Medications utilized in the United States to treat patients must be deemed “safe” by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before they go to market. The FDA defines a drug as safe when the benefits of the drug are determined to be greater than the known risks.
Generally speaking, a medication typically involves a category of side effects that are deemed minor or incidental. In addition, in most cases, a medication also has a category of side effects that are of a more serious nature. Usually, these more serious risks are classified as rarely occurring.
More often than not, side effects associated with a medication are deemed not consequential enough to warrant pursuing a personal injury lawsuit. Nonetheless, there are occasions when the side effects associated with a medication warrant taking legal action, including the filing of a personal injury lawsuit. The challenge is to know when a line is crossed in regard to side effects sufficient enough to warrant the pursuit of a personal injury lawsuit.
If a drug manufacturer has knowledge of a certain risk or side effect that it does not appropriately disclose, or if a pharmaceutical company reasonably should have known of a certain side effect, of which it contends a lack of knowledge, a personal injury lawsuit very well may be in order.
Another instance when an undisclosed, or not fully disclosed, risk or side effect may warrant a personal injury claim or lawsuit is in a situation where a physician has not properly advised a patient. This would include both a risk that a physician possesses actual knowledge of, as well as one that he or she should have known about with proper study on his or her part.
Injuries from Drug Interactions
Another area in which a personal injury lawsuit may be appropriate in regard to a medication arises out of drug interactions. When prescribing a medication, a physician has a responsibility to take reasonable steps to be aware of potential negative drug interactions. A doctor has a duty to exercise reasonable care to protect a patient from injury associated with a negative drug interaction.
Failure to Monitor
Failure to monitor is another situation that may warrant a personal injury lawsuit. In this scenario, a patient was warned of risks and side effects, and experiences a significant side effect, which is disclosed to the physician. However, the physician failed to properly monitor the patient, which is the primary reason why the patient was injured by the medication. With proper monitoring, the situation would not have occurred.
Significant Injury Alone is Not Enough
The mere fact that a patient experiences a significant injury due to a side effect associated with medication is not necessarily enough to support a successful personal injury lawsuit. This is the case when a patient received an appropriate advisement about risks and side effects, and understood this information. The patient may be deemed to have consented to the risk, with a full understanding of what that involved.
Retain a Personal Injury Attorney
The best course to take to ascertain whether medical side effects warrant a lawsuit is to consult with a personal injury lawyer Memphis TN trusts. During a preliminary appointment, an attorney provides an initial evaluation of a case. As a general rule, there is no charge for an initial consultation with a personal injury attorney.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Wiseman Bray PLLC for their insight into medication side effects.