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Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Lawyers Hold Pharmacists Accountable

A Pharmacist's Responsibility in Medical Malpractice and Wrongful Death

Pharmacists have a duty to their patients that goes beyond correctly filling prescriptions for licensed physicians. Pharmacists are responsible for checking new prescriptions against any existing ones for potential negative interaction, checking prescriptions against known patient allergies, and double-checking that the dosage that they are dispensing is appropriate for the patient's age, weight, and current health status. Patients who suffered as a result of a pharmacist's negligence may be entitled to financial compensation.

Failure to Warn of Fatal Combination of Prescription Drugs

The National Institute on Drug Abuse warns that death may result from mixing medications. Your pharmacist has a duty to ensure that you as a patient are not given an improper combination of drugs. The FDA requires warnings on prescription bottles and on the boxes that contain other drugs telling patients not to combine them with intoxicants or specific prescribed medications. If a pharmacist provided a patient with two medications that are known to have an adverse reaction when taken together, you may be able to file a claim. The same is true if a pharmacist dispensed a medication that is contraindicated for a patient's condition, for example if a pharmacist provided Viagra to a patient with a known heart condition.

Wrongful Death of Your Loved One

If your loved one died unexpectedly from an accidental drug overdose or a lethal combination of prescription drugs, our wrongful death lawyer may be able to prove that the pharmacist breached their duty of care when filling the prescriptions for the medications. Financial compensation for families will not bring your loved one back to you, but our Allentown personal injury attorney can bring a case to compensate you for emergency medical expenses and for your loss.

Allentown Personal Injury Lawyer

Our Allentown personal injury attorney thoroughly investigates all medical malpractice and pharmacist's error wrongful death and personal injury claims before comprehensively and holistically representing a client. Third-party personal injury cases are for patients and families of loved ones who suffered from deliberate or careless acts of another. Pharmacists are trusted chemists with a thorough understanding of medications and their interactions. If your pharmacist filled a prescription for you or your loved one that resulted in severe illness, injury, or pain and suffering, our medical malpractice attorneys can represent you with insurance companies, in settlement negotiations, or in civil court.

Strict Liability

If your loved one died from an allergic reaction or a reaction caused by ingesting a contraindicated substance, strict liability negligence law applies if they got the substances from a pharmacist. The doctor who prescribed the drug may have breached a duty to your loved one, but the pharmacist who has a list of all medications prescribed for your family member knows if your loved one was taking a medication that reacts to the newly prescribed drug. If you can prove that the pharmacist filled the prescription knowing that your family member was taking two medications that could fatally interact with each other, you may have a wrongful death case.

Liability for the Death of Your Loved One

Your doctor, your pharmacist, their drug salesman, and the manufacturer of the drug are all potentially responsible for the death of your loved one. A wrongful death lawsuit can financially compensate you for your loved one's medical expenses, their burial expenses, and for the loss of their companionship. A wrongful death lawsuit can also compensate a child for the loss of financial support from a deceased parent.

Class Action Medical Malpractice Lawsuits May Pay Promptly

Opioid painkiller lawsuits are civil tort litigation, but the lawsuits are usually about groups of defendants acting together to profit from illegally selling prescription drugs. The defendants often conceal their financial transactions from the Internal Revenue Service. Opioid painkillers were developed for short-term or hospice use only. The FDA warns that opioids are highly addictive, but OxyContin alone brought the manufacturer $800 billion in a single year. Under 18 U.S.C. § 1961 the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, pharmaceutical companies, doctors, clinics, pharmacists, and nurses conspired to broadly market prescription drugs without regard for the health, safety, and welfare of their patients.

Comparative and Contributory Negligence

Comparative and contributory negligence are factors in the determination of who pays for personal injuries or wrongful death resulting from the improper use of prescription drugs. If your loved one who died was intoxicated with alcohol or a controlled substance at the time of his or her death, intoxication contributed to his or her death. If your loved one was not informed of the dangers of mixing substances or if the pharmacist distributed the wrong dosage or the medication, our Allentown personal injury attorney can aggressively fight for your rights.

Your Major Medical Accidental Death Clause

If your major medical insurance policy contains an accidental death clause, you may be entitled to compensation for the accidental nature of your loved one's death. You need a lawyer to negotiate with even your own or your loved one’s own insurance company because sometimes insurance companies do not take all factors into account when computing the amount of your settlement. A lawyer can help you get fair compensation.

Medication Errors by Pharmacies

The severity of the pharmacist’s medical errors may determine whether you receive financial compensation. If you become deathly sick because the pharmacist did not fill your prescription on time or immediately when your doctor sent the prescription to the pharmacy, you are probably not entitled to compensation. If you suffered a massive heart attack because your pharmacist did not give you your blood pressure pills and suffered severe, disabling, or life-threatening injuries as a result, you may be entitled to compensation. You may have a personal injury claim if you suffered severe effects from being given the wrong medication whether it was prescribed for another person and the pharmacy tech grabbed the wrong bottle or if the pharmacist made an error while filling the prescription. Dispensing the incorrect medication for the patient in question is the most common error that pharmacists make, and if you were injured when you took an incorrect medication that was given to you in lieu of your prescribed meds, you may have a case. If you were given the wrong dose of your medication because the doctor’s writing isn’t legible, the pharmacist is liable. Taking the wrong dose of a medication can be extremely dangerous, and if your loved one died as a result of an error in dosage, your Allentown personal injury attorney may be able to help you get the compensation that you deserve.

Drug Allergies

Drug allergies are another common problem. If your doctor does not know that you’re allergic to a specific type of drug and the pharmacist doesn’t know your medical history, they may not be liable for your drug allergy. If you react adversely to a medication, the doctor and pharmacist are not liable for personal injuries resulting from your allergic reaction if the allergy was not previously known.

Metzger and Kleiner

Call our Allentown personal injury lawyer at Metzger and Kleiner by phone at 610-435-7400 or by using our online contact form for a free consultation. Our personal injury attorneys with 40 years of experience only represent clients on a contingency basis, so there's nothing to lose. Call us today!

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