Important Evidence in Pharmacy Error Cases

December 09, 2019

by Donaldson & Weston

personal injury lawyer

There are several elements that must be proven to recover damages in a pharmacy error case. Those elements are:

  • The defendant owed the victim a duty of care;
  • The duty of care was breached;
  • The breach of the duty of care was the proximate or actual cause of the injury or death; and
  • The value of the resulting damages.

You won’t be able to win a settlement or verdict unless you can prove all four elements. For example, if the pharmacist gave you the wrong medication, that would constitute a breach of the duty of care owed to you as a patient; however, if you noticed the error before taking the medication and didn’t suffer damages, you won’t be entitled to compensation.

Our Royal Palm Beach pharmacy error attorneys can conduct an in-depth investigation to gather all available evidence to prove negligence, causation, and damages. This evidence may include:

  • Medical Records & Receipts: As you probably suspect, your medical records (or those of your loved one) will play a critical role in determining the outcome of your claim. The original prescription may help your attorney determine who made the error—the prescribing doctor or the pharmacist. If the medication had an adverse interaction with the medications you were already taking or if you suffered an allergic reaction, your patient intake forms may be used to prove that you disclosed your current medications and allergies to the prescribing doctor. Your Royal Palm Beach pharmacy error attorney will also want to see your medical records from after the error occurred. These records can be used to prove the types of side effects you suffered and to tie those side effects to the medication mistake.
  • The Medication You Were Given: Bring the medication that you or your loved one was given to your initial consultation with a Royal Palm Beach pharmacy error lawyer. The dispensed medication will almost certainly be valuable evidence. This is especially true if you received the wrong medication or dosage.
  • The Pharmacy’s Operational Procedures: Although most pharmacy errors can be traced back to the negligence of a doctor or pharmacist, it’s also possible for a pharmacy to be held liable if inadequate operational procedures contributed to the error. The pharmacy may also be held vicariously liable if the error occurred due to the negligence of a pharmacist who was an employee—and not an independent contractor—of the pharmacist.
  • Surveillance Footage: If your interactions with the pharmacist or the pharmacist’s activities when filling the prescription were recorded by surveillance cameras, that footage might help strengthen your claim.
  • Expert Witness Testimony: The testimony of a medical expert may be needed to prove that the pharmacist or prescribing doctor failed to practice with the most widely accepted and reasonable standards of care. Your attorney may also use medical expert testimony to prove the type of injury or illness you suffered as a result of the error, as well as the cost of healthcare. The testimony of an economic expert may be needed if you intend to pursue compensation for loss of future earning capacity.