often endure, doctors, nurses and pharmacists are susceptible to making mistakes. However, medication errors often occur due to a health care provider’s negligence, such as:

  • Improper training
  • Inadequate experience or knowledge of medication 
  • Poor communication between patients and healthcare professionals
  • Literacy and language barriers among patients
  • Complexity of the case, such as multiple health conditions
  • Distractions and interruptions
  • Lacking procedures and protocols
  • Medication naming, labeling and packaging
  • Lack of patient monitoring
  • Inaccurate patient records
  • Confusing ordering, processing, and pickup or delivery of medications

How Do I Prove I Suffered a Medication Error?

To gain compensation after suffering from a medication error, you must be able to prove the mistake resulted from the health care provider’s negligence. This includes showing:

  • You took the prescribed medication by following the instructions provided by your health care provider.
  • The doctor did not take the appropriate steps to inform you of dangerous complications or side effects related to the drug.  
  • The medication you were provided by the pharmacists was either a different medication or a different dosage than what was prescribed by your physician.
  • The health care provider administered the wrong type or dosage of medication, or improperly delivered the medication.

Depending on the type of medication error you suffered from, you must be able to establish a causal link between the health care provider’s negligence and your injury. Additionally, you will need to show that you suffered measurable damages, such as additional medical expenses or lost wages.

Contact Lynch Law Firm

If you have been injured due to a medication error, contact Lynch Law Firm today to discuss your claim during a free, no obligation consultation.

Our New Jersey personal injury lawyers have helped numerous victims of medical malpractice and understand how to identify when you have a case against a negligent health care provider. All of our services are provided on a contingency fee basis, which means you only have to pay us if we recover compensation on your behalf.

Complete a Free Case Evaluation form to get started today.

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