What to Do When a Pharmacy Gives You the Wrong Medication
We expect that our doctors, nurses, and pharmacists always provide top quality care and would never make a mistake with our treatment. But unfortunately, mistakes are made every day by local pharmacies that give out the incorrect medication to their patients.
This happens for a number of reasons, and if you are lucky the effects of the incorrect medication are minor. However, mistakes in prescriptions at the local pharmacy can cause catastrophic injuries and complications to other medical issues.
At Dawson & Albritton, our experienced medical malpractice attorneys understand how serious it is if a pharmacy dispensed the wrong medication, and we zealously advocate for our clients that are injured by a pharmacy that gives you the wrong medication.
Causes of Pharmacy Prescription Errors
A prescription error at the local pharmacy can happen for a number of different reasons.
The first is that the doctor prescribed the incorrect medication, which the pharmacist correctly dispenses for the patient. Other times, the prescription is correct, but the pharmacist fills the prescription with the incorrect medication or an incorrect dosage of the right medication. Doctors’ handwriting is notoriously bad, and even when inputting a prescription into a computer mistakes can be made.
However, it is everyone’s job that handles your case – the nurse, doctor, and pharmacist – to ensure that you are receiving the correct medication for your needs.
Injuries Caused by Prescription Errors
The injuries caused by prescription errors can range from negligible to devastating, and in some cases can be fatal.
For example, if the prescription error was a less dosage of antibiotics to fight a common illness, it may take a couple of days longer to get better, but most people will be fine. However, if the same type of prescription error was for blood pressure medication, the results could cause serious injuries and even a heart attack.
In cases where the medication is mixed up, the prescription given to the patient could have disastrous results when mixed with the current medications. This can cause additional damage to the patient in addition to the medical issues they are already fighting. In the worst case scenarios, the complications from mixing medications can lead to a fatal event.
Pharmaceutical Malpractice Lawsuits
So is there such thing as a “pharmacy gave me the wrong medication lawsuit?” The answer is yes, and an experienced attorney can help. When a pharmacy gives you the incorrect medication that causes you injury, you can file a lawsuit against any medical professional that prescribed, reviewed, and filled the medication that caused you harm.
In order to prove that the medical professionals listed in the lawsuit were responsible for the prescription error, the following elements must be proven in court:
- The pharmacy, doctor, and other medical professionals owed you a duty of care through a doctor/patient relationship
- The duty was breached by their negligence in your medication
- As a direct result of that negligence, you were injured
- That injury caused you actual damages
However, you only have a small window of time, known as the statute of limitations, in which to file a lawsuit for medical malpractice when a pharmacy gives you the wrong medication.
Under North Carolina law, you only have three years from the date of the injury to file a claim, or one year from the date that the injury could have been reasonably discovered if it surpasses the normal three year limit. In no case can a medical malpractice lawsuit be brought four years or more after the incident. An experienced medical malpractice attorney can review the facts of your case and help you file a medical malpractice lawsuit against those responsible for causing you harm.
Compensation for Medical Malpractice Claims
In North Carolina, compensation for medical malpractice claims include payment for economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages refer to current and future medical costs, lost wages, and the loss of future income and benefits. Noneconomic damages include compensation for pain and suffering, emotional distress, disfigurement, and the loss of enjoyment of life.
In 2011, the law capped noneconomic damages at $500,000 that is adjusted for inflation every year. However, the cap is waived if the injured party suffered a permanent injury as a result of the malpractice or if the harm was caused through reckless, grossly negligent, intentional, or malicious actions.
Call Our Office Today
If you were hurt because the pharmacy gave you the wrong prescription, our office may be able to help. Call or contact Dawson & Albritton today to schedule a free, confidential consultation of your medical malpractice case today.