In 2018, over 10 million Americans misused prescription pain medication. How did this happen—and why do doctors keep prescribing addictive medication?
In the 1990s, pharmaceutical companies told doctors that patients would not become addicted to opioids. Unfortunately, we know all too well now that this simply isn’t true. The opioid epidemic has been ongoing, with devastating results: “[i]ncreased prescription of opioid medications led to widespread misuse of both prescription and non-prescription opioids before it became clear that these medications could indeed be highly addictive.” The Department of Health and Human services estimates that over 40 percent of opioid-related deaths are due to prescription medication.
If you became addiction to opioid painkillers after your doctor prescribed them, you might wonder whether they can be held responsible. Here’s what you need to know before you call an attorney.
Medical malpractice and opioid prescriptions
Suing a doctor for prescription painkiller addiction would be a medical malpractice lawsuit. This is a type of negligence proceeding. Medical malpractice lawsuits hinge on whether you can prove a doctor violated a medical standard of care, or what other reasonable doctors in the same situation would have done.
There are a number of factors that could determine whether the doctor was professionally negligent in prescribing painkillers, such as patient’s medical history, history of addiction, whether the doctor knew about past addictions, how long the painkillers had been prescribed, whether other pain management solutions were recommended and more.
For example, if a doctor prescribed opioids to someone who had a previous heroin addiction, a malpractice claim would be more likely to prevail when the doctor knew about it beforehand. If the patient didn’t disclose this information, it would be harder to prove that the doctor violated a reasonable standard of medical care.
That’s just one potential situation. Other issues, like the doctor’s history of prescribing narcotics and other relevant information, may have bearing on your case as well.
Filing a malpractice suit
When filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, your lawyer will work with an expert medical witness. The expert will review medical records and other relevant evidence. If they agree that the other doctor acted in a professionally negligent manner, they’ll write an “affidavit of merit,” testifying to their expert opinion. It can be a high bar to clear, but with the help of a good attorney, you’ll know whether you have grounds to sue.
Talk to an Ohio medical malpractice lawyer today
If you suffered from an opioid addiction due to a doctor’s negligence, you may be eligible to recover compensation. I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call me today at 877.483.2298 to discuss your case.