Washington DC Dangerous Drugs Lawyer
People are accustomed to taking medicines to relieve their symptoms of illness or injury. Most of the time these medications are safe and effective, but sometimes a drug makes it through the regulatory process without adequate testing of its long-term side-effects. Other times, an error in the manufacturing process might have produced a tainted dose of an otherwise reasonably safe drug.
When a drug is unreasonably dangerous and harms someone, the injured person could consult a products liability lawyer about seeking money damages. Pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors have a responsibility to ensure that their products are as safe as possible. If they fail in this responsibility, the manufacturer or distributor could be liable to someone who suffers harm from taking the drug.
Receiving damages requires an injured person to show that the drug was unsafe because of certain defects. Talking to Washington DC dangerous drugs lawyer could help an injured person evaluate whether a claim for damages has a reasonable chance of success in their case. Speak to Roger Gelb to learn more about your potential options for recovering compensation.
Strict Liability Applies to Defective Drugs
Drug manufacturers are liable for the damages their products cause if an injured person and their attorney can prove that the product was defective in certain specified ways. The plaintiff need not prove negligence.
To present a valid claim for damages, a plaintiff’s attorney must present evidence that a:
- Manufacturing error rendered a specific batch or dose of the drug unsafe
- Design flaw resulted in an unreasonably dangerous product or a product that is unreasonably dangerous to a particular class of consumer
- Label did not give consumers adequate warning of the drug’s side-effects or did not offer sufficient information to allow consumers to evaluate their risk
A manufacturer would not be liable if the plaintiff used the drug in a way that the manufacturer could not reasonably anticipate. However, this is different from requiring that the plaintiff use the medication exactly as the label directs. If a manufacturer should have expected that someone might use the drug the way the plaintiff did, the manufacturer could be liable.
Damages Available From Pharmaceutical Manufacturers
Damages compensate the injured person for the losses they suffered because of their injuries. Any expense that the injured person can document could be included in an award of damages, such as the costs of medical care, lost wages, reduced future earning capacity, and treatment for the psychological effects of the injury.
Plaintiffs also might receive compensation for their intangible losses and diminished quality of life resulting from consuming a dangerous drug. A skilled attorney could assert a claim for the client’s pain and suffering, mental anguish, and for their family’s loss of the injured person’s support and companionship.
Punitive damages could be available in certain rare cases when a manufacturer engaged in fraud or other reckless conduct in bringing their drug to market or keeping it on the market. Courts only award punitive damages in the most egregious cases of misconduct. An attorney could advise a client about whether the evidence supports bringing a claim for punitive damages in their particular case.
Timely Action Required for Drug Defect Cases
In most personal injury actions, including claims seeking damages for injuries caused by dangerous drugs, a plaintiff has three years from the date of their injury to bring a lawsuit seeking damages. When a drug causes an injury, it often takes some time for the side-effect to become apparent. A person may not be aware of their injury or aware of its connection to the drug they took until years later.
District of Columbia Code §12-310 addresses this specific issue. It permits an injured person to bring a claim against a drug manufacturer within three years of the date the person knew or should have known that the drug injured them. However, the plaintiff loses the right to sue if more than ten years have passed since they took the drug, regardless of when the plaintiff learned that the product harmed them.
Seek an Aggressive Washington DC Dangerous Drugs Attorney to Represent You
Drug companies have tremendous resources to beat back any claims that their products harmed someone. You need an advocate who will relentlessly pursue your claim and not back down until you have received fair compensation for your losses.
Contact a Washington DC dangerous drugs lawyer as soon as you become aware that a drug you took has harmed you. Working with a skilled professional can make a big difference in the outcome. Call today.