The Importance of Legal Counsel in Cases of Dangerous or Defective Prescription Medications
Many people in Las Vegas rely on pharmaceutical prescriptions to maintain their health. They trust that the prescription medications they take will be beneficial, reducing their symptoms and curing or moderating their illnesses. However, as the pharmaceutical industry has become such a central part of daily life and American medicine, it has also been accompanied by dangerous side effects and damaging drugs. Companies have failed to warn consumers about drug effects, and in some cases, the medication itself has been seriously defective.
People who have been harmed by defective drugs may wonder where they can turn for help. The best personal injury lawyer Las Vegas can help to protect your rights and seek compensation if you have been injured by a pharmaceutical product. Of course, not all drug side effects are grounds for a lawsuit. However, pills that were tainted or improperly labeled and cases where the pharmaceutical company covered up potential risk can be reasons to pursue a claim.
Class Action Lawsuits Over Prescription Medication
There are three major types of class action lawsuits against pharmaceutical manufacturers that reflect different types of problems with dangerous or defective drugs on the market.
- Improper instructions or failure to warn about side effects
In some cases, a medicine has known side effects, but the package labeling does not sufficiently provide a warning about those risks to consumers. Drug companies may send out salespeople to doctors promoting a drug for “off-label” uses. Doctors are allowed to prescribe drugs off-label if they can provide a benefit, but sometimes these prescriptions can come with serious side effects that are not justified by the off-label use.
- Problems in drug design
These cases highlight examples of medications that were put into use and active sale despite the fact that their side effects outweighed the benefits. In some cases, the company obscured this data from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in order to gain approval for the drug. This can especially be the case when the underlying condition being treated by the medication is not life-threatening. For example, many chemotherapy drugs have serious side effects but are also more effective in fighting cancer than less dangerous alternatives. Similar side effects would not be acceptable in a drug treating a less serious condition.
- Manufacturing defects at the factory
In other cases, the medication itself is effective and relatively safe when used as prescribed. However, when something goes wrong during the manufacturing process, people may wind up with incorrect dosages that fail to provide proper treatment or deliver an overdose. Other substances could taint the end product with dangerous results.
Filing Suit Against a Dangerous Drug
It’s important to know that the FDA does not test drugs itself in order to approve them. Instead, it relies on the materials submitted by the company that created the medication. While it is known that some side effects or adverse events may emerge once a drug goes into mass production, in some cases, companies actively hide potential side effects that they already know about. This means that consumers don’t have the information they need to make an informed choice.
Individuals that have been harmed by a bad drug can work with an experienced personal injury law firm Las Vegas to file suit against the manufacturer or other parties involved under a products liability framework. Manufacturers that make products available to the general public for a profit are responsible for the injuries caused by the product.
Because many individuals across the country often suffer the same side effects due to a bad drug, judges will often group these lawsuits together as mass torts or class action litigation. These lawsuits can take a significant amount of time, as they can involve extensive medical and scientific research, lengthy discovery periods and substantial pushback from pharmaceutical company law firms.
Other Parties That Can Be Held Responsible
Sometimes, the drug company isn’t the only party at fault for the damage caused by a dangerous medication. The best personal injury lawyer Las Vegas can advise you about whether it is advisable to include other parties in your drug liability lawsuit. In some cases, there may be a medical malpractice claim, but in many cases, it is the pharmaceutical manufacturer that is primarily responsible for the harms done. It can be important to put a strong emphasis on the drug company’s responsibility for causing harm.
How Drug Companies Defend Themselves
Drug companies will raise several defenses when they face litigation as a result of a dangerous drug. In many cases, the manufacturers will make several arguments in an attempt to attack the claim from several angles. Some of these claims may seem like attempts to blame you for your injuries. The manufacturers are simply trying to escape being held responsible for the damages done.
They may argue that you assumed the risks involved in using the medication, that your other health issues or behaviors contributed to your injuries or that you combined the product with other substances. One of the most important things for you to keep in mind is the statute of limitations. Sometimes, you may only become aware of the harms done by a defective drug after months or years. You will have two years after discovering the injury to make a claim or file litigation. Your personal injury law firm Las Vegas will advise you on how the statute of limitations could affect your claim.
Choosing the Right Lawyer
It is important to choose the best personal injury lawyer Las Vegas when pursuing a claim against a drug company for a dangerous product. An experienced personal injury lawyer like Jordan Schnitzer, certified as a Personal Injury Specialist by the State Bar of Nevada, has the background and skills to fight for your rights. Jordan Schnitzer has won many awards for his outstanding results for injured clients.
When you’ve been injured simply because you trusted in a medication to improve your health, you need experienced, skilled legal representation. Call The Schnitzer Law Firm today at 702-960-4050 to set up a free consultation or use our simple online form to contact us.