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Medications can help alleviate symptoms and treat illnesses for a variety of conditions. However, medical providers must take care to prescribe the right medication and dosage and to avoid dangerous drug interactions.
In some cases, healthcare professionals commit serious errors while prescribing medications. If you are injured due to a medication error, the Cashman Law Firm can hold the negligent provider accountable. Trust our Boston medication error attorney to fight for your right to justice. Call our office today to receive a free consultation and discuss your medication error case.
Why Choose Our Boston Medication Error Attorney
- Our attorney, Mark A. Cashman, has represented victims of medication errors for years. Before starting his own practice, he served as the head of the medical malpractice department at a nationally recognized plaintiff firm.
- Over our years of operation, we have secured millions of dollars in settlements and jury verdicts. Our firm will work tirelessly to secure the best possible outcome in your medication error claim.
- Our medication errors attorney has won multiple awards recognizing his track record of success. He has a 5 out of 5 Avvo rating and was selected by Super Lawyers Magazine as a Rising Star.
Medication Errors Can Cause Serious Injuries and Illnesses
Serious mistakes can occur while prescribing or administering medications to patients. Due to these errors, patients can suffer organ damage, experience a worsening condition, or go into shock due to an allergic reaction.
Common types of medication errors include the following.
- Prescribing the wrong medication
- Prescribing the wrong dosage of a medication
- Providing the wrong dosing instructions to a patient
- Prescribing a medication to a patient with a history of allergic reactions to that drug
- Mislabeling medications and administering the wrong drug by mistake
- Prescribing a medication that interacts dangerously with a medication that a patient is currently taking
How Common are Medication Errors?
Unfortunately, medication errors make up the largest percentage of medical malpractice cases, with an average of 1.5 million people harmed each year. This leads to 3.5 billion in additional medical expenses annually. With a CDC-estimated 82% of American adults taking one or more medications per day, many people face the risk of falling victim to a medication error. Older individuals typically take more medications than younger adults and face an increased risk of experiencing a medication error.
A mistake may occur at any point in the process including when the physician prescribes the medication, when a staffer enters the information into a computer, during drug preparation, when the medication is dispensed, or when the patient takes the medication.
Protecting Yourself Against Medication Errors
Patients and consumers can minimize their own risks of harm from a medication error by asking their doctors for information about the drug they’re prescribed, including the drug’s name, dosage, and purpose. When prescribed a medication, consumers should do the following:
- Ask how to take the medication and what it’s for
- Ask if the medication requires refrigeration
- Keep an updated list of all medications and supplements taken daily and those taken as needed
- Check the label of each medication before taking it
- Keep medications stored in their original containers
- Carefully read the directions and ask questions if there is any confusion or uncertainty about a medication
Your Legal Rights After Experiencing Medical Negligence
Medication errors are a form of medical malpractice. If a doctor, pharmacist, or any other medical professional commits an error while dispensing or prescribing drugs, you may be eligible for a lawsuit against the negligent professional.
By filing a medical malpractice claim in Massachusetts civil court, you can recover financial compensation for medical care, lost wages, pain and suffering, and many other losses. However, you will need to prove that the at-fault provider’s negligence caused the error and your resulting injuries.
In Massachusetts, all medical providers have a duty to uphold a certain duty of care when treating a patient. In particular, their actions must not deviate from what a reasonable and similarly trained professional would do under the same circumstances.
For example, if a doctor prescribes a common medication to treat a condition and you have an allergic reaction to it, his or her liability depends on your medical history. If you have never taken the medication before, the doctor is not likely to be liable for your injuries. Your doctor had no way to know that the reaction would have occurred.
If you have the allergy documented in your medical records, your doctor would be liable, as he or she should have known about the allergy at the time. Your medical error lawyer from the Cashman Law Firm can evaluate your case and help identify whether you qualify for a claim.
What’s Involved in a Medical Malpractice Claim?
An injured patient has up to 3 years to file a medical malpractice claim under the Massachusetts statute of limitations. Typically, the sooner an injury victim files after a medical malpractice incident, the better the outcome. The 3-year time limitation begins from the date of discovery, not necessarily the date the incident occurs. This is due to the fact that victims may not learn that a medical practitioner’s mistake caused their injury until later. In that case, Massachusetts caps claims at 7 years after the incident.
Within 15 days of the healthcare provider’s response, your side must present proof to a medical tribunal. These 3-person tribunals include:
- A Massachusetts Superior Court Justice
- A physician licensed in the relevant medical field
- A licensed Massachusetts attorney
This tribunal scrutinizes the evidence of the case to determine if it raises a legitimate question of negligence on the part of the medical professional. If the tribunal agrees that there’s sufficient evidence in your claim, it proceeds forward. If they don’t agree that there’s enough evidence, you can still move forward, but only after filing a bond of $6,000 within 30 days to cover legal fees if your case doesn’t succeed.
Understanding Damage Caps in Medical Malpractice
Due to the serious consequences and the breach of duty of care involved in medication errors, Massachusetts doesn’t place a cap on economic damages. That includes compensation for medical expenses and lost wages. However, the state caps non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering at $500,000 except under special circumstances such as permanent disfigurement or loss of an important bodily function.
Contact a Medication Errors Attorney From the Cashman Law Firm Today
Prescribing doctors have an ethical and legal duty to prescribe medications properly according to the needs of each individual. Pharmacists have the responsibility to properly dispense and label the correct medications in the prescribed dosage. Prescription medication errors occur when medical professionals fail to meet this critical standard of care and the results can be dangerous or deadly.
If your doctor made a mistake while prescribing or administering your medication, the Cashman Law Firm can fight for your right to justice. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation and discuss your next steps with our Boston medication error attorney.