Can I File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit if I Was Injured By a Prescription Error?

Posted on behalf of Peter T. Nicholl in Medical Malpractice Published on March 14, 2024 and updated on March 26, 2024.

pill bottle on tableMany medical problems are treated with medications. However, while medicine can have many benefits, there is also potential for dangerous side effects, especially when there is a prescription error.

There are supposed to be safeguards to prevent prescription errors, but sometimes medical professionals skip steps and patients suffer the consequences.

If you suffered an injury from a prescription error that you think could have been prevented, call The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl today to discuss possible legal options. There are no upfront fees, and our firm has secured millions in these types of cases.

Unsure if you have a viable case? Call our firm today: 410-297-0271.

What is a Prescription Error?

Prescription errors are preventable errors that occur when a medication is prescribed to a patient. These errors could involve:

  • Product labels
  • Communication about an order
  • Transcribing an order
  • Dispensing of a medication
  • Packaging of a drug

What are Some Common Examples of Prescription Errors?

When people talk about prescription errors, they are generally referring to one of the following issues:

  • Prescribing the wrong medication – This could have fatal consequences. For example, the patient could go into anaphylactic shock. The prescription could cause harmful interactions with other drugs the patient is taking, including over-the-counter medications. Doctors may prescribe the wrong medication because they failed to take a complete medical history. They may have failed to ask about allergies to medications.
  • Prescribing an incorrect dosage – If the dosage is too low or infrequent, the medication may be ineffective. This could allow a patient’s condition to worsen and become more difficult to treat. Too much medication is also dangerous, as the patient could overdose.
  • Misreading a handwritten prescription – Doctors are notorious for bad handwriting. Pharmacists could misread a prescription and give a patient the wrong medication. Pharmacists could also misread the dosage.
  • Giving a patient the wrong medication – Sometimes a medication is given to the wrong patient. Nurses could mix up medications or misread a prescription order. There should be procedures to prevent this from happening. For example, doctors and nurses should review medication instructions multiple times.
  • Prescribing a medication that causes dangerous side effects – One of the dangers of prescribing any new medication is that it could have a harmful interaction with another drug the patient is taking. That is why doctors and nurses often ask patients about allergies to medication multiple times during an appointment or prior to surgery. Doctors need to obtain a complete medical history to avoid harmful drug interactions.  
  • Failing to warn patients about medication risks and side effects – Prescription packaging and labeling often warns about potential side effects. For example, some pill bottles warn patients to avoid driving or operating heavy machinery until they know how the medication affects them. However, sometimes doctors have an obligation to warn patients about potentially dangerous side effects. For example, if certain side effects spring up, patients may need medical attention right away.
  • Failing to provide appropriate instructions on taking a medication – For example, some medications should only be taken with food. Sometimes patients do not have proper instructions because of a labeling issue. However, there are other times when doctors or pharmacists have a responsibility to provide the appropriate instructions.

If you suffered an injury because of any of these errors, you may be able to file a Maryland medical malpractice claim to seek compensation for damages. The experienced Maryland medical malpractice attorneys at The Law Offices of Peter T. Nicholl are here to help and there are no upfront costs with our services.

Injuries You Could Suffer Because of a Prescription Error

Prescription errors are extremely dangerous because they could result in life-threatening injuries. For example, if you go into anaphylactic shock, you could suffer a fatal injury if you do not receive treatment quickly.

Other injuries from prescription errors include:

  • Heart attack
  • Blood clots
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Seizures
  • Stroke
  • Spike in blood pressure
  • Severe drop in blood pressure
  • Failure of one of your organs, like the liver or kidneys

Even if you receive life-saving medical treatment, these injuries could cause long-term medical issues. For example, a stroke could cause some level of paralysis. You may also need an organ transplant, which is a risky medical procedure.

When Does a Prescription Error Become Medical Malpractice?

If you were injured because of a preventable medication error, you may be able to file a Maryland medical malpractice lawsuit. However, this is something you should discuss with an experienced lawyer, as medical malpractice cases are incredibly complex. It is best to contact a lawyer sooner rather than later, as these cases take time to investigate.

There are many factors to consider in a prescription error case. For example, who could be held liable for a prescription error?

While doctors are often held responsible for prescription errors, other parties may bear responsibility, including:

  • Nurses
  • Pharmacists
  • Pharmacy technicians
  • Medical technicians
  • Medical assistants
  • Drug manufacturers

Your lawyer must also consider whether the error that caused your injury violated the standard of care. In Maryland, courts must determine if the medical professional performed as other similarly situated medical professional would have. This is a complex task that requires detailed analysis from a medical expert. If it was reasonable to expect the error not to occur, there may be grounds for a lawsuit.

Another task that requires an expert is showing how the prescription error caused your injury and the resulting damages. You can be sure the at-fault party and their medical malpractice insurer will argue your injuries resulted from something else.

Are You a Victim of a Prescription Error? Call For Legal Assistance

Our firm has extensive knowledge of Maryland laws on medical malpractice cases. We also have the resources and access to experts to help build strong cases for those who were injured by medical malpractice.

If you have questions about your legal options, an initial legal consultation is free and there is no obligation to hire our firm. We can explain your rights and how we can help you with the legal process.

No upfront fees. Millions recovered. Contact us today at: 410-297-0271.