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When prescribed and administered properly, medications are often a huge part of a person’s recovery or wellness. On the other hand, when the wrong medication or dosage is given, serious complications can result – even death.

Medication errors cause about 7,000 deaths and hundreds of thousands of injuries each year in the U.S., and it’s no wonder. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), one in five dosages given to hospital patients is incorrect.

If you have a medication error claim in West Palm Beach or surrounding areas and need experienced legal representation, our Florida medical malpractice attorneys are here for you. Call (561) 655-1990 to schedule your free case consultation.

west palm beach medication error attorney

9 drugs commonly implicated in medication errors

Any drug can be prescribed improperly or inappropriately, but the most common medication errors tend to be made for insulins, anticoagulants, and antibiotics.

Here are the most common drugs implicated in medication error cases:

  1. Insulins
  2. Albuterol
  3. Morphine
  4. Potassium chloride
  5. Heparin
  6. Cefazolin
  7. Furosemide
  8. Levofloxacin
  9. Vancomycin

Steps to take when experiencing an adverse drug event

1. Seek immediate medical attention

If you are experiencing an adverse drug event, do not try and wait it out, and do not fall asleep. Call 911 as soon as you can or have someone call for you. When emergency responders arrive, show them the prescription.

If it’s not in your possession and you can’t remember the name of the drug, don’t worry – hospital staff will figure it out and will work to stabilize you.

2. Document evidence

After experiencing a medication error, document evidence that can help with a potential malpractice case. For instance, you should keep all of your prescriptions in a safe place and obtain copies of your medical records.

It’s also a good idea to keep a physical or digital journal where you can record how you feel every day. As you detail your experience in the days and weeks afterward, pay special attention to how your injury or illness is developing.

3. Contact an attorney

Medication errors are inexcusable, especially when adverse drug events are caused by the sheer negligence of the medical professional. If you were hurt by an adverse drug event, contact an attorney as soon as you are stable and feeling better.

An attorney will work to hold the negligent doctor or other health professional accountable. They can also help prevent similar errors from occurring and harming other patients.

Causes of medication errors

Medication errors can occur anytime from the manufacturing of the drug to its consumption.

Here are the main ways it happens:

  • Wrong medication prescribed
  • Wrong medication dispensed
  • Incorrect dosing information
  • Miscommunication between doctors and pharmacists
  • Failure to guard against harmful drug interactions
  • Failure to recognize drug allergies
  • Failure to provide drug consultation and explanation of possible side effects
  • Mislabeled drugs

Medication errors have serious consequences

Everyone has unique biochemical makeup, which means it’s impossible to tell exactly what could happen if your doctor prescribes the wrong drug or makes some other medication error.

However, some of the more common conditions we’ve seen include:

Malpractice cases have special deadlines. Make sure you file a claim on time

In Florida, you must file a medical malpractice suit within two years of the date that you discovered the injury or damage. This deadline is known as a “statute of limitations,” and it ensures cases are timely and fair.

It’s important to note that the countdown begins on the date that you discover, or should have reasonably discovered, that you have been injured. If you discovered the injury on the same day as the surgery, the clock would start ticking then. If you discovered the injury six months after the surgery, that’s when the countdown begins.

There are exceptions to this two-year rule. Representatives of victims who are under eight years old have until the date of their eighth birthday to file a medical malpractice suit.

Another exception exists for cases involving medical fraud. If your medical provider engaged in fraud, the deadline is extended an additional two years from the date that you discovered the injury. However, Florida does set a hard deadline of seven years even when fraud is present.

Potential damages to claim

“Damages” are the financial and emotional losses that you experienced as a direct result of the medication error. In Florida, most plaintiffs in medication error cases are eligible for economic and non-economic damages.

Economic damages

Economic damages are the real, tangible costs associated with your injury. A good way to tell if your loss falls under the economic umbrella is if it comes with a bill, receipt, or invoice.

Economic damages include expenses like:

  • Trips to the ER
  • Doctors’ appointments
  • Corrective surgery
  • Physical therapy
  • Lost wages from missing work

This is not a full list of damages you may be able to recover. An experienced West Palm Beach medical malpractice attorney can advise you on the full damages available in your case.

Non-economic damages

Non-economic damages do not come with a price tag, bill, or invoice. They’re more difficult to calculate, but they’re just as real and just as impactful as economic damages.

It takes a skilled lawyer to argue for full compensation for non-economic damages, and you can trust the ample experience with Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath.

Non-economic damages include things like:

  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Scarring and disfigurement

Again, this is not a full list of damages that may be available in your case. Speak with an attorney to get a better idea of the damages available to you.

Multiple parties may be liable for your injury

Whether your injury was caused by a pharmaceutical company, pharmacist, nurse, doctor, or any other negligent healthcare professional, the knowledgeable Florida medical malpractice attorneys at Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath have the experience and skills to handle your case.

We encourage you to stay informed about your prescriptions. You can visit Public Citizen’s and keep track of your medications on their Drug Worksheet form.

Cost of hiring a malpractice lawyer

At Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath, you don’t pay us unless and until we win your case. This policy is known as working “on contingency,” and it ensures you receive the best representation without having to worry about lawyer fees.

Our medication error attorneys are here to fight for you

The skilled and compassionate attorneys at our firm do everything we can to make complicated legal issues as simple as possible. We can help you recover compensation for medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, and other damages from a medication error.

Fill out our contact form or call us at (561) 655-1990 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.

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