Errors by doctors or other medical professionals can be devastating to a patient’s health and may even be fatal. While some cases of medical malpractice, such as operating on the wrong person, may seem clear, others, such as those involving addiction to a drug, may be more complex.
What is Medical Malpractice?
According to medical malpractice lawyers, just because you went to the doctor and your health got worse, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your case qualifies as medical malpractice. Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional makes an error due to negligence that results in harm to a patient. This means that not every mistake by a medical professional is necessarily medical malpractice.
For example, certain illnesses are difficult to diagnose and may only be pinpointed through a process of elimination. Therefore, if a doctor does not immediately diagnose those of illnesses, it may not be considered medical malpractice because the patient still received a reasonable standard of care.
What About Pain Pills?
When it comes to an addiction to pain pills, a court would probably look at two issues. One would be the situation in which the person was originally prescribed the pills and the other would be how the patient continued to obtain the pills.
For example, in one scenario, a patient might have a serious car accident. The doctor might prescribe a short course of pain medication to deal with the immediate aftermath of the accident. The doctor would also warn the patient of the addictive qualities of the medication and explain that there would not be a refill given for that reason. The patient might then continue getting more pain pills by going around to different doctors to get prescriptions and have them filled. In that case, the doctor who originally prescribed the pain pills would probably not be considered liable because the pain pills were responsibly prescribed.
However, in another situation, a person may have only minor injuries. The doctor might prescribe pain pills that are far too strong and might not warn the patient about the addictive quality of the pills. The doctor might then continue prescribing the pills as the patient requests them with very little examination or oversight. In a case like this, a court might decide that the doctor was negligent. The court might decide that medical malpractice has occurred if the doctor only initially prescribed the pills inappropriately and without sufficient warning even if patient had to go elsewhere for refills.
Addiction to pain pills can be devastating for patients and their families. A successful medical malpractice lawsuit may mean compensation that helps patients rebuild their lives.
If you or someone you know has an addiction to prescription medicine, don’t hesitate to contact ARCA!