Can I File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit for a Prescription Medication Error?
Posted in Medical Malpractice on April 19, 2021
Prescription medications are important to help us treat illnesses, alleviate pain, and fight infections, among many other uses. Physicians have a responsibility to ensure that they prescribe the right medication to the right patient at the correct dosage. Unfortunately, physicians may make errors when dispensing this medication, resulting in serious complications for patients. If your physician committed an error while writing your prescription, you could file a medical malpractice lawsuit against him or her.
Common Types of Medication Errors
When prescribing a medication, a medical professional will need to take careful steps to ensure that it is safe and appropriate for a patient’s condition. A physician, nurse, or pharmacist may commit any of the following medication errors while writing a prescription.
- Mislabeling a prescription medication
- Administering the incorrect medication or dosage
- Prescribing a medication that a patient is allergic to
- Prescribing a medication reacts negatively with other medications that a patient is taking
- Prescribing a medication that may harm a patient due to pre-existing conditions
- Failing to inform a patient about potential complications or side effects of a prescription medication
Any of these prescription errors can lead to serious complications. You may develop severe side effects or allergic symptoms. Serious conditions such as stroke, cardiac arrest, hemorrhaging, or paralysis may also occur, depending on the nature of the error. As a result of these injuries or illnesses, you could incur expensive medical bills, lose weeks or months of wages, and experience physical and emotional pain and suffering.
Legal Options for Prescription Error Victims
All medical professionals owe a certain standard of care to their patients, and if they breach this duty of care through a negligent act or omission, they may be liable for the resulting damages. If you developed an injury or illness due to a prescription error, you could file a lawsuit against the medical professional responsible for the malpractice.
To prove your lawsuit, you will need to provide sufficient evidence to establish the following four points.
- The at-fault medical professional owed you a duty of care.
- The at-fault party breached the duty of care through a negligent act or omission.
- The at-fault party’s breach of duty directly caused your injuries.
- You suffered damages that you can collect in your lawsuit.
Essentially, you will need to prove that the at-fault party’s negligence caused the prescription error and your resulting injuries. If a medical professional acted in a way that a similarly trained and reasonably competent professional in the same circumstances would not have, he or she committed an act of negligence. Missouri requires plaintiffs to submit an Affidavit of Qualified Health Care Professional before filing a medical malpractice claim, which is a document submitted by a third-party medical expert attesting that the at-fault party’s conduct deviated from the medical standard of care.
The Statute of Limitations for Missouri Medical Malpractice Cases
Missouri residents have two years from the date of the prescription error to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. If you do not file within this time period, the court will likely dismiss your claim, preventing you from recovering the compensation you need. While there are some exceptions to the statute of limitations, it is important to contact a medical malpractice lawyer as soon as you suspect that a prescription error occurred.
Your attorney will begin investigating your claim and file your lawsuit in court before your applicable deadline passes. He or she can also connect you with medical experts and other resources to strengthen your claim and meet court requirements. As soon as possible after the prescription error, contact an attorney to discuss your legal options.