When you take a prescribed or over-the-counter medicine, you hope it will relieve your symptoms or cure your illness. You are definitely not expecting it to make you feel worse or leave you with a debilitating health condition.
Yet, readily available medications that the government approved for sale could cause unexpected side effects that might cause you permanent harm. If this has happened to you, you need the assistance of a dedicated attorney. Consult a Kootenai County dangerous drugs lawyer for guidance about seeking compensation from the manufacturer of the product that caused your suffering.
Prescription and over-the-counter drugs require the approval of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before they may be sold legally in the US. The scrutiny the regulators apply is more intense in the case of prescription medications, but there is a regulatory process non-prescription drug manufacturers must engage in before offering their products on the market. The approval process for prescription drugs is arduous and can take several years.
Some people mistakenly believe that FDA approval means a drug must be safe, but that is not true. FDA approval means only that the harm a drug might do to some people is outweighed by the benefits it might offer. Furthermore, drug companies might limit or even mischaracterize the information they supply to the FDA to speed approval of their products.
Finally, even when it takes several years for a drug to gain approval, the information available about the drug’s long-term impact is probably sparse. Many drugs have been pulled from the market when information about their effects over time made it obvious the drugs were dangerous.
Like any other manufacturer, pharmaceutical companies must ensure their products are safe when used as directed. The drug’s label must warn of potential side effects and clearly state when its use is contraindicated. If a consumer could prove that the drug was defective in its design, manufacture, or label, they could hold the manufacturer strictly liable for injuries the consumer suffered due to taking the defective medication.
A knowledgeable attorney in Kootenai County could also bring a lawsuit against a drug manufacturer based on a theory of negligence. Proving a party negligent requires demonstrating that they did not use reasonable care to protect someone from foreseeable harm.
A pharmaceutical company might be negligent for failing to address clinical issues of concern that arose during the approval process or after the drug entered the market. A manufacturer also might be liable if it promoted the drug for a purpose different than the purpose the FDA approved.
When a manufacturer is found liable for the effects of a dangerous drug, they will be responsible for paying the damages of the injured consumer. An experienced Kootenai County attorney could advise someone harmed by a dangerous medicine about documenting their losses to prove their damages.
Economic damages are out-of-pocket expenses and losses with a clear dollar value, such as medical costs, lost income, and incidental expenses related to treatment and rehabilitation. Future medical expenses and diminished earning potential could also be included as part of an individual’s economic damages.
Non-economic damages do not have a fixed value because they compensate for the injury’s subjective effects. An award of non-economic damages might include compensation for emotional anguish, embarrassment, lost enjoyment of life, and physical pain. Idaho Code §6-1603 limits the non-economic damages an injured person could collect to $250,000 in most cases.
If a drug has caused you significant harm, you owe it to yourself to hold the responsible parties accountable. The manufacturers who profit from these products should be responsible for the losses you suffered because they sold you an unsafe medication.
A Kootenai County dangerous drugs lawyer could review your claim to determine whether there is legal cause to hold a manufacturer liable for your injuries. There is a limited time to act, so reach out today to schedule a consultation.
Owens, McCrea & Linscott, PLLC