Americans generally trust that the medical professionals who treat them will provide them with safe standards of care, especially when it comes to administering medication. As any experienced medical malpractice attorney knows, though, this is unfortunately not always the case.
As reported in American Nurse Today, medication errors account for 7,000 deaths per year and 1.5 million injuries, as well as lengthened hospital stays and increased inpatient expenses. In fact, a single medication error can cost an estimated $2,000 to $8,750.
Even worse, the vast majority of medication errors are preventable. Due to this, a medication error can sometimes serve as grounds for a civil lawsuit. If you or a family member suffered harm a medication error caused by a medical professional, you may want to discuss your circumstances with an experienced Florida medication error lawyer. A compassionate attorney could pursue a positive outcome for you. En Español.
What is a Medication Error?
As defined by the National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention (NCCMERP), a medication error is a preventable accident that stems from the inappropriate use of medication and leads to patient harm. In full or in part, medication errors can take the form of mistakes in:
- Prescribing and order communication
- Product labeling and packaging
- Drug compounding
- Dispensing, distribution, and administration of a drug
- Drug education
- Inappropriate use or monitoring of use
With so many steps in the process of prescribing and administering a medication, it is easy to see how an error can occur. However, this does not mean that errors should be accepted as commonplace or unpreventable, or that being hurt by one should not be cause for contacting a Florida medication error lawyer about legal options.
Medication Errors and Medical Malpractice
Medication errors fall under medical malpractice laws in Florida. These laws affirm that all medical professionals have a duty to provide a high standard of care to all patients in their care.
In a civil trial regarding a medication error, a judge or jury would determine if the medical professional in question acted in a way that a reasonably prudent medical professional with the same training would have acted. If it is determined that they did not, the jury would likely rule in favor of the plaintiff and award them compensation for their damages to be paid by the defendant.
Statute of Limitations
The Florida statute of limitations for medical malpractice cases, including medication errors is two years from the date the harm was discovered, as per Florida Statute § 95.11(4)(b). The proverbial clock would start from whenever the harm was discovered, whether that is the day the medication error occurred or some time afterwards. However, under no circumstance does Florida law allow more than four years to file a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Once the statute of limitations expires, a potential plaintiff loses their legal right to potentially recover for their damages. Victims of medication errors should contact a seasoned medication error lawyer in Florida to find out how the Florida statute of limitations law applies to their circumstances.
Talking to a Florida Medication Error Attorney
Medication errors can be costly, serious, and even deadly. Holding medical professionals accountable for their careless mistakes, however, can help victims recover from what has happened and potentially prevent future medication errors from harming other patients.
A Florida medication error lawyer can meet with you or your family members to determine the merits of your case. If you have valid grounds to file suit, a qualified attorney can file a medical malpractice medication error lawsuit on your behalf. Call today to begin your pursuit of justice.