Prescription Medication Errors & Recovering Compensation

Prescription Medication Errors & Recovering Compensation

Prescription Errors in OhioVictims of prescription errors can face serious medical consequences like:

  • Side effects of the medicine;
  • Dangerous interaction with other drugs; or
  • Worsening of a medical condition because of lack of proper treatment.

The law provides recourse for these victims, allowing them to reclaim damages they suffer from parties responsible for the error in a medical malpractice case.

Prescription Errors Overview

Prescription errors can occur at any point in the process of selecting, prescribing, dispensing and administering medication.

There are a variety of causes for prescription errors, including:

  • Poor handwriting;
  • Miscommunication;
  • Misreading packages;
  • Confusing similar names;
  • Ignorance about medical history;
  • Confusion of dosage size; and
  • Carelessness.

In the worst cases, death can result from a drug error. These errors also complicate other health conditions. For example, elderly patients given the wrong blood pressure medication in nursing homes may experience complications if their blood pressure isn’t properly controlled.

Improper dosage can lead to severe complications, such as in cases of children administered adult doses of medication. Patients may also experience complications if they are prescribed drugs that interfere or interact with drugs already taken. This is why obtaining proper medical history and a list of medications is important before prescribing any drugs.

Legal Options after Prescription Errors

Medical malpractice claims may come about after prescription errors. In medical malpractice claims, a plaintiff has to prove that the:

  • Physician owed the patient a duty of care;
  • Physician breached the standard of care in treating the patient;
  • Breach caused the injury; and
  • Injury resulted in substantial damages.

"Standard of care" is a term used in medical malpractice lawsuits and means the type and level of care a prudent healthcare professional would provide in similar circumstances.

Economic damages like medical expenses and lost wages, and non-economic damages like pain and suffering, can be retrieved by filing a medical malpractice claim. In Ohio, there is a one-year statute of limitations on medical malpractice claims. This time limit begins to run when the patient discovers or should have discovered the injury or mistake.

How to Prove a Prescription Medication Error

Proving a medical malpractice claim often requires hiring a medical professional to testify that the doctor, hospital or pharmacy violated the standard of care. Plaintiffs have to prove both that the error resulted in harm to them and that the harm wouldn't have happened without the error. Medical records are also used to make a case that the defendant violated the standard of care.

Like other civil lawsuits, medical malpractice claims include a pre-trial discovery period. During this period, the opposing party submits interrogatories, which are written questions to answer, and production requests, which are requests for physical evidence, to the other.

They also file requests for admissions with the court to introduce evidence into the case. All evidence needs to meet both the rules of evidence and of civil procedure to be admitted. Following these rules and collecting the right evidence is vital to establishing a medical professional’s negligence and the patient’s entitlement to damage recovery.  

Ryan, LLP has over 50 years of combined experience handling personal injury and prescription error cases, including medical malpractice cases.   Contact our offices in Cleveland, Ohio, or call 1-877-864-9497 to speak to an attorney today.


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