Miami Medication Errors Attorney
Representing Victims of Serious Medication Errors in Miami
When you are sick, hurt, or suffering from a disease or medical condition and you are given a prescription for medication or administered medication at a medical facility, you rightfully expect the medication to help you. Unfortunately, medication does not always improve a patient’s condition, and in some cases, it may even worsen it to the point of serious harm or death. Every year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) receives thousands of reports regarding medication errors. These mistakes happen in hospitals, patient homes, and pharmacies and can have devastating consequences for victims. Monetary recovery after this type of mistake is possible, although it can be difficult, so if you were prescribed the wrong medication or dosage, or were the victim of another type of medication error, it is important to contact an experienced Miami medication errors lawyer about the ins and outs of filing a claim in Florida.
When a medication error is made that leaves you or a loved one harmed, you may have no idea that you have the right to seek damages from the responsible party. At the law offices of Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, LLP, we can help you to understand what your legal options are following a medication error, including the process for filing a claim and recovering compensation.
What Qualifies as a Medication Error?
According to the FDA’s definition, a medication error is a preventable event that can lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm. These mistakes can happen because of consumers, but are often the result of the negligence of a healthcare professional or a pharmacist who:
- Prescribed the wrong medication or dosage;
- Dispensed the medication improperly;
- Entered drug information incorrectly;
- Administered the medication incorrectly; or
- Failed to take a patient’s medical conditions and potential drug interactions into account.
Whatever form a medication error takes, the consequences can be devastating, resulting in medical emergencies and affecting a patient’s overall health and quality of life, potentially for years to come.
Common Types of Medication Errors
Regrettably, medication errors are much more common than they should be in Florida. The following lists some of the most common types of medication errors, such as–
- Improper dosage of medication;
- Improper type of medication;
- Improper and dangerous combination of drugs;
- Improper administration of medication;
- Improper labeling of medication; and
- Improper use of medication.
Causes of Medication Errors and Determining Liability
Medication errors almost always occur as a result of negligence and a failure to exercise the proper duty of care owed to a patient. For example, a medication error may occur because of a patient chart mix-up, a medication mix up, the failure to learn what other medications a patient is taking, a misdiagnosis of a condition, an equipment error, working too quickly, and more. The parties that may be held liable for a medication error include:
1. Doctors and Nurses
Doctors and nurses have a very high duty of care to patients, and must always treat patients within the accepted medical standard of care. When doctors and nurses stray from this, and breach the duty owed to a patient, they can be held liable. For example, if a nurse fails to document the medications a patient is taking, and the patient is given a medication that is dangerous (based on other drugs currently used), the nurse could be held liable.
Pharmacists also have a high duty of care, and because they are responsible for filling prescriptions, they can be held liable for errors that cause patient harm. For example, if the pharmacist fills a prescription with the wrong dosage of medication, and the patient suffers an adverse event, the pharmacist could be held liable for harm.
Hospitals may be held liable when hospital practices contribute to patient harm. Hospitals may also be held liable when the employee healthcare workers act with negligence, causing a medication error and subsequent adverse patient events. Hospitals are often liable via the theory of vicarious liability.
4. Manufactures of Medications
Manufacturers of medications may also be held liable for medication errors when the manufacturer is to blame for a defect that leads to patient harm, such as a labeling error that fails to list appropriate side effects of a drug, or warnings for certain persons, such as women who are pregnant or nursing.
Those Harmed by Medication Errors Deserve Compensation for Their Losses
The harm caused by a medication error can be very significant, leading to adverse patient events such as allergic reaction, heart failure, amongst other things, including death. Not only are these adverse events traumatic for a patient to experience, but they can also lead to a worsening of their health condition, the need for medical care (which may be both expensive and invasive), and a longer recovery time, during which the patient may be disabled and in pain. When a medication error causing these types of harm occur, the patient (or their surviving family members if the error results in death) has the right to seek compensation for the full extent of their losses. This includes compensation for:
- Medical expenses present and future;
- Pain and suffering;
- Disability; and
- Lost wages and future lost wages.
If the error results in death, funeral and burial expenses, and compensation for loss of guidance, companionship, and more may also be sought.
Symptoms of Medication Errors
The Institute of Medicine estimates that the cost of treating medication-related injuries that occurred in U.S. hospitals alone tops $3.5 billion annually. The cost can be even higher for patients and their families.
Examples of medication errors include prescriptions that fail to account for known drug allergies or cross-interactions with incompatible medications, serious side effects from wrong medications, deprival of the right drugs, and adverse reaction to a super-charged dose. Some of the serious injuries that can result from medication errors include:
- Brain injury/neurological damage;
- Organ failure/organ damage;
- Sensory damage;
- Cardiac arrest;
- Disfiguring skin eruptions; and
What are the Consequences of Medication Errors?
If you are taking medication, it is likely to treat an illness or injury you are suffering from. Doctors, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals sometimes make mistakes when prescribing, administering, and preparing the medication. For patients, these mistakes have dire consequences. They can result in serious injury and even wrongful death. If you have been hurt by a medication error, you may be able to file medical malpractice against the negligent party. To protect any future claim you file, and to ensure you receive the full damages you deserve, you must know the steps to take after suffering an injury.
Medication errors have a number of causes, including everything from misreading or miscalculating a dosage to using the wrong label or failing to take a proper patient history. Whatever the cause, receiving or taking the wrong medication, or taking the wrong dosage, for instance, can lead to serious side effects, allergic reactions, birth defects and injury, hospitalization, and even death. When these repercussions can be traced back to a medical professional’s negligence, the at-fault party can be held liable for the victim’s medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Potentially liable parties include:
- The doctor who prescribed the medication;
- The hospital or clinic where the patient was treated;
- The pharmacist who filled the medication; and
- The company that manufactured the drug.
In some situations, a medication error could be the result of numerous acts of carelessness, in which case, multiple parties could share responsibility for the victim’s losses. For help determining whether negligence led to your own medication error, and if so, who was responsible, please reach out to our legal team today.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
Nearly all prescription and over-the-counter medications have side effects. It is not always easy to determine whether you are experiencing a normal reaction to the medication, or if there is an issue that is far more serious. Any time you are experiencing symptoms, it is important to see a doctor. A physician can advise on your condition, and ensure it does not become worse. Getting treatment should be your first priority so your safety and well-being is protected.
To file a successful claim after a medication error, it is important to seek immediate medical treatment. Doing so will document the severity and nature of your injuries, and prove to the insurance company or at-fault party how much it costs to treat your injuries.
Keep a Journal
A medication error will have a significant impact on your life. You will suffer a number of injuries and experience many different symptoms for a significant period of time. Over that time, your memories may fade and you may not remember the full impact you felt after suffering from medical malpractice. Keeping a journal will ensure that you write down all of your symptoms, and the impact the injuries have had on your life.
For example, if you suffered paralysis due to a medication error, you may not be able to enjoy the same sports you did before, or be intimate with your spouse. All of these are losses you should document in a journal so you can include them in your claim.
Offering Legal Advice 24 Hours a Day, 7 Days a Week
We tend to place our trust in medical professionals and while many of them respond by providing proper care, an alarming number do not. When a lack of care results in a patient’s injury, he or she can and should seek compensation for related losses. Doing so, however, can be complicated, so if you were the victim of a medication error and have questions about your recovery options and legal rights, don’t hesitate to call Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum, LLP today. You can set up a meeting with one of our dedicated Miami medication error lawyers by calling (305) 371-2692 or by completing one of our online contact forms. Our lawyers consult with life care planners, economists, medical experts, vocational specialists, and other professionals in assessing the true cost of a medication error. Those costs include lost earnings, future medical and nursing care, and the cost of medical equipment. Additionally, any settlement or award must cover personal damages for lost quality of life, family contributions, and pain and suffering.
Report the Error to the Authority
As soon as you are aware of the medication error, it is crucial that you report it to the proper authorities. This may be the facility administrator, the owner of a pharmacy, or another party. Reporting the medication error, and the injuries you suffered as a result, is important to document the experience and to notify the facility so the same mistake does not happen again.
Our Miami attorneys will work to ensure you receive justice if the negligence of a doctor, pharmacist, or hospital in south or central Florida has wrought havoc on your life. Call today at (305) 371-2692 for a free case evaluation. We visit clients at home or in the hospital and take medication error cases on a contingency fee basis.
Our Legal Representation Is Within Your Budget
Do not hesitate to contact our experienced medication error attorneys serving Miami and clients in South Florida – the time limit on the statute of limitations for your claim is quickly approaching. We understand that before hiring a Miami medication error attorney, you want to make sure that legal services are something that you can afford – we assure you that when you hire our law firm, our representation is within your budget. Our clients never owe us a cent unless we recover on their behalf, and when we do, our fee is based on a percentage of a settlement, not an hourly charge. You can rest assured that if we are not successful in pursuing your case and getting a settlement, you will not be charged for our services.
Schedule Your Consultation Today
The best way to start the process and to learn more about how to file a claim against a healthcare practitioner or another liable party after a medication error is to contact our law firm directly by phone or online to schedule a free consultation. A consultation is 100 percent free, confidential, and is offered without any obligation to hire our law firm at its conclusion.
We Have Experience Litigating
We work hard to settle the majority of the cases we take on out of court. Settling cases out of court saves you money and time, and is typically the preferred manner of reaching a settlement for both plaintiffs and defendants. However, when a settlement cannot be reached, we will be prepared to go to court for you, and have the litigation experience your case deserves.
Trusting Words From Our Clients
“I have used Manuel Dobrinsky and he is more than excellent. Great communication. More than effective. It was a fantastic support for me having him during my process. Also I can say the best Lawyer I ever had.”
“I was not able to get anyone on the west coast of Florida to look at my case. Manny Dobrinsky took my case and won a settlement for me. He was very thorough and worked hard for me. His assistant Dameris was always there to help me and answer my questions. I was very pleased with this group.”
“I endorse this lawyer's work. Manny is one of the brightest trial attorneys that I know. He is an incredibly hard worker and always strives to achieve the best results for his clients. He excels in the Courtroom as well. I would recommend him without reservation.”A. Weinstein
“The very best there is! Great, talented lawyers, considerate, your best at heart, true human beings.”