Are Medication Side Effects Grounds for a Lawsuit?

in Health & Well-being

Almost every medication has side effects, but there are some more serious ones that can be grounds for a lawsuit. Adverse reactions to a medication can change your life, and you may feel that someone should be held accountable for your condition. Here is some information you’ll want to know if you think you may have defective drug claim.

What Are Some Serious Side Effects of Dangerous Medication?

Most side effects, such as drowsiness, headaches, constipation, and nausea are common and are usually temporary. It’s unfortunate, but some medications can cause permanent, life-altering side effects. Here are several symptoms that may be grounds for a lawsuit:

  • Hearing loss
  • Vision loss
  • Memory loss
  • Permanent disability
  • Organ failure
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Blood clots
  • Chronic pain
  • Birth defects
  • Cancer
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Depression and other mental health issues
  • Death

This is not an exhaustive list and there are many more dangerous side effects that can be caused by medication. Some side effects can lead to further problems. For example, vertigo can leave people feeling dizzy and affect their balance, which can impinge on their ability to drive safely or cause them to injure themselves if they fall.

Why Do Some Medications Have Serious Side Effects?

Many medications have serious side effects because of the way they were produced. Some medications may not work correctly due to a manufacturing defect or due to contamination during the manufacturing process. Other medications may have missing ingredients or have the wrong ingredients added to them. The medication may have been designed poorly or may have been inadequately tested.

All medicines, including over-the-counter drugs and prescription medication, should have adequate warnings about the side effects; however, some people will suffer from unexpected reactions. If you were not informed about the potential side effects of the medication you were given, you may have a claim. For example, many people have filed a Tepezza lawsuit over a lack of warnings about permanent hearing loss.

You may not have grounds for a lawsuit if the cause of the side effects is from not taking your medication consistently, taking it incorrectly, or taking medicine you know if out of date. If you have taken a medication that has been recalled and are suffering some serious side effects, you should stop taking it and contact your GP immediately.

Who Can I Sue?

There may be many parties involved in a lawsuit, including the pharmaceutical company or medical device company, the testing laboratories, the sales representatives, and the distributor. If the unwanted side effects were caused by being prescribed the wrong dose or another prescription error, an allergic reaction, or interactions with other medications, others may be liable, such as your doctors, the hospital, the pharmacy, or the pharmacist.

What Kind of Lawyer Will I Need?

Each claim is unique depending on the circumstances, but if you’ve suffered from medication side effects, you should contact a drug injury lawyer who will specialise in defective drug claims, medical negligence, product liability, and personal injury. They may be able to provide you with more information about whether you have a valid claim during your initial consultation and advise you where to go from there.

What Evidence Will I Need?

You need to provide evidence that your illness or injury was caused by side effects of the medication. You’ll need to prove that those side effects caused lasting or irreversible damage, and that it has affected your quality of life. If you weren’t warned about the side effects by your doctor, the pharmacist, or the drug company, you’ll need proof of negligence and that you didn’t know the risks when you took it. Keep hold of your medical records and prescriptions and make copies.

You’ll need to present the costs of any medical care, rehabilitation, therapy, other treatments, travel to and from appointments, and other expenses you’ve incurred as a result of the side effects so you can receive fair compensation. If the side effects have prevented you from working, you’ll need evidence of loss of earnings. Your lawyer will walk you through any other evidence you’ll need for your lawsuit.

Is There a Statute of Limitations?

In the UK, you have 3 years to file a defective drug claim, though the law will differ from country to country and will vary in US states. If you think you have enough evidence for a claim, you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible and ask about your rights.

This article is not a substitute for legal advice provided by a solicitor. If you think that the side effects you’ve experienced as a result of prescription or over-the-counter medication is grounds for a lawsuit, then you should reach out to a lawyer who specialises in drug defects and drug side effects claims.

Image Credits: Mark Paton

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