CHICAGO DRUG INJURY LAWYER
Chicago Dangerous Drug Lawyer
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 drug manufacturers to rush new pharmaceutical drugs 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.
Some pharmaceutical companies even choose to intentionally skew the numbers on their clinical trials before turning over their results to the food and drug administration (FDA). This means the drug manufacturers are aware of the increased risk of adverse reactions and choose profits over patient safety.
If you or a loved one has experienced a personal injury in Chicago due to defective drugs, you may be entitled to financial compensation through a dangerous drug lawsuit. Contact our experienced Chicago drug injury lawyers at Curcio Law Offices for a free consultation 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 adverse drug reactions cause injury or death, a drug injury lawsuit is possible.
In order to move forward with a defective drug legal claim, your personal injury attorney must prove that the prescribed drug or over the counter medication that you took caused the injury. Your lawyer must also prove that your injury could have been prevented if the drug manufacturer or prescribing physician had been more careful.
Common Defective Drug Injuries
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 pharmaceutical 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 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 standard 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 pharmaceutical drugs, especially prescription medications. Whether this is done through a 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. This is mandated by the federal drug administration.
When pharmaceutical companies fail to make the side effects known, whether by insufficient testing or intentionally hiding clinical trial information from the public, they open up the door for drug injuries. This rightfully makes pharmaceutical manufacturers susceptible to drug injury cases.
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 side effect different from an injury.
Drug Makers Have a Profit-First Mentality
It’s important to note that in most cases, the pharmaceutical manufacturer is completely aware of the serious injuries that could stem from an unreasonably dangerous drug they’ve produced. They have brilliant strategists on staff who weigh all of the options. For the pharmaceutical industry, patient safety isn’t the goal, it’s profits. So, even if their own consumers sustain a serious injury and move forward with a product liability lawsuit, they’ve factored in the damages and have determined that it’s more financially advantageous to put the defective drug on the market. And, in some cases, in order to do this, they’ll skew the numbers to make it through the FDA approval process.
What is Considered a Dangerous Drug?
All medications have the potential to cause side effects, despite the 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.
When a medication is responsible for more 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. The negatives associated with the drug outweigh the positives.
Regardless if new drugs are classified as an over the counter medication or a prescription medication, once they’ve made it through the FDA approval process and hit the shelves, they should be relatively free of any serious hiccups. With the amount of funding and available technology today, pharmaceutical companies have no excuse for releasing any form of dangerous medication.
Dangerous Side Effects
Some examples of dangerous side effects that qualify for legal action include:
- A life-threatening condition, such as cancer, a heart attack, or stroke
- Permanent disability
- Congenital anomaly (birth defects)
Defective Drugs Lawsuit
What Happens if One of My Prescription Drugs Were Recalled?
Even after the medication is tested and approved by the FDA, it should be continually monitored for any unforeseen issues that may develop, creating the need for drug recalls. The recall may be initiated by the manufacturers (voluntary recall) or by the FDA.
A recall may occur if the medication is:
- A health hazard
- Potentially contaminated
- Poorly manufactured
- Poorly packaged
- Not what it claims to be
The necessary next steps after a recall will depend on the type of medication you were taking.
If the product was an over the counter drug, then simply stop taking it 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.
For prescription medications, stopping use cold turkey isn’t always an option. For most prescription drugs, especially ones requiring daily doses, your body has developed a dependency. Stopping the medication suddenly could have worse effects than the cause for recall. Call your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible after a prescription drug recall for advice on what to do. They will likely propose a safer alternative to your prescription.
Can I Sue a Drug Company for Injuries from Pharmaceutical Drugs?
Drug companies are required to go through a series of rigorous tests and trials in order to establish the safety and effectiveness of their product before the general public has access to it. In addition, before medications can be sold legally in the United States, they must be approved by the 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. So, even with the FDA’s stamp of approval on a product, you aren’t 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 to sue the drug’s manufacturer. If the company conducted inadequate research or testing, or if the company does not properly warn of its potentially dangerous side effects, there are grounds to sue.
Damages for Illinois Drug Injury Victims
In a drug injury lawsuit, dangerous drug lawyers will seek damages similar to those one might recover in a medical malpractice case.
These damages include:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering/emotional distress
- Diminished quality of life due to a permanent injury
- Funeral and burial expenses, if any
How Long Does a Drug Injury 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 an Experienced Drug Injury Lawyer 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 Chicago dangerous drug lawyer. A 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 experienced drug injury lawyers have represented countless 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. For a free consultation call 312-321-1111 today.