Were You Injured By a Dangerous Drug?
When we have been prescribed medication from a physician, we trust that the drug will relieve our symptoms or help us recover from an illness. However, that does not always happen. Sometimes, the drugs we take have severe side effects that could cause complications that last a lifetime.
If you or a loved one were injured after taking a prescription or an over-the-counter drug, your case should be thoroughly evaluated to see if you may recover financial damages. It is important that you contact a qualified Mississippi defective drug lawyer immediately.
What is a Defective Drug?
A defective drug can be defined as medication that has severe negative side effects that outweigh the potential of the drug’s benefit.
Defective drugs law falls under product liability litigation. In order to prove that a drug is defective, the following needs to be shown:
- The drug has dangerous side effects that were not either ignored or not noticed during the design phase. For example, a pharmaceutical company had rushed their product to market quickly and did not adequately test the drug for any long-term effects. As a result, many consumers using the medication suffered severe heart attacks.
- The drug was not manufactured properly or it became contaminated during the manufacturing process.
- The drug did not have the proper labeling or had failed to warn the product about the dangerous side effects.
Who Regulates Defective Drugs?
Pharmaceutical companies manufacture and market hundreds of new drugs each year. Each product must be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration before it reaches the consumer. It is estimated that more than 50% of all the drugs marketed to the American consumer have dangerous effects, in spite of testing and FDA regulation.
Of all the recent examples of harmful drugs, most were withdrawn from sale within 12 months of release. Some drugs were still marketed by drug companies even after evidence of serious side effects or death had been noted.
Many drug products have caused such widespread injury that class action suits or mass torts have been filed against them. Some of these drugs include Baycol, Phen-fen, Rezulin, Propulsid, and PPA.
Of additional concern are the dietary supplements which are becoming increasingly popular. The FDA requires that manufacturers assure that such supplements are safe before selling them, but there are no testing or approval requirements.
Who is Responsible for a Dangerous Drug?
If a defective drug is shown to cause injury or death, consumers are able to hold both the designer and the manufacturer responsible for the injury. Drugmakers have a duty of care to protect consumers from harm. If they breach this duty by sending a dangerous drug to market, and the drug causes an injury or death to an individual, that consumer or family member sue for any damages caused by the injuries.
However, the drugmaker is not the only party that could be held liable. In fact, there could be multiple parties responsible for your injuries, such as:
- The testing laboratory that had improperly tested the drug
- The teams responsible for marketing and advertising the product
- Those responsible for the selling and distribution of the medication
- The pharmacists who fail to warn about the dangers of the drug
- The medical professionals and facilities who prescribe the medication without warning of the side effects
Since multiple parties could be held responsible for your injuries, a defective drug case could be difficult to face on your own. You need a skilled defective drug lawyer in Jackson, Mississippi, to help you with your claim and to hold those responsible accountable for your injuries.
When Can a Drugmaker be Held Responsible for My Injuries?
There are multiple ways a drug manufacturer can be held responsible after someone is injured in Mississippi. These include:
Under Mississippi product liability law, the plaintiff does not have to prove negligence on the part of the product maker nor do you have to show that the drugmaker knew the item was defective prior to its release. All you have to show is that the product was defective when it left the manufacturer’s control and that defect is what caused your injury.
For example, a drug that’s meant to help with migraine headaches was created by Pharmaceutical Company A. The drugmaker did not know at the time that the drug had a side effect that causes mini-strokes in a patient. The drug goes on the market. After a few months, reports begin to surface that people are having strokes after taking the drug. In this, even though Pharmaceutical Company A did not know about the side effects until after the drug went to market, under strict liability law, the manufacturer can still be held responsible for the injuries sustained by the consumers.
In negligence cases, your lawyer will need to examine why the product was defective in the first place and then show that the manufacturer’s negligent actions are what resulted in the injury.
Using the scenario, let’s say that Pharmaceutical Company A did in fact know about the dangerous side effect of its migraine medication. But the drugmaker soon learned that Pharmaceutical Company B was planning on releasing a similar drug in the next few months. Instead of going back to the laboratory to test out a different version of the pill, Pharmaceutical Company A wanted to get to market first and released the drug as is. This is a case of negligence.
Failure to Warn
Drug manufacturers have a duty to warn consumers of the risks associated with their drugs. If the drugmaker does not provide these adequate warnings, it may be found liable for your injuries.
In our scenario, Pharmaceutical Company A knew about the defect before the drug went to market but decided to release it anyway. Since it was aware of the side effect, it was responsible to warn the public about the potential strokes people may have when taking the drug. But knowledge of this fact could have resulted in lower sales. Pharmaceutical Company A’s marketing team then makes the decision not to inform the public or place any warning labels on the medication about the side effect. This is a failure to warn claim.
It can be extremely difficult to hold a drug maker accountable for your injuries. That’s why you need an experienced product liability lawyer in Jackson to help you with your case and make sure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
How Our Defective Drug Lawyer Can Help
For over two decades, the Jackson defective drug lawyer at Giggens Law Firm has been fighting for those who suffered injuries following taking a dangerous drug such as Fosamax and Zyprexa. Once we take on your case, we will investigate your claims then reach out to the appropriate parties to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve following your injury.
If you or a loved one is in need of legal assistance, call Giddens Law Firm at (601) 355-2022. The initial consultation is free of charge, and if we agree to handle your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary recovery of funds. In many cases, a lawsuit must be filed before an applicable expiration date, known as a statute of limitations. Please call right away to ensure that you do not waive your right to possible compensation.
Frequently Asked Questions About Defective Drugs Lawsuits in Mississippi
My Family Member Died After Taking a Dangerous Drug. Can I Sue On Their Behalf?
Yes. If you have a family member who lost their lives to the side effects of a dangerous drug, the surviving family members can file a wrongful death lawsuit against the drug manufacturers, sellers, distributors, and anyone else involved in the production and selling of the medicine. If you need help with your wrongful death lawsuit, contact our Jackson personal injury lawyer today for a free consultation.
How Long Do I Have Before I File a Dangerous Drug Lawsuit in Jackson, MS?
Under Mississippi law, you have three years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit. But the sooner you contact our dangerous drug lawyer in Jackson, the easier it will be to investigate your claim and collect the evidence necessary to prove who is responsible for your injuries.
What Types of Injuries Can I Claim in a Defective Drug Case?
Although not all adverse side effects can lead to a lawsuit, there are some that may result in legal action, especially if many consumers are suffering the same reactions. Some examples include:
- Birth defects
- Life-threatening diseases such as cancer
- Heart issues
- Organ failure
- Changes in emotions and behavior such as depression or thoughts of suicide
That’s why it’s important to speak with a dangerous drug attorney to learn what legal options are available to you and see if you have a claim.
What Type of Damages Can I Receive for a Defective Drug Claim?
As with any personal injury case, there are three types of compensation you may receive following a defective drug claim – economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages.
Economic damages refer to the financial recovery of any monetary losses you have suffered because of the injury. This includes but is not limited to medical bills, lost wages, rehabilitation costs, lost wages, and if you lost a loved one because of the drug, funeral costs.
Non-economic damages refer to any compensation you may receive for any non-monetary losses you and your family had suffered. These damages are a little more subjective since there is no monetary value associated with them. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of consortium, loss of enjoyment, and loss of companionship.
Punitive damages are rare because this type of compensation is meant to punish the negligent party for their behavior. Punitive damages occur in cases where it’s obvious the defendants had acted in a reckless manner and had intended to cause harm.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Jackson Dangerous Drug Lawyer?
Giddens Law Firm works on a contingency basis. What this means is that we do not take a fee from you until we’ve reached a successful conclusion to your case. If we are able to get you compensation for your injuries, then we will take a small percentage of the settlement. However, if we are unable to reach a settlement or lose your case in court, then you do not owe us anything. And as always, the first consultation is always free of charge.