When you hear about medical malpractice, the first thought that comes to mind is probably a doctor’s actions or inactions that cause injuries and other losses to a patient.
We often forget that a medical team comprises different professionals, including specialists, pharmacists, and nurses. All these parties can be held liable if there’s evidence to show they were negligent in one way or another during your treatment.
A pharmacist has a legal duty to dispense the right medication given a patient’s condition, age, medical history, and current prescriptions if any. Therefore, you have the right to sue and collect compensation from a pharmacy that sold you expired medicine and caused an illness or other injuries through a malpractice lawsuit.
When Can I Sue a Pharmacy?
According to Pharmacy Today, most cases of pharmacy negligence occur due to a lack of quality control systems in place and the selfish need to cut costs at the expense of other people’s health. Besides administering expired medication, such negligence can also occur when a pharmacist:
- Provides a prescription that was intended for another person.
- Gives the wrong instructions on using the drugs.
- Administers an incorrect dosage.
- Fails to provide instructions on how to use a particular drug.
- Fills a prescription with the wrong medicine.
- Fails to conduct a medical history to identify possible negative drug interactions.
If you suspect you’ve been a victim of pharmacy negligence, consider seeking help from a malpractice lawyer. Most attorneys provide a free consultation to evaluate your case and determine if you have grounds for a lawsuit.
Suing a Pharmacy for Selling Expired Medicine
To file a successful malpractice claim, you must prove the pharmacist was negligent and that negligence caused your injuries and other losses. This happens in four distinct stages as outlined below:
Proving a Duty of Care:
For negligence to occur, the defendant must possess a duty of care towards the victim. This means the former had a legal obligation to act in a way that does not harm the plaintiff. In this case, a pharmacist has a legal duty to sell safe medicine that has not exceeded its shelf life.
Breaching the Duty of Care:
Next, you need to prove the pharmacist breached this duty of care by deviating from the standard practices. Here, your attorney will present the expired medication as a breach of duty.
The Breach Caused an Illness or Other Injuries:
To receive compensation for medical malpractice, you need to prove your injuries or illness were caused by the pharmacist’s negligence and not anything else, such as an existing disease.
Proof of Damages:
Finally, you’ll have to prove the resulting injuries caused you losses such as medical bills, incapacitation, lost wages, pain, and emotional suffering.
Consuming expired medicine can cause more illnesses, poisoning, or lack of efficacy in treating the disease. This might lead to an extended hospital stay, more pain, and suffering for both the victim and their loved ones.
Therefore, it is imperative to hire a lawyer who can quantify how your life has been negatively affected by the defendant’s negligence. This includes intangible loss, which is compensated as non-economic damages. Only then can you negotiate a settlement that fully covers your plight.
Do I Need a Malpractice Lawyer?
If you want to sue a pharmacy for selling expired medicine, it may be better to proceed with a malpractice lawyer.
While this is not compulsory, having an attorney can simplify the process and improve your chances of getting the right amount of compensation. How’s this possible?
A malpractice attorney can take over your case from its investigation to finding a pharmacy expert witness if needed, calculating the value of your claim, and negotiating with insurance companies to ensure all your losses are compensated.