A drug injury case is the result of a drug or device used in someone’s medical treatment that ends up causing injury or death. Even though we trust our healthcare providers and drug manufacturers with our health and safety, sometimes the worst happens. We take a drug or use a medical device that is defective, poorly-labeled, or inadequately tested and end up living with the consequences.
While it might seem like a straightforward case, drug injury cases can be complicated. There are a lot of people and organizations involved in the medical treatment process: A drug goes through a manufacturer, an approval process, and a marketing process before it even gets to the healthcare provider that prescribes it and the pharmacy that dispenses it. It can be very hard to tell where liability lies in these cases, and this can be the difference between a drug injury case and a medical malpractice one.
Differences Between Medical Malpractice, Product Liability, and Drug Injury Cases
A medical malpractice or negligence case has an element of human error. If a healthcare professional at any level fails to follow standard protocol or makes a serious mistake, he or she can be held responsible for whatever injuries happen to a patient. If, for instance, your doctor prescribed a medication without warning you about its known risks or side effects, it’s possible that you would have a medical malpractice case rather than a drug injury.
A drug injury case, on the other hand, is something that attorneys call a product liability case. This simply means that the product itself–not the humans using or prescribing it–would be the subject of the lawsuit. Any product that is made and sold to consumers has guidelines it has to stay within in order to be considered safe. If these guidelines aren’t met and someone gets hurt or killed, this could mean a product liability case.
In product liability cases, the entity you sue depends on the exact nature of the incident. Designers, manufacturers, and even marketing professionals can be held responsible for a drug injury depending on how the medical device or drug caused harm. If the mistake can be traced back to something that happened before your doctor recommended the treatment and you can prove your doctor wasn’t to blame, the odds are fairly good that you have a product liability—and therefore a drug injury—case on your hands.