23 Nov When Does a Prescription Error Become Malpractice?
The key factor in all malpractice cases is whether or not the responsible party was negligent in their duties. Negligence isn’t just about making a mistake. A negligent mistake is something that should have been caught by a competent medical professional but wasn’t. In fact, the job of the victim’s lawyer is to prove that negligence occurred.
Prescription errors are one of the most common forms of medical malpractice. There are a number of ways that a medical professional could be considered negligent. Here are a few:
- Prescribed or given the wrong medication
- Receiving medication meant for someone else
- Given the wrong dosage of medication
- Receiving unnecessary medication due to a misdiagnosis
- Medical equipment failure that leads to incorrect dosing
- Does not warn patients about harmful side effects
- Failure to catch harmful drug interactions
- Failure to catch allergic reactions
Anyone from the doctor to the nurse to the pharmacist could be responsible for negligence in these events.
What Evidence is Needed?
In general, four things need to be proven in any malpractice case for the victim to win:
A medical relationship – You have to show the court that the individual you’re suing was responsible for your care.
Proof of negligence – Doctors are not required to give the best care every time. This is impossible. But every state has what’s called a “reasonable standard of care” that all medical professionals must follow. A malpractice lawyer can bring in expert witnesses to talk to the court about the standard of care for your particular case and explain how the defendant violated that care, among other tactics.
Proof that the negligence caused a problem – This is another tricky point. Let’s say that your loved one had cancer and died on the operating table. You have reason to suspect that the doctor was negligent. Even if you prove that there was some form of negligence, you and your lawyer would also have to show the court how that negligence led to the death of your loved one.
Proof that the problem caused specific damages – Damages can range from physical and mental anguish to increased medical bills to lost wages and more. Also, your malpractice lawyer can explain further which kinds of damages you might have incurred as a result of the problem.
In a prescription malpractice case, these things can pretty straightforward to prove.
Actually, a prescription slip or bottle can prove a medical relationship. Evidence that the medication was incorrect in some way shows negligence. Furthermore, taking the wrong dosage or type of medicine can easily lead to a problem where injuries occur.
However, only a skilled medical malpractice lawyer can discern whether or not your medication error was indeed negligence. If you suspect that the medication you were taking caused a problem, speak with the medical malpractice lawyers of The Cochran Firm Philadelphia.