When you have suffered serious or life-threatening injuries related to prescription medication, you may have the right to pursue a pharmacist malpractice claim. Pharmacists can be held liable if it can be demonstrated they acted in a careless or reckless manner.
Pharmacist's Duty of Care to a Patient
When a doctor treats a patient, they form a doctor/patient relationship. This means the doctor owes a duty of care to the patient. The same is true when a pharmacist fills your prescription.
There is an establishment of relationship (pharmacist and patient); therefore, the pharmacist owes a duty of care to you. This means you should expect the pharmacist to fill your prescription medication safely and correctly. If errors are made that cause you harm, you should speak with a medical malpractice lawyer.
This is the case whether your pharmacist works inside a hospital, such as Clinic Pharmacy, a chain such as CVS Pharmacy, or any other medical facility setting. Pharmacists have a legal obligation to take care of your prescription medication correctly.
Pharmacist Malpractice: When Duty of Care to a Patient Is Breached
A pharmacist malpractice claim may arise when the duty of care owed to a patient is breached. This doesn’t mean that a deliberate act must take place in order to hold the pharmacist liable. Even an unintentional mistake with your prescription could qualify as a breach in the duty of care. A medical malpractice lawyer can explain this in further detail.
Mistakes on behalf of a pharmacist can occur in many forms, including:
- incorrectly compounding the prescription;
- giving a patient someone else’s prescription;
- giving incomplete or incorrect instructions with the drug;
- giving the wrong prescription (due to a mix-up with the doctor or a drug that has a similar-sounding or -looking name);
- prescribing the wrong dosage; and
- misreading the doctor's handwriting.
These types of mistakes are generally obvious and may be easier to prove in a claim. However you will still need experienced legal counsel working on your side.
Damages Resulting from a Pharmacist Malpractice Claim
If you were given the wrong medication or were in any other way the victim of a mistake on behalf of a pharmacist, it doesn’t mean you are automatically entitled to pursue a claim. You must have sustained damages that are serious enough to warrant the time and cost involved in a pharmacist malpractice case.
Injuries that are severe, life-threatening or fatal could lead to expensive medical bills. Brain damage, organ failure and bleeding are some examples. You may be facing additional medical treatment in the future, depending on the nature of your injuries. Circumstances such as this may lead to the filing of a claim.
Compensation could be available that address not only your medical expenses but other damages such as lost income, pain and suffering, mental anguish, reduced quality of life, wrongful death, and more. To learn what you may be entitled to recover, you should speak immediately with a medical malpractice lawyerFrom the author: Mike Becker is a Medical Malpractice Attorney Practicing in Ohio