Can You Sue for Drug Side Effects?
November 11, 2022
Most drugs, whether prescription or over-the-counter, have side effects. While this does not mean you’re guaranteed to experience any side effects, drug companies have a duty to warn consumers, regardless.
Oftentimes, side effects are mild and resolve on their own. However, in certain instances, side effects can be severe, even resulting in life-altering harm to a person’s health.
When serious side effects cause you harm, you may be wondering, “can you sue for drug side effects?” A drug injury lawyer can provide the answer based on the specifics of your circumstances.
If you’ve suffered harmful medical issues due to drug side effects, you may be entitled to take legal action for financial compensation. The drug injury lawsuit lawyers at Wapner Newman are ready to provide the legal guidance you need during a trying time.
Common Side Effects of Defective Drugs
Defective drugs can cause a multitude of side effects. The side effects a patient suffers often depend on the type of medication, the specific issue with the drug, and the length of time the patient was taking the medication.
Common side effects victims may experience while taking defective drugs include:
- Liver damage
- Increased risk of developing certain cancers
- Heart conditions, including heart attacks or heart failure
- Blood clots
- Internal bleeding
- Brain damage
- Birth defects for pregnant women
- Physical debilitations.
Many of the side effects patients are prone to suffer require extensive medical treatment. The more severe the side effects, the more likely a victim is to experience life-changing consequences. Additionally, patients are not only left to suffer with the physical and mental repercussions of these side effects, but also the financial burdens they cause.
Because of the trauma and financial impact severe drug side effects can cause, you should discuss your situation with a drug injury lawyer at Wapner Newman.
Types of Lawsuits for Defective Drug Side Effects
Defective drugs are generally defined as drugs that cause multiple severe or deadly side effects; with a defective drug, the risks outweigh the benefits. Determining the cause of the defect helps determine the type of lawsuit you can file.
Typically, with defective drug side effect cases, there are three types of product liability lawsuits victims can file.
Lawsuits for Defective Manufacturing
A victim may have a claim for defective manufacturing if the manner in which the drug was created is the cause of the substantial side effects.
For example, perhaps the drugs were contaminated or there was an issue in the assembly line, causing an issue with the drug and resulting in negative side effects.
Lawsuits for Inadequate Warnings
Drug manufacturers are required to provide patients with usage instructions and warnings regarding the potential side effects of taking certain drugs. Without these warnings and instructions, patients can suffer unwanted side effects.
Lawsuits for Defective Designs
Drugs are formulated and created in a specific manner to address medical needs. If the way in which a drug was formulated was defective, it could put patients taking that drug at risk for serious complications.
Compensation for Drug Side Effect Claims
Suffering side effects from defective drugs often leave victims facing expensive medical bills and other financial losses. Pursuing financial compensation can significantly help relieve much of the monetary stress.
Damages for drug side effects depend on the details of your claim, your injuries, and the losses you’ve suffered. Potential compensation could include:
- Medical expenses, including medical treatment and hospital stays for the past and future
- Rehabilitation costs
- Lost wages
- Lost earnings if you’re unable to work in the future
- Mental anguish
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering.
If you’ve lost a loved one due to drug side effects, you could have a claim for wrongful death. Wrongful death claims help compensate a victim’s family for the losses they incur.
Determining how much your claim is worth is critical to help ensure you get fair compensation. Our legal team can review the details of your situation to calculate the value of your case and pursue financial recovery on your behalf.
Can You Sue a Pharmaceutical Company for Side Effects?
It is common to wonder “who is liable for drug side effects?” Pharmaceutical companies are among the list of potential at-fault parties.
Pharmaceutical companies are the big players when it comes to medications and prescription drugs. These companies are in charge of researching, manufacturing, distributing, and marketing drugs.
Along with pharmaceutical companies, other parties may be liable for your harm, including:
- Doctors: Doctors may be liable if they prescribe the wrong medication, ignore drug interactions, or fail to warn patients of potential side effects.
- Pharmacists/pharmacies: Pharmacists or pharmacies may be liable if they fail to notice harmful drug interactions or don’t provide critical information.
- Hospitals or healthcare centers: Hospitals or other medical facilities may be at fault if they administer the wrong drugs or inappropriate doses.
- Drug labs: Drugs are typically tested in labs to ensure they’re safe for consumption, but labs may be liable if they approve a defective medication.
An attorney can conduct a thorough investigation to get to the bottom of who is responsible for your harm. It can be challenging, and multiple parties may share the blame, but you can trust our lawyers to figure out who is liable for financial recovery.
Many personal injury claims are formed based on negligence. Negligence refers to the failure to act in a manner that a similarly situated party would have acted. While proving the liable party was negligent can certainly help your case, it is not a requirement, as drug side effect cases are classified as product liability claims.
In a product liability lawsuit, you’ll need to prove three things: the drug was defective, you suffered an injury, and the harm you suffered was a result of the defective drug. You may also need to show you were taking the drug as intended and were not warned of any potential dangers.
The Drug was Defective
First, you’ll need to prove the drug was defective in some way. You’ll need to establish that the drug was manufactured defectively, that there were inadequate warnings, or that the design was defective. This is the basis of your claim, as described above. How easy or difficult this element is to prove depends on your specific case and the type of defect.
You Suffered an Injury
You must prove you actually suffered harm. Doing so is commonly accomplished by providing relevant evidence, including:
- Medical records
- Doctor’s notes
- Medical bills.
Your drug injury lawyer may also utilize testimony from experts, including physicians or healthcare providers that could provide more insight into your injuries.
The Drug Defect Caused Your Injury
Not only do you need to prove you’ve suffered an injury, but you’ll also need to link your injury with the defective product.
Just because you’ve suffered an injury or medical condition, this does not automatically mean it has anything to do with a drug you’ve consumed. If your health issues do not have any correlation to a drug you’ve taken, it would be unfair to make any party pay.
We will take all of the necessary steps to show the relationship between your harm and the medication.
List of Potentially Dangerous Drugs
The following drugs have been linked with negative side effects:
These drugs are only a few of the numerous drugs that have caused patients harm. If you believe a drug you’re taking is causing unwanted or risky side effects, you can start by researching the medication and finding out more information. Then, consult with a drug injury lawyer at Wapner Newman to discuss legal options.
Do I Have a Drug Side Effect Claim?
It’s important to note that just because you experience a listed side effect, this doesn’t mean you have a legal claim. Determining whether you have a drug side effect claim often requires an investigation to establish certain details, including:
- Whether the drug is defective
- What type of defect is associated with your case
- The relationship between your medical issues and the drug
- Who could be liable for your harm.
If you think you’re suffering negative side effects from a medication you’re taking, do not hesitate to speak with a drug injury lawyer at Wapner Newman. An experienced attorney can provide answers to your concerns, give you sound legal advice, and determine whether you have a viable drug injury claim.
Time Constraints on Drug Side Effect Claims
Statutes of limitations are laws imposing time restrictions on filing lawsuits. In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations for defective product claims is two years from the date of the injury from the drug.
It can be difficult to know when the injury began; therefore, the law also provides a discovery rule. Under this rule, the time clock does not begin until the victim discovers, or should have discovered, that the drug caused them harm.
Discuss Your Case with a Drug Injury Lawyer
Since 1978, Wapner Newman has been providing injured victims with the legal assistance they need. Our legal team is dedicated to helping clients obtain the recovery they need and deserve. Our passion and successful outcomes have earned us the respect of our past clients and the legal community.
Contact us today at (215) 569-0900 to schedule a free initial consultation.