When you place your health in the hands of a health care professional, you trust that the appropriate care will be used in your treatment. If you or someone in your family has been the victim of a medication error, the Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzhen will work diligently to assert your rights. Unfortunately, medication errors or pharmacy misfills are more common than you may think. They often occur through the intravenous (IV) administration of the wrong medication, due to an incorrect prescription being filled by a hospital pharmacy. We can assist people in Maryland and Washington, D.C. who have been harmed because of a health care provider’s or pharmacist’s negligence.Bringing a Claim Based on Medication Negligence by a Health Care Provider
While administering an IV is commonplace in hospitals and clinics, it can be dangerous if there has been a medication error. This can consist of a breakdown or failure at any point in the medication use process. A medication error can occur if the prescribing physician wrote for the wrong dosage, if the pharmacy filled the prescription with the wrong medication or filled the prescription in an improper dosage, or if incorrect instructions were communicated to the nurses administering the medication.
According to the Institute of Medicine, it is estimated that medication errors injure approximately 1.5 million Americans each year. These types of mistakes can lead to serious harm and even death. Although the number is difficult to quantify, reports show that as many as 7,000 people may die from medication errors each year. When it comes to IV errors, liability may be attached to nurses, physicians, or other health care providers through a medical malpractice claim.
Medical malpractice occurs when a health care provider fails to use reasonable care when treating a patient. To succeed in this type of claim, the plaintiff must establish the following elements, usually through expert testimony:
- The health care provider owed the plaintiff a duty of care;
- The health care provider breached the duty of care owed to the plaintiff by deviating from the medically accepted standard of care under the specific circumstances;
- The health care provider’s breach was a direct cause of the plaintiff’s injury; and
- The plaintiff suffered harm as a result of the carelessness.
Once medical malpractice has been shown, a plaintiff will be able to seek compensation for past, present and future: medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other forms of injuries caused by the medical negligence. There is no limit on economic damages that are defined in Maryland as being the past, present and future monetary costs associated with the injuries sustained. The state of Maryland does cap non-economic damages for pain and suffering. The law is established in the Courts and Judicial Proceedings Article, section 3-2A-09 (limitations on noneconomic damages)..
People -- including children, minors or adults, parents and a spouse -- who have lost a loved one to medication negligence can pursue a wrongful death claim, which is based on similar elements. Damages to compensate for the conscious pain and suffering of the decedent can also be sought through a survival action.Protect Your Rights by Consulting a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Baltimore
Medication errors can lead to a variety of complications and significantly worsen a patient’s condition. At Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers, our Baltimore medical malpractice attorneys have extensive experience in virtually all types of health care negligence cases, and we can guide you through each step of the legal process. We can represent people in Washington, D.C. and many areas of Maryland, including Baltimore City and Baltimore County, Glen Burnie, Annapolis, Rockville, Towson, Germantown, Bethesda, Upper Marlboro, Hyattsville, Laurel, Bowie, ,and other communities in Baltimore, Anne Arundel, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George's, and Carroll Counties. To set up a free consultation with a knowledgeable injury attorney, call us at (800) 654-1949 or at (410) 654-3600, or you can contact us online.