Question for Attorney Carbone: I Was Given the Wrong Medication. Can I Sue?
Question: I recently had surgery to fix a torn ligament in my knee. After surgery, I was given medication to help with the pain. But soon after taking the drug, I developed a rash and was feverish. I called the doctor who said it was just a side effect of the drug. However, later that day I was rushed to the hospital because I was having trouble breathing. It turns out I had an allergic reaction to the drug, one that the doctor should have known about before prescribing it. The drug had done some damage to my kidneys which caused me to go on dialysis. Can I sue the doctor?
Answer: This question is, unfortunately, a common one. According to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, medication errors account for at least one death every day and injure approximately 1.3 million people on an annual basis. There are several reasons for medication errors to occur, such as:
- Poor communication
- Ambiguities in medication names and techniques
- Poor procedures and techniques
- Patient overuse
According to the law, doctors and health care providers have a legal duty not to harm their patient. This means that when a doctor is prescribing a medication, he/she must assess the benefits and risks involve in the medication, the known side effects of the drug, and the relationship of the medication to any other medications the patient is taking. Failure to comply with these duties, and you have the basis of a medical malpractice claim. The fact that your doctor failed to realize that you are allergic to this type of medication is definitely a case of medical malpractice.
To prove your case, you must show that you took the medication as prescribed. You will also need to show that your doctor failed to warn you about any side effects or any other complications. You will also have to show that the medication error had caused you harm and you suffered damages, which your medical records will show. It’s best to speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney to see if you are able to pursue a claim against your doctor successfully.
If you were injured by a medication error and need help with your claim in New Jersey, we’re ready to help. Contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone today for a free consultation.