Despite efforts to reduce medication errors in pharmacies and other medical settings, medication errors continue to occur all too frequently. If a person suffers an injury due to a medication error in Maryland, they may be able to obtain monetary compensation through a Maryland medication error lawsuit. Generally, a medication error lawsuit is based on a claim that the prescribing physician, pharmacist, or another medical professional acted negligently.
What Does a Plaintiff Need to Prove in a Negligence Claim?
In a negligent suit, the plaintiff has to prove that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care, that the defendant failed to meet the applicable standard of care by acting or failing to act in some way, that the plaintiff was injured because of the breach of the standard of care, and that the defendant’s breach caused the plaintiff’s injuries. A plaintiff must show that it was more likely than not that the defendant’s conduct caused the victim’s injuries. Medication error cases may be difficult to prove, in part because the patient may have been sick before the medication error. For that reason, expert testimony is often required to explain how the defendant’s actions caused the plaintiff’s alleged injuries.
Successful plaintiffs may be able to recover monetary compensation, including past and future medical expenses, lost wages, physical therapy bills, and emotional suffering. If someone dies due to a medication error, family members of the decedent may be able to file a wrongful death claim against the parties responsible for the medication error. Negligence claims are subject to time limits for filing a claim. The general time limit that applies to Maryland negligence claims is three years after the date of the injury, though there are exceptions. If the time limit has passed, the case may no longer be able to be filed. Evidence can also disappear after some time, so acting as quickly as possible is best. The prevalence of medication errors and the devastation it can cause has prompted new efforts to reduce such mistakes, including the introduction of a new technology that uses barcode scans on medications.
New Barcode Technology May Help Reduce Medication Errors
New barcode technology has recently been introduced as a way to reduce dispensing errors in pharmacies. According to one article, the technology, known as the Titan PMR system, validates medicines against prescriptions by comparing drugs against the manufacturer’s barcode. If the wrong drug is scanned, the technology alerts the pharmacist and stops the printing of a label. It was created as a way to prevent pharmacists from mistakenly choosing and dispensing the wrong drug.
The technology keeps a record of all “near misses” prevented by the system. One pharmacy that implemented the technology saw a 95% reduction in dispensing errors. The executive of the technology company, Invatech Health, who was a pharmacist, said he created the system because he knew how devastating a medication error can be.
Medication Error Attorneys Are There to Support Victims
In the event of a Maryland medication error, the injuries can be devastating for victims and their families—including physical, mental, and financial effects. The team of professionals at Lebowitz & Mzhen can assist injured victims in recovering from their injuries by guiding them through each step of the legal process. They represent clients in medication error cases and other negligence and medical malpractice cases in Baltimore, Maryland, and the surrounding areas. To schedule a free initial consultation, call 1-800-654-1949 or contact them online.