Are Medication Errors Grounds for a Medical Malpractice Claim?

If you receive a double dose of an over-the-counter pain reliever, you probably won’t experience any side effects. However, other medication errors can injure patients and threaten their lives.

According to the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP), medication errors affect more than 1.5 million people annually. Perhaps the risk of suffering harm in a drug error is higher than you think.

Two common causes of medication errors

Have you ever laughed at your doctor’s handwritten prescription and wondered how a pharmacist could decipher it? Most people feel the same way, but illegible handwriting is a problem for pharmacies. You could receive the wrong drug or incorrect dosage instructions if the pharmacist cannot read the prescription accurately.

Drugs with names that look alike or sound alike can cause lead to the administration of the wrong medicine. For example, clonazepam (aka Klonopin), an anti-seizure drug, is often confused with clonidine, a medication that treats high blood pressure. Doctors, nurses and pharmacists must resolve confusing issues and provide patients with the right medicine.

Do you have a case?

Under New Mexico law, those injured by drug errors and other medical negligence may file a malpractice claim. If successful, you could obtain substantial financial compensation for the harm you suffered.

Do not rush into the claim filing process. It is unwise to wait too long, but time spent gathering evidence (medical reports, etc.) and strengthening your case is time well-spent. Injured patients have three years from the date of the injury to file a medical malpractice claim.Experienced legal guidance can increase your odds of getting the compensation you deserve.