Prescription Drug Errors and Medical Malpractice: What You Need to Know
Medication errors harm at least 1.5 million people every year, according to the Institute of Medicine, with about 7,000 estimated deaths occurring due to these errors yearly. On average, this means that there is one medication error per patient per day, and many people are not notified of medication errors in a hospital setting. The most common error is the failure to give medication, while one of the most harmful is giving the wrong dosage of medication by I.V. If you were the victim of a prescription drug error that left you injured, you may be able to file a personal injury claim. Here is some information you need to know about drug errors and medical malpractice.
Common Types of Prescription Drug Errors
There are many different ways that errors can occur, which can harm you, as the patient. Some of the most common types of prescription drug errors to occur include the following:
- A patient being prescribed or administered the wrong medication
- A patient being prescribed or administered the wrong dosage of medication
- The medication being mislabeled
- Being prescribed or administered medication that you are allergic to
- Being prescribed or administered a medication that reacts negatively to your other medications you are taking
- Not being properly warned of the side effects of a medication
- Poor or illegible handwriting causing errors on handwritten prescriptions
When Can You File a Medical Malpractice Claim for Prescription Drug Errors?
A drug error can range from minimal to fatal with the side effects that can be experienced. To file a medical malpractice claim, you must have been so injured by the mistake that medical treatment had to have been sought for the injuries. This means, that if you open a bottle of pills and notice you were given the wrong pills, you cannot file a medical malpractice claim for the error because you were not harmed. However, if you took the wrong pills and had to go to the emergency room due to the side effects, you can file a claim. You have to have medical expenses and injuries to win a prescription drug error medical malpractice claim.
The Statute of Limitations for Filing Medical Malpractice Claims
The statute of limitations dictates how long you have to file a claim after being injured. If you fail to file a claim before the statute runs, you give up all rights to bring a claim against the party who injured you. Statutes vary by state. In Ohio, the statute of limitations is one year after the injury was discovered or the date that the patient/doctor relationship ended whichever occurs later. The statute of response requires that a case be filed within four years of the date of the malpractice. There are exceptions to these statutes if a case involves a child under the age of 18 or a foreign object. In any event, you should not delay in speaking to a medical malpractice lawyer about these issues or you could lose your right to file a lawsuit.
If you were injured due to a prescription drug error, you need a lawyer who has experience handling these types of cases for you. Here at The Mellino Law Firm LLC, we have experience in handling these types of cases. We limit the number of cases we take on to make sure that every client gets the attention they deserve for their case. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.