There have been a number of injuries caused by prescription and over-the-counter drugs in recent years. Some of these medications have been pulled off the market, while others are still available. Drugs that are known to cause harmful injuries in individuals who take it are known as dangerous drugs. If a person has been injured by using a dangerous drug, he or she may have a claim for the injuries sustained. A claim for personal injuries suffered may be against the drug manufacturer, the doctor who prescribed the mediation and/or the pharmacist, who (in some cases) incorrectly or negligently administered the dangerous drug.
If an injury has been caused by use of a dangerous drug, most claims will seek monetary compensation for the injuries suffered by the victim. In a personal injury case, the plaintiff (person injured) will have to prove his or her case to the court. To do so, the plaintiff must show that the defendant (manufacturer, doctor or pharmacist) owed a duty to the victim; the defendant violated the legal duty owed to the injured party; and the breach of that duty caused the plaintiff's injury. Lastly, the plaintiff must show that there was a physical, or emotional, injury suffered. If the court finds that a claim for personal injury has been proven, damages will be determined. Usually, damages are monetary, and the court will determine various factors when deciding the amount of damages. Among these factors may be the extent of injuries suffered, future medical costs, any lost wages and whether the injury is long-lasting or permanent (causing loss of future employment, home assistance, etc.).
Personal Injury Claims
If an individual has been injured by a dangerous drug, he or she may have a variety of possible legal claims. A claim against the drug manufacturer may be for a failure to warn. With this claim, the plaintiff must show that the company was aware that the drug may cause harmful injuries to persons who took it. Even though the manufacturer knew of the drug's danger, it made it available on the market and did not adequately inform doctors or pharmacists of the drug's risks. The manufacturer may have lessened the negative effects of the drug, given faulty warnings or failed to give warnings all-together. The victim may also have an action against the manufacturer if the company falsified the medication's warranty information regarding the level of safety when used by individuals and market readiness.
A plaintiff may also have a claim against his or her doctor for prescribing a dangerous drug; this would be a claim for professional/medical negligence. The injured party may show that his or her doctor knew of probable dangers associated with using the drug and did not heed them. The victim may also show that the physician failed to inform him or her of any possible harms caused by the drug when prescribing it. Lastly, the doctor may have known of the risks of using the drug and failed to monitor the patient to avoid harmful effects.