Irresponsible pharmaceutical companies sell dangerous drugs every day that can lead to injury or illness. Sometimes, illnesses aren’t apparent until well after the product appears on the market.
Other times, the pharmaceutical manufacturers knew their drug was dangerous all along. Consumers have the right to pursue compensation from those pharmaceutical companies and hold them accountable for their careless actions.
If you’ve experienced serious adverse side effects from a medication you’re taking, you may be owed compensation. Call DeMayo Law Offices for a free consultation to discuss whether you can begin a dangerous drug claim.
Medications are supposed to help you relieve your pain, cure your symptoms, and keep you healthy. It’s easy to trust that the drug you’re taking won’t cause you any harm.
When you end up suffering because there’s a defect or the drug company didn’t provide adequate warning labels, that’s a form of negligence. Call (704) 291-9200 to speak with one of our Monroe, NC dangerous drug lawyers, and get assistance with your case.
Proving the Medication Caused Unusual Side Effects
Warning labels let you know what to expect when you take certain medications. There are side effects that are normal and won’t lead to any medical problems. Unfortunately, sometimes there are unexpected symptoms that can cause serious issues. If the manufacturer didn’t include warnings about those symptoms, you might be able to file a lawsuit against them.
In order to win financial damages from the pharmaceutical company, you must prove that their drug caused your health issue. If you have a prior injury or preexisting medical condition that could result in the symptoms you report, you might have trouble proving their link to the medication.
Relevant evidence your attorney can help you collect to show that you took the medication regularly and subsequently developed complications include:
- Medical records and bills
- Physician affidavits
- Empty medicine bottles
- Eyewitness accounts that you took the drug
Determining Liability in a Dangerous Drug Lawsuit
For negligence-based dangerous drug claims, you’ll need to prove certain elements to hold the pharmaceutical company liable.
- Duty: The drug company owed you a duty of care to reasonably prevent harm;
- Breach of duty: They breached that duty;
- Causation: The company’s breach directly caused your injury; and
- Damages: You incurred damages as a result of your injury.
If you and a lawyer can demonstrate these elements, you can demand that the responsible manufacturer pay you fair compensation for the damages they caused.
Common Causes of Dangerous Drug Liability
Most dangerous drugs fall into one of a few categories. At DeMayo Law Offices, our attorneys can demonstrate liability for any of the below kinds of negligence.
When the manufacturer is producing or packaging the drug, they can introduce contamination or another defect that injures the drug’s users.
This is a defect in the actual design of the drug. There are many kinds of design defects, including:
- Errors with the drug’s performance or safety
- The drug entering the marketplace without adherence to government standards
- Risk to users despite correct use
Failure to Warn
Properly manufactured and designed drugs can still contain hazards even if the consumer uses them exactly as they should. If the manufacturer provides an adequate warning label that lists all the potential risks, they’re doing their job and can continue to sell their medication to the public. However, if someone experiences unexpected side effects they can’t find on the label, they could be held liable for their failure to warn.
What’s Considered a Dangerous Drug?
Some documented dangerous drugs include:
- Darvon and Darvocet
- Low testosterone medications
- Zoloft, Lexapro, Celexa
- Viagra, Cialis, Levitra
- Ortho Evra
The Damages You Can Seek in a Dangerous Drug Lawsuit
If you file a lawsuit or claim against a pharmaceutical company, you can seek different types of economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are expenses, while non-economic damages are losses you can’t quantify.
Economic damages include:
- Medical treatment
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Out of pocket expenses
Non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship, affection, or household services
- Permanent disability or impairment
- Emotional or psychological distress
- Permanent disfigurement
For some egregious acts of negligence, punitive damages are also available. They’re not a form of reimbursement for expenses, but instead punishment to the defendant for their behavior that led to the victim’s injury.
How Much Money Do I Deserve?
Since non-economic damages are difficult to calculate, and every case is unique, no one can tell you how much your dangerous drug case may be worth without reviewing the facts. An attorney can review the economic damages you incurred and other factors. Those factors might include:
- The severity of the injury. A traumatic brain injury could result in higher compensation, while a sprained ankle could lead to low compensation.
- The impact of the injury on your life, such as how it affects your job, hobbies, and daily tasks
- Amount of time you couldn’t earn a living because of the injury
- Statements from those who witnessed the effect of your injury on your life
- Type of doctors who treated you. M.D. providers like neurologists indicate a more severe injury, while treatment with a physician’s assistant might signify a minor issue.
- Duration of medical treatment necessary to recover or reach MMI (maximum medical improvement)
- If the injury or illness results in a permanent impairment, disfigurement, or disability
Statute of Limitations to Follow in North Carolina
North Carolina has statutes of limitations for dangerous drug lawsuits. If you want to pursue financial damages from the manufacturer for your illness or injury, you must comply with a three-year statute. That means you’ll have three years from the date you noticed adverse effects to sue the drug company. After three years pass, you could lose your right to pursue a lawsuit.
There is an exception known as the discovery rule. That dictates when the “clock” begins. Medical issues resulting from dangerous drugs can take years to develop and show side effects well past the statute of limitations. You can use the discovery rule to start the clock on the date you first notice you have a medical condition caused by the drug. The lawyers at DeMayo Law Offices can discuss whether you meet this discovery rule exception.
Options for a Wrongful Death Claim
If your loved one died due to the effects of a dangerous drug, you have the right to compensation. An attorney can help you file a wrongful death claim or lawsuit. There are only a few people who can pursue damages on behalf of their deceased relative. They include:
- Surviving spouses
- Surviving children
- Surviving parents
- The personal representative of the estate
The damages available for wrongful death include:
- Medical costs associated with the fatal injury
- Pain and suffering the victim experienced before passing away
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Lost wages from the date the symptoms began until death
- Loss of the deceased’s companionship, care, household services, or assistance
If I Can’t Afford a Lawyer, Can I File a Lawsuit Myself?
Yes, but it’s not a good idea. It’s possible to handle your own dangerous drug case, but you’ll stand a much better chance with legal representation. Some people who think they can’t afford a lawyer try to move forward with their case alone. That’s a mistake that could cause problems down the road. If you’re unfamiliar with North Carolina’s strict deadlines and how to locate crucial evidence, you risk getting your case dismissed.
DeMayo Law Offices works on contingency, which means you pay nothing to us to take your case. We’ll begin work on your case and fight for the compensation you deserve without you paying anything. In fact, we don’t get paid unless your case is successfully resolved.
We also provide free consultations. We understand the financial burden you face because of the injury you sustained. We don’t want to add any stress to your life, so you can meet with us for free to discuss your case and decide if you want to move forward with our assistance.
Contact Our Monroe, NC Dangerous Drug Lawyers
At DeMayo Law Offices, we built a reputation by providing our clients with dependable, affordable legal services. When you hire our Monroe injury law firm, we’ll treat you like family. We believe in maintaining open, honest, and compassionate communication at all times, so you’ll know what’s happening in your case.
A peer review system, Martindale-Hubbell, gave us an AV Preeminent rating, which is the highest rating provided. It recognizes the dedication and positive results of law firms throughout the country. We always fight hard for our clients and seek the maximum compensation they deserve in their lawsuit or insurance claim.
If you took medication regularly and suffered an injury or illness as a result, call DeMayo Law Offices at (704) 291-9200 today. You can speak with one of our Monroe, NC dangerous drug lawyers and schedule a free consultation. We’ll start working on your case immediately and help you seek full, fair compensation.
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