Rights of Victims of Pharmaceutical Errors in California
Most of us depend on some form of prescription medication to cope with a variety of problems, ranging from simple potassium supplements to potent painkillers. Sometimes, though, people may innocently take a prescription medication and suffer terrible consequences or (in the worst case scenario) die. If you or a loved one has been victimized by such negligence, a qualified California drug tort attorney can help you during this difficult time.
Common California Pharmaceutical Errors
Before we begin, let’s define the problem itself.
Pharmaceutical errors (or simply medication errors) are events that take place when a patient receives the wrong dose of a prescription medication or combines two medications including over-the-counter meds. Contributing factors may include poor communication between a doctor and a patient or (in the worst case scenario) negligence on part of a doctor or a pharmacist. Causes of a pharmaceutical error may include:
- Lack of an important medication
- Duplicate medications
- Errors in calculation/improper dose
- Dangerous/fatal interactions between medications
Medication errors can potentially be labeled as pharmaceutical malpractice or medical malpractice, in which a person has been harmed or has subsequently died as the result of medical negligence. However, certain factors must be considered before you take the next step. In the State of California, you must follow specific guidelines before you can develop a strong claim in court.
Informed Consent and Testimony
For individuals pursuing a personal injury lawsuit, certain criteria must be met before you can file a claim against a potentially guilty party. A doctor or a pharmacist must provide informed consent for the recovery of damages unless a patient received medication as part of a nonemergency procedure. Likewise, you must provide valid evidence that the doctor or pharmacist did not provide detailed instructions regarding the consumption and handling of the medication in question. Certain elements may also limit the proceedings if the victim was aware of the potential risks of a medication, potentially rendering the malpractice suit null.
Exceptions to the Rule
California State law does not require an Affidavit of Merit prior to filing your lawsuit against a pharmacist or a medical practitioner. But, by taking this step, you can provide detailed information concerning the validity of your case to accompany your initial complaint against the at-fault party. Failure to file the affidavit will postpone the claim issue. Before filing any documentation, always make sure to seek the advice of a professional malpractice or personal injury lawyer to ensure you receive full compensation and do not face additional problems.
Mass Tort Attorney Los Angeles
Our attorneys at Los Angeles Injury Group are passionate about our practice and are knowledgeable in the laws, rules, and statutes surrounding pharmaceutical malpractice incidents in California. We fight for the rights of every victim and will help you receive justice for an unfortunate or tragic circumstance. If you or your loved one has been victimized by medical negligence, contact our office at 310-954-7248.