Many people rely on prescription medications to control medical conditions and live healthier lives. However, some medications pose a risk of serious side effects and drug injuries. When drug companies cut corners on testing or fail to provide adequate warnings of foreseeable side effects, consumers may suffer injury or fatal side effects from unsafe drugs.
According to the Food and Drug Administration’s Adverse Event Reporting System, there were more than 2.3 million reports of negative drug reactions nationwide in a recent year. This includes 1.3 million reports of serious reactions and nearly 200,000 fatal reactions.
If you have been injured by a defective drug or a drug side effect in South Carolina, contact the attorneys at Joye Law Firm. Our Summerville drug injury lawyers have more than 250 years of combined experience representing injured people in South Carolina. We’re known for helping our clients pursue significant compensation for their injuries while giving back to the communities we serve. We truly care about our clients, which is why we want to help if you have been injured.
Call 888-324-3100 or contact us online today for a free initial consultation.
What Is a Drug Injury?
Many prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications have side effects, some of which are more severe than others. A 2017 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that about a third of the drugs the FDA approved from 2001 to 2010 were involved in some kind of safety event. The majority of the problem drugs underwent testing in small drug trials involving 1,000 or fewer patients to gain FDA approval. When new drugs undergo limited testing and then are introduced to a wider patient population, side effects and safety issues may emerge.
Drug manufacturers should issue adequate warnings of any harmful side effects so doctors and patients can make informed decisions about whether to use a drug. Too often, pharmaceutical companies fail to disclose safety issues and, as a result, cause preventable injuries to patients.
The types of drug injuries that medications cause vary widely.
Some common drug injuries include the following:
- Blood clots
- Uncontrolled internal bleeding
- Heart attacks
- Birth defects
- Memory loss
- Depression or suicidal thoughts
Causes of Summerville Drug Injuries
Whether a drug is defective or has unidentified side effects, there are a few common causes of drug injuries. Our Summerville drug Injury attorneys have seen the following:
- Manufacturing errors and defects — Many modern drugs are made of multiple chemical components that must be mixed in precise combinations. If there is a mistake or contamination in the manufacturing process, the defective drug could seriously injure patients.
- Dangerous side effects — If a drug is not tested thoroughly before being put on the market, the full range of side effects may not be understood. For example, long-term side effects may not be evident in a short-term study involving a small number of patients.
- Deceptive marketing — After spending millions of dollars on developing a drug, pharmaceutical companies might fail to disclose or downplay the side effects of their drugs. Drug manufacturers have a legal duty to warn adequately of any known or foreseeable side effects.
- Pharmacist error — You trust that the pharmacist will fill the prescription correctly in the correct dosage. When a pharmacist fails to do this, a consumer may suffer dangerous side effects.
Types of Drugs That Can Cause Injuries to Patients
Some drugs that have been known to cause dangerous side effects in patients include, but are not limited to:
- Opioids — These painkillers can be highly addictive. It is also easy for patients to overdose on opioids because of their strength. They may lead to slowed breathing and heart rate.
- Acid reflux medications — Research has shown common acid reflux medications may increase patients’ chances of developing stomach, liver, or esophageal cancer.
- Blood thinners — Blood thinners have been known to cause severe bruising, excessive bleeding, strokes, heart attacks, and pulmonary embolisms.
- Chemotherapy drugs — While chemotherapy drugs can help cancer patients, they have been known to cause liver or kidney toxicity, lung disease, and baldness.
- Antibiotics — Certain antibiotics can cause tissue damage in the heart, increasing the risk of developing an aortic aneurysm or dissection.
- Statins — Statin medication is prescribed to reduce cholesterol. Prolonged use could produce side effects such as liver toxicity, muscle damage, memory loss, and loss of libido.
- Sedatives — Although effective at combating anxiety and insomnia, certain sedatives can cause memory loss, cognitive impairment, anxiety, and liver damage.
- Diabetes Drugs — These drugs have links to organ failure and conditions such as pancreatitis and bladder cancer.
- Beta-blockers — Potential side effects of beta-blockers include compromised cardiac function and elevated blood lipids.
Who Is Liable for Drug Injuries?
While every drug injury case is different, three specific parties are often responsible for avoidable drug injuries:
- Pharmaceutical companies — Some drug injuries result from the manufacturer’s decision to cut corners during the drug testing process. Sometimes, a manufacturer intentionally fails to disclose the potential side effects of using a drug. Drug manufacturers that fail to warn of known or foreseeable side effects should be held accountable when they produce dangerous drugs.
- Testing laboratory — If a drug testing lab failed to conduct proper testing of a drug or failed to disclose the test results showing harmful side effects, the testing laboratory may have financial liability for harm to consumers caused by an unsafe drug.
- Pharmacists — When a doctor prescribes a specific medication for a patient, it is usually up to a pharmacist to ensure the patient receives the right drug in the correct dosage and understands how to use it. If a patient receives the wrong medication or the wrong dosage as a result of a pharmacist’s error, the pharmacist may be liable for the drug injury.
Why File a Drug Injury Lawsuit in Summerville?
You might be unsure about filing a drug injury lawsuit. The cases can be complicated. A knowledgeable attorney at Joye Law firm can review the drug injury you have suffered and discuss whether filing a drug injury lawsuit is appropriate in your situation. A drug injury lawsuit can call attention to a public safety issue and prevent others from suffering harm.
Joye Law Firm handles drug injury cases on a contingency fee basis. We do not charge any legal fee for our legal services unless we secure compensation for you through an insurance settlement or jury award. If we are successful, we receive a percentage of the amount we obtain to cover our legal fees and expenses. In some circumstances, we may engage co-counsel attorneys to help investigate and strengthen your claim.
People pursue drug injury claims to:
- Recover compensation for the harm already suffered — Patients who are severely injured by a dangerous or defective drug often have to miss a lot of work and undergo additional medical treatment. They may have substantial medical bills through no fault of their own. If you suffered damages due to a defective drug, you may have the right to seek compensation for the harm you have suffered. This includes your pain and suffering and any emotional distress resulting from your injuries.
- Protect their financial future — Depending on what drug you took and the effects, your injuries may last a long time. You may need ongoing care for many years, which can drain your savings. A drug injury lawsuit can help you recover the money you need to cover the costs of your past and future medical care and keep you from being weighed down by medical debt.
- Hold drug companies or other negligent parties accountable — The chances are that if a drug has injured you, the dangerous drug has injured others as well. You can help hold drug companies responsible for their negligent actions by filing a defective drug lawsuit.
What Are Some Possible Damages in a Drug Injury Lawsuit?
Patients can suffer significant physical, financial, and emotional losses from dangerous or defective drugs. By filing a drug injury lawsuit, you may be able to recover compensation for the following types of losses and expenses:
- The cost of medical bills related to your drug injuries
- The cost of transportation to your appointments
- The cost of any future medical care you may need
- The value of lost wages if you have been unable to work
- Your reduced earning potential due to a long-term health condition
- The pain and suffering from your injuries
- Your emotional distress and lower quality of life
Need a Drug Injury Lawyer in Summerville, SC? Contact Us!
The Summerville defective drug attorneys at Joye Law Firm have the experience and resources to hold negligent drug manufacturers and other entities accountable when their products cause innocent people harm. You have a right to pursue compensation if you have suffered preventable side effects due to a pharmaceutical drug. We are ready to help you demand justice and fair compensation. Call us or reach out to our Summerville office online today for a free initial consultation.