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Prescription Errors & Medical Malpractice


Everyone should be able to trust their doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers. Unfortunately, prescription errors can lead to medical malpractice cases in the state of New York. In this blog post, we'll discuss the various ways a medical professional can make a mistake with medication, how it can result in medical malpractice claims, and what legal recourse is available for those who have been affected.

What is a Prescription Error?

A prescription error occurs when a healthcare provider makes an error in prescribing or dispensing medication. This includes incorrect dosage amounts or medications being given to the wrong patient. These errors can occur due to a variety of reasons such as illegible handwriting on prescriptions, miscommunication between physicians and pharmacists, or even unintentional mistakes made by the patient themselves when taking their medication. In any case, when a prescription error causes harm or death, then it may be grounds for a medical malpractice claim.

How Can Prescription Error Result in Medical Malpractice?

When it comes to prescription errors leading to medical malpractice claims, negligence is a key factor that must be established. Negligence occurs when a healthcare provider fails to provide the expected standard of care that would otherwise be provided under similar circumstances.

An example of this could be if a physician incorrectly prescribed an incorrect dosage of medicine that caused harm to the patient or if they failed to warn the patient about potential side effects associated with the drug they were prescribed. Additionally, if they did not communicate properly with pharmacists regarding any drug interactions that may occur then this also could potentially constitute negligence on their part and thus lead to a medical malpractice claim against them.

Who Is Liable If a Medication Error Occurs?

If you feel as though you have been harmed by an incorrect prescription, you may want to seek legal counsel and pursue a claim. A successful claim can not only help you get compensation for damages but also hold negligent parties accountable for their actions so that no one else has to suffer as you did because of their negligence. However, to pursue a claim, you will need to establish liability. Many different parties may be liable for your prescription error-related damages, including:

  • Your physician
  • A pharmacist
  • Nurses or other staff at the clinic or hospital
  • The manufacturer of the medication
  • The clinic or hospital (if their policies and practices contributed to the error)

Comparative Negligence & Medical Malpractice

New York is a comparative negligence state, which means that a plaintiff (the filing party) can have their settlement award reduced if they are partially at fault for their injuries and damages. Specifically, if a person is 25% at fault and their original settlement is $100,000, their award would be reduced by $25,000, and they would only receive $75,000 if they win the case.

You can be held partially liable for a prescription error if you contributed to a misdiagnosis or were dishonest in some way. We will discuss how you can avoid liability issues in further detail below.

Avoiding Prescription Errors & Medical Malpractice in New York

To avoid prescription errors as well as liability (should you file a claim), you should first understand your rights and risks as a patient. You should know what type of care you can expect from your physician and understand the potential risks associated with any medical procedure or medication. Knowing your rights also allows you to better protect yourself if something goes wrong during treatment. You should also:

  • Be honest about your medical history and medication. It is essential that you are open about your medical history when consulting with your doctor or pharmacist about medications or treatments. Provide a detailed account of prior surgeries, illnesses, allergies, etc., even if they seem irrelevant at the time. As we mentioned, you can be held partially at fault if you are dishonest; to avoid prescription errors, you must be honest with your healthcare provider about what treatments or medicines you are taking now, even over-the-counter medications.
  • Be proactive in getting treatment. Another way to avoid prescription errors & medical malpractice is by being proactive in seeking treatment. Do not wait until you have a serious health issue before seeing a doctor; instead, be proactive by scheduling regular check-ups with your primary care physician so that any issues can be addressed quickly and efficiently.
  • Check prescriptions given to you before taking them. Make sure any prescriptions you are given are thoroughly reviewed by both you and your doctor before taking them. It is also important to keep track of any medications taken so that conflicts or side effects can be avoided. Additionally, never hesitate to ask questions about potential treatments or medications being prescribed; it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Trusted Medical Malpractice Attorney

No one should have to suffer because of someone else’s negligence while trying to receive proper care from their doctor or another healthcare provider. If you believe that you have been wrongfully harmed due to an incorrect prescription or any other form of medical malpractice, consider seeking legal counsel from the Law Offices of Charles R. Gueli. Our firm can ensure your rights are protected and help bring justice where necessary so no one else has to experience what you did again because of someone else’s irresponsible behavior regarding your health care needs.

To discuss your case with our attorney, schedule a consultation today. Call (516) 628-6402.

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