The benefit of prescription medications in the modern world is obvious. Illnesses and events that would once have been fatal may now be treated quickly and easily with antibiotics. Medications help control diabetes, which could otherwise be life-threatening, reduce blood pressure, reduce the transmission of viruses such as HIV, and help control life-altering symptoms of conditions that have no cure, such as Parkinson’s disease.
But, there’s a dark side to the industry as well. Some drugs are approved and pushed out to the market, only to have troubling side-effects and adverse reactions emerge. In some cases, the drug is safe for some people and not others, or there are risks the patient and their physician should be weighing before the drug is prescribed. But, those issues aren’t always disclosed to patients and their medical providers.
Product liability is an area of law that allows consumers to seek compensation when they’ve been injured by a dangerous or defective product. Though that probably brings to mind toasters catching fire and cars with brakes that don’t work, medications are also a product.
Product liability works a bit differently than most other types of injury claims. That’s because South Carolina law makes a company liable for injuries caused by a defective product it sold even if the company wasn’t negligent. In other words, a manufacturer or seller of a defective product can be legally responsible for damages even if the company did everything right and had no way of knowing the product was defective.
The statute of limitations for a defective drug claim in South Carolina depends in part on the type of claim you’re filing. Injury claims and wrongful death claims based on product liability have a three-year statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is longer for breach of warranty claims, and that type of claim may still be an option if you’ve missed the three-year statute. But, for the best chance at full compensation, you’ll want to file early enough to pursue all available claims. And, there are other reasons to act quickly. Contacting a Charleston defective drug lawyer as soon as possible after you become aware of the problem will give your attorney the best opportunity to gather evidence to support your claim.
Medical malpractice involving prescription drugs is a separate type of claim, filed against a physician, other medical provider, or medical facility. Often, a medical malpractice claim involving medication relates to a drug that would have been perfectly safe if it had been administered properly, and so there will be no related product liability claims. For example, a medical provider may be liable for malpractice if a patient is harmed by being administered a drug they are allergic to, that is contra-indicated because of an underlying medical condition, that interacts badly with another drug the patient is taking, or that harms the patient due to improper dosage.
If you’ve been harmed by medication because it was defective, because the manufacturer or someone else in the supply chain failed to warn of risks associated with the drug, or because your medical provider improperly prescribed or administered the medication, you may be entitled to compensation. But, your time to pursue a claim is limited. Drug-related claims can be difficult due to the complex medical and scientific nature of the evidence. So, it is important to seek knowledgeable guidance as soon as possible.
Attorney Frank Hartman devotes his legal practice to helping people who have been injured in and around Charleston, South Carolina. To learn more about how The Hartman Law Firm can help, call 843-300-7600 right now, or fill out the contact form on this site.