CHICAGO DRUG INJURY LAWYER
Drug Injury Lawyers in Chicago, IL
In America, nearly half of the population takes at least one prescription drug per day, with one in six taking three or more prescription drugs daily. Not only is the demand for both prescription and over-the-counter drugs massive, but so is the amount of capital invested into new medications. This can cause drugs to be rushed to the marketplace in order to get a quicker return on investments. In this rush, drugs may not be properly and thoroughly tested, which can in turn lead to serious drug injuries among consumers.
If you or a loved one has experienced a personal injury in Chicago due to defective or dangerous medication, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Contact the Chicago drug injury lawyers at Curcio Law Offices to see how.
What are Drug Injuries?
Drug injuries occur when an individual experiences an extreme side effect, reaction, or injury after taking either prescription or over-the-counter medication. Drug injuries can also lead to an individual’s untimely death. When injuries or death occur as a direct result of taking a certain medication, a drug injury lawsuit is possible.
For those who are eligible for this lawsuit, it must be proven that the drug injury could have been prevented had someone been more careful. This might be anyone from the manufacturer of the drug to the physician who prescribed it.
Common drug injuries among consumers include, but are not limited to:
- Heart attack
- Organ damage
- Increased or decreased blood pressure
- Blood clots
- Depression, which may lead to suicide
What is the Difference Between a Drug Side Effect and a Drug Injury?
With all medications, from powerful cancer-fighting drugs to basic over-the-counter medications, the risk of users potentially experiencing adverse effects is ever-present. There is always the chance that a drug meant to relieve certain symptoms may bring about entirely different ones. These are what we know to be a drug’s side effects.
A drug side effect and a drug injury are similar to one another in that they are both a negative effect that results from taking medication. What differentiates the two is not the injury or negative effect itself, but the circumstances surrounding it. What we mean by this is that a drug side effect is one that is expected and made known to the public, while a drug injury is not.
Drug companies, physicians, and pharmacies alike have a responsibility to warn consumers of the potential risks of taking the drug. Whether it be the lengthy list of side effects you see on commercials, a discussion with your doctor, or warnings wrapped around the bottle itself, you must have been made aware of the side effects in one way or another.
When a company fails to make their side effects known, whether by insufficient testing or intentionally hiding this information from the public, this is where a lawsuit may come in. All information regarding the negative health outcomes that may or may not result from the consumption of a certain medication must be made known to consumers. It is this distinction, or rather lack thereof, that makes a drug side effect different from a drug injury.
What is Considered a Dangerous Drug?
All medications have the potential to cause side effects, despite its dosage or purpose. Most of these side effects are relatively minor, perhaps causing more of an inconvenience or nuisance than a real threat. For example, dizziness, drowsiness, and nausea are all common side effects. While they may bring some discomfort, these side effects are not life-threatening.
However, when a drug hits the market that goes much further than a few annoying side effects and brings the threat of real harm and potential for injury, that is when it becomes a dangerous drug. Plenty of drugs approved by the FDA end up being entirely safe and effective, while others are later shown to bring serious, unadvised effects that can lead to severe damage, injury, and even death.
Some examples of side effects that would classify a drug as dangerous include:
- A life-threatening condition
- Permanent disability
- Congenital anomaly (birth defects)
What Happens if My Medication Was Recalled?
Even after the medication is tested and approved by the FDA, it should be continually monitored for any unforeseen issues that may develop. If an issue does develop with the drug that makes it defective or potentially harmful, it may be recalled. The recall may be initiated by the manufacturers of the drug themselves or by the FDA.
A recall may occur if the drug is:
- A health hazard
- Potentially contaminated
- Poorly manufactured
- Poorly packaged
- Not what it claims to be
What happens when your medication is recalled depends on if the medicine was an over-the-counter drug or a prescription medicine. If it was bought over-the-counter, you should stop taking the drug immediately. Most stores have a return or refund policy in place for recalls, so you may be able to take it back to the place of purchase and get your money back. A doctor or pharmacist can help you find a safer alternative.
If the drug was a prescription drug, quitting it cold turkey isn’t always an option. For most prescription drugs, especially ones requiring daily doses, your body has developed a dependency for that drug. Stopping the medication suddenly could have worse effects than whatever reason it was recalled for. That is why you should call your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible after a prescription drug recall to find out what they advise you to do next. They will likely also propose a safer alternative to your prescription.
Can I Sue a Drug Company?
Drug companies are required to go through a series of rigorous tests and trials to establish the safety and effectiveness of their product before the general public is able to have access to them. In addition, before it can be sold legally in the United States, the drug must be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Association (FDA). You may think that solely because it has an FDA approval, it must be safe, right? That is not always true.
The FDA’s tests have proven time and time again that their findings are not always accurate nor trustworthy. That means that even with the FDA’s stamp of approval on a product, it is not guaranteed that the product will be entirely safe. Unfortunately, the FDA cannot be sued itself, since it holds sovereign immunity as a government agency.
However, it is possible for a plaintiff to sue the drug’s manufacturer for receiving drug injuries from their product. If inadequate research or testing was done on the drug or if the company does not properly warn of its potentially dangerous side effects, there are grounds to sue.
In a drug injury lawsuit, your dangerous drug lawyer will seek damages similar to those one might recover in a medical negligence case. These damages include things such as:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Diminished quality of life due to a permanent injury
- Funeral and burial expenses, if any
How Long Does a Pharmaceutical Lawsuit Take in Illinois?
Like any other lawsuit, the length of a pharmaceutical lawsuit depends on the circumstances of the case. Drug and medical device lawsuits often take a very long time before they can reach a favorable settlement. This may be anywhere from one to upwards of three years. The reason a settlement isn’t typically resolved quickly in these types of cases is because once they realize that their product is a health risk, drug companies will hire a team of attorneys and doctors in hopes they can avoid paying out any drug injury claims that may be raised against them. This may ensue a lengthy, complex legal battle between the plaintiff and the pharmaceutical company in question.
Contact the Chicago Drug Injury Lawyers at Curcio Law Offices Today!
If it is found that the medication you or a loved one have been taking is dangerous and has resulted in injury, you need to hire a dangerous drug lawyer. A dangerous drug lawyer, or drug injury lawyer, will help establish liability on either the part of the manufacturer, pharmacy, or physician who prescribed it to you. At Curcio Law Offices, our drug injury lawyers have represented several individuals and families afflicted with serious and catastrophic injuries caused by dangerous drugs. Let us help you get the compensation to which you are entitled for your drug injury. Call 312-321-1111 to schedule a free consultation today.