When a doctor prescribes medication to you, they do so with the expectation that it will be safe for your health and make you feel better. Drug manufacturers are legally obligated to ensure the products they release into the market are safe. Unfortunately, some drugs may cause injuries, and the symptoms vary. If a drug manufacturer knew or should have known their drug may cause an injury, they must warn about this risk.
If you suspect that a defective drug caused you to sustain injuries, it’s crucial to consult a personal injury law firm in Chicago. The lawyers can analyze your case, evaluate the damages, and help you determine if you should pursue a legal lawsuit for compensation. They can also provide legal representation and fight aggressively to help you get fair compensation.
What Are Defective Drugs?
A drug that causes more physical, emotional, and psychological harm than good may be considered defective. The design of medications is such that they should improve your quality of life when you take them. In other words, the benefits should outweigh the risks of the medication.
The Food and Drug Administration is responsible for testing prescription and over-the-counter medications before approving them for human consumption. The process is sometimes ineffective as many products are later found harmful. Many factors contribute to this reality. First, it is unethical to conduct research for the sole purpose of determining if a drug is harmful. Just imagine if doctors conducted a clinical trial just to see whether pushing someone down a flight of stairs always results in death. You simply cannot design studies this way. The only way the FDA can determine if a drug is safe is by 1.) assessing the limited information generated by clinical trials before a drug hits the market; 2.) seeing what adverse events were reported; and 3.) comparing the rate of those adverse events to the rate at which those adverse events occur in the general population not taking the drug. Obviously, if people on the drug are dying at a greater rate than people of their age in the general population it will raise a red flag. Many of the studies prior to a drug hitting the market are simply not long enough to make a clear determination. Once a drug is on the market for 10 years, it becomes much clearer what is happening to people that have been taking the drug that entire time. This is where bad drug lawyers step in to notify and help those harmed by defective drugs. Importantly, without the scientific data to justify suing a pharmaceutical company, defective drug lawyers simply cannot help because we lack the evidence necessary to present the claim to a jury. You must also check the warning labels from the time you started taking the defective drug, if your side effect was adequately warned about at that time then we cannot help you. The Courts will dismiss our claims.
Injuries from defective drugs affect millions of families each year, sometimes causing death. Many families suffer high medical bills, lost wages, and poor quality of life. If defective drugs have injured you or your loved one, consult an experienced Chicago drug injury lawyer to determine your legal options.
What Are Some Possible Symptoms of a Defective Drug?
Defective drugs can lead to injuries or adversely impact your life’s quality. You may suffer life-changing, severe, or even lethal consequences. When pursuing compensation, the responsible drug companies and insurance companies may want to fight the charges to avoid compensating you for the injuries. That’s why you need a skilled drug injury lawyer in Chicago.
They can help collect evidence to show that defective drugs caused your injuries. Some common symptoms that indicate you may have sustained injuries after using a defective drug include the following:
- Heart attack and cardiovascular conditions like congestive heart failure
- Kidney failure
- Blurred vision
- Blood clots
- Liver damage
- Internal bleeding
- Rashes or abnormal lumps under the skin
Your drug injury attorney in Illinois can collect medical records that show how the injuries are linked to a defective prescription drug. On your part, you must document how you respond to prescription medication. The records can come in handy when creating a solid case to pursue compensation.
When Can Drug Companies Be Held Responsible for Defective Drugs?
Your lawyer can investigate the knowability of the defect in the manufacturing and distribution process before the drug reached you. Some reasons a drug company may be held liable in a product liability case are:
- If the company failed to report side effects supported by data they failed to analyze after drug testing;
- If the company failed to warn about side effects supported by data they failed to analyze at any time after their drug hit the market;
- If the company made an error when manufacturing or labeling the drug, for example, using the wrong ingredients or dosages;
- Failure to comply with the federal regulations for drug warnings/labeling; and
How Can I Prove Liability in a Defective Drug Injury Case?
Before filing a product liability lawsuit, you must first determine the liable party or parties. Drug manufacturers often try to save money during the federally mandated testing procedures and rarely benefit from turning over too many rocks with respect to safety data. They focus on proving efficacy and run whatever minimum safety data screens are required. When it comes to serious adverse events, they should run all possible safety data screens to protect human life over their own profit. Sometimes, manufacturers simply don’t act fast enough to recall a drug once a defect is discovered.
The liable party could also be a negligent doctor or pharmacist who prescribed the wrong medication. In this case, you can file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the medical care provider if you suffered serious injury.
Determining liability calls for the input of an experienced and compassionate attorney to help you collect the evidence you need to use in your case. They can help you collect the following:
- Medical reports
- Expert testimony
- Witness statements
- Relevant photographs
Do I Have a Case?
You don’t have valid grounds for a defective drug injury lawsuit unless your product liability attorney can prove these three things:
- The drug was flawed due to improper design, improper manufacturing process, or failure to warn
- You sustained an injury
- The injury was a caused by the defective medication
- You suffered legal damages (i.e. – economic losses, at a minimum)
If the manufacturer or medical practitioner gave a warning, you must show that the warning was inadequate. For example, you could show that the side effect was more severe or frequent than the notice indicated.
What Damages Can I Recover in a Defective Drug Injury Case?
Another critical aspect of a product liability lawsuit is identifying, categorizing, and quantifying the damages. Depending on the circumstances of the case, your Chicago drug injury attorney can help you seek compensation for the following damages:
- Medical expenses for the treatment costs associated with injuries resulting from the defective drug
- Lost wages if the injuries temporarily made you unable to work
- Loss of earning capacity if the injuries cause you to lose your ability to work
- Loss of consortium if your marriage or relationships suffered as a direct result of the injuries
Once you establish economic damages/losses, then you can prove other damages:
- Pain and suffering in the form of physical pain, lost work, and rehabilitation
- Emotional distress in the form of stress, anxiety, worry, fear, sadness, etc.
- Loss of normal life in the form of disability, loss of function, etc.
A Skilled Attorney Fighting for the Compensation You Deserve
Injuries from a defective drug can be life-threatening if not fatal. Living with the consequences can be costly and emotionally draining. That’s why you should pursue legal action to get compensation for the injuries that were no fault of your own. However, don’t go to court alone, as proving liability will be incredibly expensive, legally complex, factually complex, traumatic for the individual plaintiff(s), and time-consuming.
Our firm’s skilled, compassionate, and aggressive drug injury attorney can walk the journey with you. We can evaluate your case, investigate the injury, provide legal counsel, determine liability, handle negotiations on your behalf, and provide legal representation during trial. We will also keep you updated on the progress. Contact us for a FREE case assessment.