People take medications to help them feel better and keep them healthy. Unfortunately, dangerous prescription and over-the-counter medications could cause severe side effects, including permanent injuries.
Pharmaceutical companies are responsible for the harm their products cause to consumers. If you have suffered illness or injury due to taking a medication, consult a Maryland Heights dangerous drugs lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced attorney could advise you on how to hold a drug manufacturer accountable for your losses and guide you through the process of seeking compensation.
Missouri Revised Statute §537.760 makes manufacturers liable when their products injure a consumer. Under the theory of strict liability, a plaintiff does not need to prove that the drug manufacturer was negligent in bringing the product to the market without proper testing or marketing.
The plaintiff needs to prove only that the medication was unreasonably dangerous, resulting in their injury. This can be achieved by identifying a defect the medicine’s design, manufacture, or labeling. A skilled attorney in the area could gather evidence from medical experts, engineers, and other expert witnesses to prove that the drug had a defect when it reached the consumer.
Additionally, a drug company could be liable if the plaintiff used the medication in a way that the manufacturer should have anticipated and was harmed. For example, a manufacturer could predict that a consumer might take more than the recommended dosage. If there are specific risks associated with taking an increased dosage, the label must provide an explicit warning of the danger. If it does not, the label could be considered defective and the consumer might be entitled to damages.
The damages available to someone who was harmed by a dangerous medication vary according to the severity of the injury and the changes to their lifestyle the injury caused. In general, all plaintiffs could seek compensatory damages, and punitive damages might be available in rare cases.
Compensatory damages attempt to make a plaintiff whole. Someone severely injured by a dangerous medication and a local attorney could seek reimbursement for all their documentable financial losses relating to the injury, including costs they might reasonably incur in the future. These might include medical expenses, the cost of continuing rehabilitation and care, lost wages, diminished earning capacity, and any other fixed expenses resulting from the claimant’s harm.
Plaintiffs also could seek monetary compensation for their suffering, humiliation, decreased quality of life, and other subjective effects of their injury. Unlike many states, Missouri does not cap the damages a plaintiff might receive for these intangible losses in most personal injury cases.
If a manufacturer’s conduct was especially egregious, punitive damages could be available. Missouri law allows punitive damages only when the plaintiff can prove that the defendant intentionally harmed them or acted with flagrant disregard for their safety.
Missouri offers injured plaintiffs five years from the date of their injury to file a lawsuit seeking damages for injuries they suffered due to the effects of harmful drugs. However, injuries might not be apparent immediately, or a drug’s effect could be cumulative, delaying the onset of symptoms until the plaintiff has had multiple exposures.
In these cases, the five-year statute of limitations does not begin until the plaintiff knew or should have known of the harm caused by the medication. However, if ten years have passed since the plaintiff used the drug, they cannot seek compensation through the courts. For this reason, a plaintiff should seek a legal opinion from experienced lawyers in the area as soon as they notice symptoms that could be related to their medication.
Pharmaceutical companies have huge budgets to defend themselves from the claims of injured consumers. You need someone to work zealously on your behalf to hold them accountable.
As soon as you suspect that a medication has harmed you, contact a Maryland Heights dangerous drugs lawyer. Schedule a consultation today to find out how you could get justice.