Boston Medication Errors Attorneys
You probably don’t expect to receive the wrong medication when you visit the doctor or the emergency room. But many of us still end up with the wrong medicine or treatment, which can harm us with long-lasting effects.
Doctors may prescribe the wrong medication for many reasons, or they may write down an incorrect dosage when filling out your prescription. While doctors are human and can make mistakes, those errors could lead to a life-or-death situation. Pharmacists may also make a mistake in dispensing your medicine.
If either of these situations happened to you, the medical provider could be held accountable for failing to meet and provide an acceptable standard of care.
The wrong medication can interact poorly with other medicines, cause undesirable side effects, or in extreme cases, result in death. If you or a loved one is dealing with the aftermath of a medication error in Boston or nearby areas of Massachusetts, then you may be entitled to recover compensation from the doctor, nurse, or pharmacist who committed the error.
The team at Crowe & Mulvey, LLP is prepared to assist you in your medical malpractice case regarding incorrect medication. We have helped several victims of malpractice across the area recover the award they need to cover the costs of treatment, their pain and suffering, and more. Call our Boston medical malpractice lawyers today at (617) 426-4488 to begin your free consultation with one of our representatives.
How a Medication Error Could Occur
Sometimes, medical professionals get overwhelmed at work, just like anyone else. However, they have chosen a profession that requires caring for people to the best of their ability. So when they slack on the job, it could cost someone their life. When medication is needed for sickness or pain, then you should receive the correct one. If an error is committed, that medicine could have the opposite effect of what was intended.
Types of medication errors include:
- Poor Communication – If healthcare providers do not communicate with each other, then an error could be the result. Doctors and pharmacists need to talk to make sure that the correct medication is distributed. One phone call from a pharmacist could make a difference.
- Inaccurate Medical Records – If a patient’s medical records are not updated correctly, then a doctor or nurse may not even know they are making an error. Those records are crucial to your care.
- Lack of Knowledge – Years of training are needed to learn everything about medicines and how they may interact with each other, but even if a medical professional is uncertain, there are vast resources about every drug and what it can do. They should be able to determine the side effects and any information they need to know. But if they rush the process, they may neglect this step.
- Language Barriers – Patients may speak a different language than their doctor, and that could present a barrier in patient care if the doctor isn’t able to understand what the patient is saying or what types of medicine they are taking. The doctor should locate a medical professional who can communicate with their patient to ensure no errors are made.
- Distractions – Like anyone else, doctors or pharmacists can get distracted while they’re on the job. But when they are distracted from what they are doing, they can lose their line of thought. It’s an easy mistake to jump back into filling an order or writing a prescription, but in these cases, they need to double- and triple-check that what they did was correct.
Types of medication errors in these situations can include administering the wrong dosage, prescribing the wrong dosage, prescribing the wrong medicine, failing to write down accurate patient history, mixing medicines that should not be mixed, and more. Any of these errors could prove to be catastrophic.
Who Is Liable for a Medication Error
Medication errors can be committed by a number of medical professionals. Essentially, anyone who administers a drug, writes a prescription, or fills a prescription may be held liable in the event of an error. This can include doctors, pharmacists, nurses, and even anesthesiologists. If they do not follow their duty-of-care when they treat you, then they could be negligent. Their duty-of-care should be to check the medicine, make sure you are getting the right dosage, ensure it does not interact badly with your existing medication, and tell you clearly about the side effects of the drug.
Ways to Prove that You Suffered from a Medication Error
If you suspect that a medication error has caused your current symptoms, you will have to demonstrate that the error was made by a negligent healthcare provider.
Ways to prove their negligence include:
- Showing that you took the medicine as prescribed and did not waver from the doctor’s instructions
- Proving that the pharmacist gave you medicine that was not on the doctor’s prescription
- Indicating that neither the doctor nor the pharmacist took the time to tell you about any potentially dangerous side effects of the medicine
What to Do if Your Medicine Is Wrong
If you suspect your medication is incorrect, you should document everything with photos. Take a picture of the pill itself, the instructions you received, and show that you have followed those instructions to the letter. You will need all of this as proof should you decide to file a claim of malpractice. If you do decide to move forward with a claim, consider speaking with a Boston medical malpractice lawyer at Crowe & Mulvey, LLP who may be able to assist you in getting the compensation you deserve.
Reasons to Hire a Lawyer
If you want to file a claim against the medical professional who you believe is responsible for the medication error, you may want to think about hiring a lawyer. A lawyer will be able to work on helping you prove negligence, which you’ll need to do if you want to recover compensation.
In addition, they will work on getting you a settlement that you deserve. Many times, insurance companies will make a low offer to people without attorneys because they think they can take advantage of them. Your lawyer will want you to get the award that you need to cover all the costs associated with the medication error, so they will negotiate with the insurance company and any other involved parties to get you that compensation.
They will also get your claim filed before the Massachusetts statute of limitations expires. For a majority of medical malpractice cases, that’s three years from the day you discover the malpractice or when it occurred. There are other steps that have to be followed in a malpractice case for it to be considered viable, and your attorney will handle all of those for you.
What Can Be Included in Your Claim
When you file a claim, your goal and your attorney’s goal is to get you the maximum amount of compensation. In Massachusetts, there is a cap of $500,000 on medical malpractice cases unless it is determined you need more to cover the costs of what happened. This means you can include various damages that you have suffered from the medication error. These may include things such as:
- Lost Wages – Missing time at work to recover from an injury or illness caused by the wrong medication can be devastating to your financial security. You have the right to seek compensation for both current financial losses, as well as the loss of future earnings as a result of your injuries or illness.
- Medical Bills – The wrong medicine can cause medical complications that could send you to the hospital, which is often quite costly. You should not have to pay for medical costs on your own when they were caused by negligence.
- Pain and Suffering – A medication error may cause mental and emotional issues, and those are just as important as the physical side effects, but also less measurable. Damages from pain and suffering exist to compensate you for that.
- Wrongful Death – If your loved one dies as a result of a medication error, then you may be able to claim wrongful death and get compensated for their income, companionship, and more. While this can never replace their presence in your life, it can at least provide you with some help.
Have You Been Prescribed the Wrong Medication? Call Us
If you’ve suffered from a medication error in Boston, then you should reach out to our law firm today. We have helped many malpractice victims and will try to do the same for you. We provide free consultations and operate on a contingency fee, so you won’t pay us anything unless your case is won.
Call us today at (617) 426-4488 to start your free consultation with one of our team members. There’s no obligation to call, so it can’t hurt to explore the options available to you. We’re ready to help.