When a doctor, nurse, or pharmacy makes a mistake with prescription medication, the results can be devastating. Medication errors can cause medical emergencies and serious health conditions. In some cases, they can even result in death. When your health is harmed by a healthcare professional’s medication mistake, a medication error attorney can help you recover compensation.
Compensation for medication errors is meant to reimburse injured patients for the damages and other injuries that result from medication errors. A lawyer can help you recover medical costs and lost wages, as well as compensation for the physical and emotional suffering caused when your health is harmed by an avoidable mistake.
Common Medication Errors
Medication errors are one of the most common forms of medical malpractice. Some of the most common situations that lead to medication errors include:
- A doctor prescribes the wrong medication
- A doctor fails to consider interactions with other medications
- A doctor fails to consider other health conditions
- A doctor fails to consider patient allergies
- A nurse administers the wrong medication
- The pharmacy fills prescriptions incorrectly
- The pharmacy fails to give correct medication instructions
- A prescription drug company creates a defective drug
Prescription medication often has powerful side effects. Healthcare providers are always responsible for ensuring patients receive the right medicine with the correct dosage instructions.
Doctors also have additional responsibilities when it comes to medication errors. For example, if a patient is prescribed other medications, a doctor is responsible for ensuring interactions between multiple medications won’t lead to dangerous or fatal side effects.
Understanding Medication Error Compensation
If you’ve been the victim of a medication error, one of the first questions you should ask a medication error attorney is whether or not you are likely to prevail. Secondly, you might want to ask the attorney what the value of your case is. While the total case value is often referred to as a single amount, it’s composed of several damages in different categories.
A medication error is a form of medical malpractice, which is considered a personal injury claim. Personal injury law allows injured individuals to recover three main types of compensation: economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
Economic damages are designed to reimburse you for financial costs and losses caused by a medication error. Some of the most common examples of economic damages in a medication error case include:
- Medical bills, both past and future
- Surgery bills, both past and future
- Medical device costs
- Therapist costs
- Medication costs
- Lost wages and benefits
- Funeral and burial costs
Any item that has caused you to spend money, lose money, or go into debt can be claimed as an item of economic damage. A key part of your medication error attorney’s job is to collect evidence proving how the medication error has impacted you financially.
Non-economic damages are a means of offering compensation for the non-financial impacts of a medication error. Some of the most common types of non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Diminished quality of life
- Embarrassment and humiliation
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of consortium
Non-economic damages can range widely and depend heavily on how the medication error has impacted the patient. A skilled lawyer must build a solid case proving why a client deserves non-economic damages.
States have different laws for the amount of non-economic damages available in medical malpractice cases. In 2023, California raised its damages cap for the first time in 50 years, lifting the limit from $250,000 to $350,000 for non-economic damages.
One final type of damages available in a medication error case is punitive damages. These are only available by court order from a judge or jury when a case goes to trial. Punitive damages are rare and typically only awarded when the negligence is severe, intentional, or done with reckless disregard for the patient’s safety. For example, if a doctor prescribes a medication in order to intentionally harm a patient’s health, this type of compensation may be awarded in addition to economic and non-economic damages.
Why You Need a Medication Error Attorney
Medical malpractice is one of the most complex areas of personal injury law. If you hope to recover fair compensation as a result of a medication error, you need an experienced lawyer with knowledge of personal injury law, medical malpractice, and medication errors.
It can be very difficult to recover compensation without the representation of a medication error attorney. If you are offered a settlement, it will undoubtedly be much lower than the amount you’d recover with an experienced attorney fighting for justice.
Consult a Medication Error Attorney Today
The Trial Law Offices of Bradley I. Kramer, M.D., Esq. know what it takes to recover fair compensation after a medication error. Our medication error attorneys are former doctors who have successfully recovered over $100 million for injured clients in Los Angeles.
Contact The Trial Law Offices of Bradley I. Kramer, M.D., Esq. to speak with an experienced medication error attorney today.