Chicago Medication Error Lawyers
If you suffered injuries or your loved one died because of a medication mistake, you may be entitled to receive substantial compensation. Our medication error lawyers can help you sue the doctor, nurse, pharmacist, and/or other negligent parties who caused you or your family member harm. At Ankin Law, we have over 100 years of combined experience representing injured patients and their families in Chicago. Our law firm serves clients throughout Chicago, Cook County, Lake County, and across the state of Illinois.
Medication errors cause injuries and deaths to over 1.5 million patients every year. While some people only suffer minor, temporary injuries, others are left with permanent damage or disability. In the most serious cases, patients die. When legal action isn’t taken, and wrongdoers aren’t held accountable, these mistakes will continue to happen, and more people like you will suffer the consequences.
The medication error lawyers at Ankin Law offer free consultations. We’re available 24/7 to discuss your case. Call 312-600-0000.
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Types of Medication Errors That Cause Patient Injuries
Medication mistakes can happen in a variety of circumstances, in any healthcare setting, and because of the negligence of all types of medical care providers. They happen when doctors and nurses administer the wrong medication or the wrong dosage of medication to a patient. They happen when medical records and patient histories are not reviewed and medication interactions or allergic reactions occur. They also occur when prescriptions are filled incorrectly, side effects are not disclosed, or drug manufacturers are negligent.
Common Medication Errors
Understanding more about the types of medication mistakes that can lead to patient injuries can help you identify whether negligence may have occurred. The most common types of medication errors that lead to lawsuits in Chicago include:
- Incorrect Dosage: This type of medication mistake most often occurs when a patient is given the wrong amount of a drug. In some cases, overdosing or underdosing happens when a doctor or nurse administers too much or too little of the medicine. In others, however, dosage mistakes occur when the wrong strength or version of a medication is administered, when meds are given at the wrong time, or when they are delivered via the wrong route.
- Wrong Patient: Sometimes medications are administered to the wrong patient, which can cause severe injuries or death to the victim. Although most modern medical providers have established procedures for ensuring that the correct patient is receiving treatments, understaffing and healthcare provider fatigue may cause healthcare professionals to skip steps in identifying patients.
- Failure to Review Medical Records: Physicians are supposed to review patient histories, the medications and vitamins patients are currently taking, and allergies, they don’t always do this. Their negligence can result in severe allergic reactions, drug interactions, and the worsening of existing conditions.
- Failure to Warn: Doctors, pharmacists, and medication manufacturers are required to disclose the risks that are known to be associated with medications. When they fail to do so, and patients experience severe side effects, they can be held liable for the injuries and deaths that result.
- Misfilled Prescriptions: Sometimes, pharmacists make mistakes when filling prescriptions. They might misread the doctor’s instructions, select the wrong medication, or prepare the drug incorrectly. The risk is raised when doctors handwrite prescriptions, drug names are similar, or the pharmacist is inexperienced.
If you or your loved one suffered injuries because of a medication error, call Ankin Law now. We have more than 100 years of combined experience with medical malpractice cases, and we know what it takes to help you win.
Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Ankin Law:
How Much Is Your Medication Error Lawsuit Worth?
The severity of the injuries you or your loved one suffered will play a significant role in determining the value of your case. Did the medication error cause injuries that required ongoing medical treatment? Were you forced to miss work because of the malpractice? Were you left with permanent damage or a disabling condition? If you said yes to any of the above, you may be entitled to recover economic and non-economic damages.
- Economic Damages: Economic damages represent the financial losses that the medication error forced you to endure. Examples include medical treatment costs, lost earnings, and the cost of your prescription medications and necessary medical equipment. Saving your receipts, billing statements, earnings records, and proof of other losses can help your lawyer demonstrate the amount of your economic damages in court.
- Non-Economic Damages: Non-economic damages are subjective losses that are not linked to a specific monetary value. To calculate your non-economic damages, the jury will consider your physical pain and suffering, emotional trauma, and how the injuries impact your life. In Illinois, there is no cap on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases.
In Illinois, punitive damages are not recoverable in medication error lawsuits or other types of medical malpractice cases.
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Who Can Be Held Liable for Medication Errors?
Prescription errors are preventable. Sadly, medication mistakes cause injuries to approximately 400,000 hospital patients and 800,000 residents in long term care facilities every year. Since so many people can be involved in a patient’s care, identifying the negligent party or parties can be difficult. When deciding who you can sue for your injuries, your medication error lawyer will consider the following.
Doctors have a duty to provide competent care, which includes prescribing the correct medication, dosage, and instructions. If a doctor prescribes the wrong medication or fails to consider a patient’s allergies, other medical conditions, or other medications, the physician may be held liable for the resulting harm.
Nurses and other hospital staff members play crucial roles in the administration of medications within a hospital or clinical setting. They must ensure that the right medication is given to the right patient at the right time. If hospital staff administer the wrong medication or make dosing errors due to negligence, they can be held responsible for the harm their mistakes cause.
Pharmacists are responsible for filling prescriptions accurately and providing appropriate counseling to patients about their medications. If a pharmacy dispenses the wrong medication, incorrect dosage, or fails to identify potential drug interactions, they may be held liable for any harm caused.
In some cases, the medication itself may be defective or contaminated, leading to adverse effects. This could result from manufacturing errors or inadequate quality control. If a medication is found to be inherently flawed or improperly manufactured, the drug manufacturer may be held responsible for injuries caused by their product.
Liability for medication errors typically hinges on establishing that a breach of the standard of care occurred, which led to harm or injury. Identifying who breached the standard of care can be complicated, since so many variables may be involved. Attorneys who handle medication error cases can help determine which party or parties may be liable and seek compensation on your behalf for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Medication Error Lawsuits
How can a medication error attorney help?
Cases involving medication errors fall under medical malpractice. In Illinois, these cases are handled differently than other types of torts. The state places strict regulations on medical malpractice cases. For instance, you’ll need to obtain the testimony of a medical expert, and you’ll need to submit an affidavit of merit with your complaint. An attorney who has successfully handled medication error cases will have the resources to hire medical experts, investigate your case, and guide you through the legal system, reducing the risk of hiccups that could cause your case to be dismissed.
Do I have a medication error claim?
A medical malpractice lawyer who is familiar with medication error claims can evaluate your case to determine whether you have a valid claim or lawsuit. He or she will consider whether a medical provider/patient relationship was established, whether there was a breach in the duty of care owed to you, whether that breach caused your injuries, and whether you suffered losses because of the healthcare provider’s negligence.
How much time do I have to file a medication error lawsuit in Illinois?
In Illinois, the statute of limitations for filing a medication error lawsuit is generally two years from the date the alleged mistake occurred. However, the discovery rule applies. If you discovered your injury later on, you may have up to two years from when it was discovered to take legal action. The state bars patients from taking legal action more than four years after the medication mistake, regardless of when it was discovered.
Helpful Resources From Our Medication Error Lawyers
Medication errors caused by medical negligence can result in serious health conditions that lead to life-threatening injuries, and even death. Medication errors made by doctors, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals may constitute a medication error lawsuit through a legal process filed by a medical malpractice lawyer in civil court.
There are 3 types of prescription errors commonly seen by medical malpractice attorneys in Illinois. Prescription errors are one of the most common types of medical errors experienced by patients. When a patient suffers harm due to medication errors, he or she may have an actionable case of medical negligence or medical malpractice against the party who prescribed the medication.
Medical malpractice happens anytime a doctor, nurse, hospital, or health care provider fails to adhere to the appropriate standard of care and a patient is injured or dies as a result. Medical malpractice can happen in a number of situations, but new data indicates that most medical malpractice claims against primary care physicians are a result of missed diagnoses and medication errors.
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