Albuquerque Pharmaceutical Malpractice Attorney
Pharmaceutical malpractice is a special type of medical malpractice that deals with the prescribing or administering of prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Medical malpractice can occur at any stage of the health care process, from the initial creation of a drug to the pharmacy that gives it to the patient. If you believe you or a loved one is the victim of pharmaceutical malpractice, contact an Albuquerque pharmaceutical malpractice attorney at The Fine Law Firm for a free consultation.
Why Choose Us as Your Attorneys?
- Our medical malpractice lawyers have years of experience representing clients throughout New Mexico.
- We will provide personal attention to your case at every stage.
- We have the case results to prove our commitment to success.
- You will be represented by a nationally recognized and locally respected law firm.
- We offer reasonable fees; we take pharmaceutical malpractice cases on a contingency fee basis.
Why You Need a Lawyer in Albuquerque
Pharmaceutical malpractice is a nuanced and highly complex area of civil law. Without assistance from an attorney, you may struggle to navigate the rules and requirements behind this type of lawsuit. You may also be exposed to insurance company bad faith, or an insurance company taking advantage of you to protect its own profits. With a lawyer by your side, you can rest and relax while an experienced professional handles the legal legwork of your case and negotiates with an insurance company for you. A lawyer can handle important tasks for you, such as:
- Conducting an investigation of your pharmaceutical malpractice case.
- Identifying all defendants and possible sources of compensation.
- Interviewing eyewitnesses and hiring subject-matter experts.
- Drafting motions and completing complicated legal paperwork.
- Answering any questions and concerns you may have during your case.
- Developing a legal strategy based on your unique needs and goals.
- Using proven negotiation tactics to achieve the best possible outcome for your case.
A hospital or big pharmaceutical company is a powerful adversary that is prepared to fight your case and deny liability. The defendant may have an aggressive legal team defending it from lawsuits, as well as an insurance company that will want to take advantage of you to save money. Protect yourself by hiring a skilled and reputable attorney to represent you. Your lawyer’s ability to go to trial can result in greater settlement offers.
What Is Pharmaceutical Malpractice? What Are Common Examples?
Medical malpractice is when a health care professional does not provide proper treatment to a patient according to the medical industry standards of care. Pharmaceutical malpractice specifically refers to the failure to meet the standards of care for drugs and medications. Pharmaceutical malpractice can be committed by a doctor who prescribes a drug, a nurse or pharmacy that administers a drug, or a manufacturer that makes a drug.
Examples of pharmaceutical malpractice are:
- A doctor improperly prescribing drugs to patients
- A pharmacy or nurse mixing up patients
- Incorrectly filled prescriptions
- Mixing up prescriptions with similar names
- Misreading a doctor’s prescription
- Administering the wrong medication or dosage
- Improperly labeling pharmaceutical drugs
- Failing to advise patients on how to take the drug
- A pharmaceutical company releasing a defective drug
- A pharmaceutical company failing to warn consumers of known drug risks
Pharmaceutical malpractice can have life-changing implications for a patient. A drug mix-up, for example, could lead to dangerous drug interactions based on the patient’s other prescriptions, life-threatening side effects and/or the failure to receive the proper medication to treat a medical condition. When a patient is adversely affected by a pharmaceutical error, he or she can file a civil lawsuit in New Mexico to demand financial compensation for related losses.
Who Is Liable for Pharmaceutical Malpractice?
The party that you can hold liable, or legally and financially responsible, for a pharmaceutical error depends on the circumstances of the case. An investigation will determine the source of the issue by tracing your injury or a loved one’s death to its main cause. This will determine the defendant(s). The party or parties that you can hold liable for pharmaceutical malpractice will be those that failed to fulfill their obligation or promises to the victim. This could be:
- The drug manufacturer. If the problem stems from an issue with the drug itself, such as a dangerous drug or defective marketing, the pharmaceutical manufacturing company can be held accountable.
- A doctor or health care provider. Physicians have a responsibility to prescribe the correct medications and dosages to patients based on a careful overview of their medical history and condition, just as nurses have an obligation to correctly administer drugs to patients. Breaching these duties can make a provider liable.
- The pharmacy. If a pharmacist dispenses the incorrect drug or mixes up prescriptions, the pharmacy can be held responsible for the misfill. The same is true if the pharmacy provides incorrect directions on the prescription container.
There are many parties involved in the dispensing of medications to patients in Albuquerque. Pharmaceutical malpractice can result in a lawsuit against any of these parties or others for failing to keep a patient reasonably safe. An attorney can help you trace your injury or loss back to the source and name all possible defendants in your lawsuit.
How Do You Prove Pharmaceutical Malpractice?
In the civil justice system, it is the responsibility of the filing party (plaintiff) to prove his or her case. The burden of proof is a preponderance of the evidence: enough clear evidence to convince a judge or jury that what is being claimed is more likely to be true than not true. Proving pharmaceutical malpractice requires evidence of four main elements, in most cases:
- The allegedly at-fault party (defendant) had a duty of care to the plaintiff (a responsibility to act in a reasonable manner).
- The defendant breached or failed to fulfill the duty of care.
- The defendant’s breach is what caused the injury or harm in question.
- The plaintiff suffered compensable damages as a result.
Evidence of pharmaceutical malpractice may be found in the patient’s medical records, testimony from qualified medical experts, eyewitness statements, scientific research on the dangers of a drug, and more. An attorney can help you collect evidence of fault in a pharmaceutical malpractice case.
Defective and Dangerous Pharmaceutical Drugs
Some pharmaceutical cases involve defective and dangerous drugs rather than mistakes made by medical professionals. These cases take the form of product liability lawsuits. A product liability lawsuit seeks financial compensation from a drug manufacturer or distributor for releasing a product that is unreasonably dangerous for consumers. A prescription or over-the-counter drug that has any defect, no matter how minor, has the potential to be deadly. The three main types of drug defects are:
- Manufacturing mistakes. A drug defect due to mistakes or problems with the product during its manufacture, such as two ingredients getting mixed up or a batch of medication being contaminated with something else.
- Design flaws. An issue with how the drug has been designed that makes it dangerous for patients, such as ingredients that have been known to cause severe side effects or a drug that expires more quickly when exposed to heat (e.g., the Zantac recall involving a cancer-causing chemical known as NDMA).
- Marketing errors. Marketing is critical when it comes to pharmaceuticals. Negligence in how a drug is packaged, labeled or advertised can mislead patients and cause immense harm. Common examples are companies failing to list known potential side effects or the failure to warn consumers of possible drug risks.
Examples of dangerous drugs that have been recalled in the past are Vioxx, Accutane, Raptiva, Darvocet and Valsartan. A patient who relies on medication can suffer in many ways due to a drug defect. You may have an adverse interaction with another drug you are taking, fail to receive the medication that you need to treat a medical condition, overdose or have negative side effects without any warning. A product liability lawsuit can hold the drug manufacturer responsible and pay for your various losses.
Proving a Product Liability Case in New Mexico for a Dangerous Drug
A product liability lawsuit has different elements of proof than a negligence claim. Most of these cases use the doctrine of strict product liability, where a pharmaceutical manufacturer or distributor can be held financially responsible for a consumer’s injury or death without proof of negligence. The two main elements are that the drug contained a dangerous defect and that it caused the injury or harm in question.
If you have a strict product liability claim in New Mexico, you or your lawyer will need to submit evidence demonstrating that the drug contained a design, manufacturing or marketing defect, and that the drug is the proximate (main) cause of your injuries or a loved one’s death. You will not need to prove that the manufacturing company was careless or reckless in creating a drug to be eligible for financial compensation.
If you cannot base your case on the doctrine of strict liability, you may still have grounds for a lawsuit using negligence or a breach of warranty. A breach of warranty means that a manufacturing company has fallen short of what it promised its consumers, such as an assurance that a drug has been tested for safety and does what it says it will. A lawyer from The Fine Law Firm can review your case at no cost to determine if you have grounds for a lawsuit based on one or more legal doctrines.
Opioids and Pharmaceutical Malpractice
Over the last decade, the number of opioid overdoses and deaths has become staggering. Opioids are a group of pain-relieving drugs that can be made from the poppy plant. Opioids refer to both legal drugs, such as prescription painkillers, as well as illicit opioids, such as heroin. Many researchers attribute the increase in opioid addiction to the lax way in which doctors prescribe prescription painkillers to patients. One study found that 75 percent of subjects who were addicted to heroin reported that their first opioid was a prescription drug.
One of the most popular prescription opioids is OxyContin. Since it was approved by the FDA in 1996, this drug has generated an estimated $35 billion in revenue for its manufacturer, Purdue Pharma. It is advertised and marketed as nonaddictive, despite evidence proving the contrary. It is in fact known to be an addictive opiate, often resulting in drug dependence and addiction in patients – a substance abuse disorder that can result in the patient seeking a replacement in the form of heroin after the prescription ends.
If you or a loved one developed an opioid addiction after being prescribed OxyContin or another type of opioid, you may have the right to file a medical malpractice lawsuit for the losses you suffered as a result, such as brain injuries, organ damage or a family member’s overdose death. The manufacturing company may be held responsible for failing to properly warn consumers or market an unsafe drug – or your doctor may be liable for failing to act responsibly toward you as a patient when prescribing the medication.
What to Expect From the Legal Team at The Fine Law Firm
The Fine Law Firm has been recognized for its excellence by various legal organizations, including Martindale Hubbell and SuperLawyers. We are reputable personal injury lawyers in New Mexico with decades of experience specifically in medical malpractice law and pharmaceutical malpractice. We have a track record of success, with millions of dollars won on behalf of our clients. This includes a $2.2 million verdict for a prenatal malpractice case and a $1.2 million settlement for pharmaceutical malpractice.
Our lawyers don’t stop at the settlement stage if we believe a case is worth more than what an insurance company is offering. We are trial lawyers who are fully prepared to take your pharmaceutical malpractice case to court, if necessary. We will fight for maximum compensation for all of your past and future losses, including medical bills, lost wages, inconvenience, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and lost quality of life. What drives us more than recognition and dollar amounts, however, is the desire to help people.
We develop close relationships with each client, always treating them with the respect and care that they deserve. Our goal is to offer a level of legal representation and customer service that is unmatched in New Mexico. We will be there for you and your family through every step of the legal process, answering all of your questions and guiding you toward your case goals. We understand the trauma that you’ve been through as a victim of pharmaceutical malpractice. Let us help you rebuild your life.
Contact an Albuquerque Pharmaceutical Malpractice Attorney | Free Consultations
If you believe you or a loved one is the victim of pharmaceutical malpractice, bring your lawsuit with assistance from an experienced attorney. Contact The Fine Law Firm to start your case with a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our pharmaceutical malpractice attorneys in Albuquerque. We will listen to your story, provide legal advice and make sure that your family has everything it needs throughout the legal process. Call (505) 889-3463 or contact us online today.