Trusted Las Vegas Dangerous Drug Team
Nearly every American has experience with pharmaceuticals, such as over-the-counter medications, prescription drugs, herbal supplements, vitamins, etc. Many individuals rely on medications daily to treat medical conditions and to keep their health on track. But are they aware that some of these drugs can be harmful? If you or a loved one was affected by a dangerous pharmaceutical drug, speak with a Las Vegas, NV dangerous drug lawyer from our office at Eglet Adams today.
Although the manufacturing and marketing of prescription drugs and other products are regulated, there are still some on the market that cause more harm than good. Sadly, the injuries caused by these drugs and products can be permanent, if not life-threatening. Suffering an injury as a result of faulty drugs and products should never happen—but it does.
At Eglet Adams, our Las Vegas, NV dangerous drug lawyers work hard to make sure our clients are treated fairly when they’ve been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence.
What are Dangerous Pharmaceutical Drugs?
Some individuals are wary of medications and worry about their long-term effects, and for good reason. Pharmaceutical companies are for-profit entities that may rush a product onto the market before understanding the full scope of its effects in the short and long term. If you’ve ever seen a commercial for a medication, you surely have heard the long list of potential side effects often ranging from something as innocent as a headache to very severe and concerning symptoms such as stroke or internal bleeding. When an unsafe drug goes to market and results in harm, the manufacturer should be held liable. Individuals who are adversely affected by a drug can file a lawsuit with a dangerous drugs lawyer in Las Vegas, NV.
Before a drug is released to consumers, a lot of testing goes into its development. That testing includes “clinical trials,” in which volunteers take the drug and are closely monitored by researchers to check if there are any adverse effects. Manufacturers are required to list a description of any side effects they discover and their frequency on the label of the medication. This informs consumers and their doctors of what can happen when someone takes the drug. This is especially important for individuals who have another condition that may be affected if they take certain medications. For example, a medication that increases the risk of heart attack is not a good choice for someone who already has heart disease.
Drug makers have also been known to promote a drug for a use other than its intended purpose that has been approved by the FDA. This is called “off-label” promotion and can be very dangerous when the drug isn’t tested or approved for the purpose for which it is being promoted. Pharmaceutical companies that violate these rules have paid billions of dollars in fines to the U.S. government.
Not only does the FDA regulate drugs on the market, but they are, technically, products. This means they are covered by product liability laws just like hoverboards and cooking utensils. When a drug manufacturer fails to disclose all potential side effects or doesn’t do adequate testing to determine the side effects, this negligence may result in serious harm coming to a consumer. If you have experienced side effects from any drugs prescribed to you, speak to a Las Vegas dangerous drugs lawyer to learn what your legal options are.
The Law Has You Covered
A drug is considered harmful when something has gone wrong in its design, manufacturing, or distribution. When a drug causes injury to a consumer, he or she has the right to pursue compensation from the responsible party under personal injury and product liability laws. Contact our dangerous drug lawyers at Eglet Adams law offices to learn how you can potentially get compensation.
Things to Consider Before Filing a Dangerous Drugs Lawsuit
If you were harmed by a dangerous drug or pharmaceutical product, you may be entitled to compensation. Lawsuits against large pharmaceutical manufacturers with deep pockets can be daunting, but the experienced attorneys at Eglet Adams Law will discuss your claim and walk you through each step of the process so you know what to expect.
Discovery and Medical History
Any legal action involving claims that a drug is dangerous will require the plaintiff(s) to provide information pertinent to the case, and that includes your medical records. Before any case goes to trial, both sides undertake a process called discovery, where both parties share the evidence supporting their position. Because the opposing side will be allowed to review your medical records, it is important to share your full medical history and supporting documents with your dangerous drugs lawyer in Las Vegas NV so there are no surprises that could impact the outcome of your case. Many claims are settled during or shortly after the discovery process and no trial is needed.
Individual Claims vs. Class Actions
The harm you have suffered because of a dangerous drug may not be unique to you. If others who were injured by the same drug have filed similar claims, your dangerous drugs lawyer in Las Vegas, NV, may recommend joining an existing class action lawsuit. This means that you would take part in a lawsuit filed on behalf of a group rather than arguing as an individual, giving the group of injured plaintiffs strength in numbers. This can help keep you from feeling overwhelmed and intimidated when you’re up against large corporations with seemingly unlimited resources. By presenting as a group, you and the other plaintiffs may be able to secure a larger settlement than you might receive if filing individually.
Product liability claims can be costly. The lawyers at Eglet Adams Law have experience in both lengthy courtroom battles as well as early settlements that free you from unexpected legal bills and considerable time commitments. As a trusted advisor, you can expect your attorney to develop a plan to secure the maximum amount of compensation needed to help rebuild your life after you’ve been harmed by a dangerous drug. Whether filing as an individual or as part of a class, your initial consultation is always confidential and free of charge, and you will not be responsible for legal fees if you do not recover damages.
Common Types of Dangerous Drug Claims
If you experienced adverse side effects after taking a certain drug, you may be eligible to receive compensation. A dangerous drugs lawyer in Las Vegas, NV may help you file a lawsuit against the negligent party. Here are some common types of dangerous drug claims.
- Defective design. Sometimes a drug can cause harm to consumers if there was an error in the design process. If this is the case, you may be eligible to file a defective design claim.
- Defective manufacturing. As the name suggests, this type of claim arises from defects in the drugs manufacturing process. For instance, a drug may have been contaminated with another substance on the assembly line.
- Failure to warn. Federal law requires drug manufacturers to list a drug’s potential side effects on the bottle. Doctors are also responsible for discussing drug side effects with patients before prescribing. If a patient was not made aware of potential side effects and develops serious reactions, a lawsuit can arise.
Liable Parties in Dangerous Drug Claims
One of the most important aspects of bringing a dangerous drug claim is determining who the liable parties are. There may be several different parties who are responsible for your injury. For example, if the wrong ingredient was placed in a pill during the manufacturing process, the drug company may be held liable. If your doctor prescribed a drug without first asking about the other medications you currently take, he or she may be responsible.
Other responsible parties may include medical facilities, pharmacists, sales representatives, and laboratories.
How to Know If You Have a Case
Before you can file a lawsuit for drug side effects, you must establish that you have a case. To do that, you must prove that you have suffered an injury; that the drug was dangerous because of improper design, manufacturing, or failure to warn; and that your injury resulted from the dangerous drug.
A dangerous drugs lawyer can assess your case and determine if you have a good shot at winning your lawsuit or not. Be prepared to answer several questions about your case, such as the type of medication you took and the side effects you experienced. If you have any documents pertaining to your case, do not forget to bring them with you to the consultation.
Substance Use Disorder
Battling a substance use disorder is an unnerving and frustrating experience, especially if your disorder started after a doctor negligently prescribed you an addictive substance. Suffering from a substance use disorder (also known as an “addiction”) may cause embarrassment, shame, self-defeatism, and self-isolation. But be easy on yourself. You are not the only one suffering through this disorder. In 2017 alone, almost 20 million Americans lived with a substance use disorder, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
What’s more, also in 2017, 1 in 8 adults reported suffering a drug and alcohol use disorder. That same year, more than 8 million Americans lived with both a substance use disorder and a mental health disorder. As you may gather, it’s common for people who have a substance use disorder to struggle with co-occurring disorders as well. Thus, it is imperative that any treating physician you see run accurate and timely urine and blood tests, conduct a thorough analysis of those tests, and consult with you about your family history and any past or current experiences you have with substance abuse or mental health disorder. Sadly, patients who suffer from mental health disorders are more prone to develop drug-dependency behaviors.
Your substance use disorder is not your fault, especially if your doctor failed to ask the right questions and prescribed a drug that is highly addictive or more likely to result in a dependency than other options. Most of all, keep in mind that it is a disorder–a chemical imbalance that you have very limited control over. No one, including your doctor, should expect you to stop cold-turkey or “get a handle on it” once it starts.
You should also consider whether your lawsuit will include a personal injury claim. To file a personal injury lawsuit, you bring an actionable theory of law. Your claim must prove that you’re entitled to legal redress. In a dangerous drugs case, you’ll sue under a theory of medical malpractice or product liability. Medical malpractice occurs when medical staff render aid that is below the standard in that field or outside that field’s protocol, fail to inspect your medical history, prescribe the wrong medication, or make a mistake during treatment. A product liability claim can be more complex.
A product liability claim looks at whether defective manufacturing, dangerous or undisclosed side effects, or inadequate marketing led to your injury. There are many class actions lawsuits against well-known opioid manufacturers and distributors. Initially, companies marketed opioids as essentially harmless drugs that would relieve pain more quickly and effectively than other prescriptions. These companies failed to disclose how highly addictive and potent these drugs are. Unfortunately, opioid companies have made billions from drugs that have caused hundreds of thousands of deaths to date and destroyed so many communities.
When filing a dangerous drugs case related to substance abuse disorder, you should consider:
- Whether the doctor knew you had a history of substance use disorder
- Whether the doctor knew you had a family history of addiction or substance use disorders
- Whether the doctor knew that an opioid prescription would conflict with your other medications
- Whether a safer alternative was available, and the doctor ignored it
- Whether the doctor gave you a higher dosage than was necessary
- Whether the doctor misinformed you about the potential side effects of the prescription
- Whether the doctor misrepresented the qualities of the prescription to you
Opioid Use Disorder
Opioid use disorder is a specific type of substance use disorder and is an unfortunately common consequence of pain prescriptions. In fact, 21% to 29% of patients to whom doctors prescribe opioid pain medications misuse them, and about 6% of these patients will later develop a heroin addiction as well. In 2019, more than 9 million Americans, including some as young as twelve, misused or overused opioid prescriptions. Despite this harsh reality, doctors continue to prescribe addictive pain medications, often without regard to the long-term effects this will have on the individual.
An opioid use disorder will upend your life, even if only momentarily. This dependency can put you at odds with your family, who may develop such a distrust for you that they stop inviting you to family functions or make degrading, berating comments. You may lose your job if your addiction prevents you from performing tasks to your previous ability. But in Nevada, your employer can’t legally fire you if you decide to check into rehab or seek counseling for your substance abuse disorder. Although you have a drug dependency, you still have rights.
This is why it’s so vital to your wellbeing, recovery, and lawsuit to speak with the best dangerous drug lawyer Las Vegas, NV, has to offer. Contact the Law Office of Eglet Adams today for a free and confidential initial consultation.