Being injured is something that nobody wants to go through, especially if it is due to an event outside of your control. Unfortunately, taking prescription medication is a necessity for many people in Florida to help them live life to the fullest. Whether we’re talking about short term antibiotics or regular medications, it takes a lot of trust in the medical establishment to use prescription drugs.
Sadly, sometimes this trust is not deserved.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for a while now, you’re probably well aware of the fact that prescription drug injury cases have dominated the headlines this year and have resulted in millions of dollars in restitution. The opioid crisis alone has been responsible for cases that have taken a huge chunk out of responsible drug companies.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a prescription drug incident, you need to be aware of your rights and you who can hold liable for this unfortunate situation.
What Exactly Is a Prescription Drug Injury under Florida Law?
Also defined as a medication error, a prescription drug injury is classified by the National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention as any preventable event that causes or leads to unsuitable medication use or patient harm. This injury can happen when the prescription drug is used by the consumer alone, or when it is administered by a healthcare professional.
Who can be at fault?
Since there are many processes involved in the creation and distribution of prescription drugs, it is possible for the problems that result in injuries to pop up in multiple places. This means that there are many people who could be at fault, including:
- the company making the drug,
- those in the supply chain,
- medical salespeople,
- doctors, or
- other medical professionals.
Sometimes it can be hard to pinpoint exactly who is at fault, which is why you need the experience of a Florida prescription drug injury lawyer by your side throughout the process. He or she will know who to talk to and where to look for evidence to prove your claim and get you the compensation you deserve.
Common Examples of Florida Prescription Drug Errors That Can Occur
Prescription drug injuries can happen in many shapes or forms. Since there are different stages in the process of making and distribution of prescription drugs, there are many common examples.
During the manufacturing or distribution process, errors can happen that leave medication tainted.
Alternatively, the manufacturer may fail in their duty to clearly warn people about adverse side effects or long term risks. Johnson & Johnson, for example, has faced multiple issues related to people experiencing adverse reactions to their medications and other products. The landmark settlement deal in their recent opioid case in Ohio may soon become the norm.
Medical professionals can also be liable, especially if a doctor or pharmacist fails to recognize any issues you may have with combining the prescription with any other regular medications.
Florida Prescription Drug Injury Laws
If you are seriously injured after using a prescription drug, you owe it to yourself and your loved ones to hold the responsible parties accountable through a product liability suit.
These types of suits can become very complex. In order for the court to determine whether a prescription drug injury has resulted in harm to an individual, they will consider two types of injury law: medical malpractice and product liability.
Medical malpractice, at its core, involves a medical professional engaging in behavior that deviates from accepted practices in a similar situation. So, for example, if your doctor prescribes you something without bothering to check if you are taking a different drug that might cause an adverse reaction. Or if your pharmacist accidentally hands you someone else’s medication.
Product liability looks at possible defects in the drug itself. These can be related to the design of the drug, how it is manufactured, or even how it is marketed.
How the Statute of Limitations Works in Florida Prescription Drug Injury Cases
If you think that you have suffered a prescription drug injury, you must file an injury claim within a certain time period to be eligible for compensation.
According to Florida law, the statute of limitations for cases where an injury happens can last for four years. If you believe that a wrongful death occurred due to prescription drug injury, you will have two years to seek justice.
The bottom line is that prescription drug injuries are serious, can have life-altering consequences, and are both unfair and unjust. It’s pretty simple: you or a loved one shouldn’t have to suffer because a medical professional or giant drug company made a mistake or cut corners.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2017 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – and was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite” and as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015, 2016, and 2017.