What Happens Now: Drug Injury and the Legal Process

For anyone injured as a result of a dangerous or defective drug product or because of a medical error in the prescribing or administering of a drug, the legal issues surrounding that accident can sometimes be as confusing and frustrating as the accident, itself. While the first priority must always be the medical safety and well-being of the person hurt by a drug injury, it is important to understand the legal implications of the injury and learn what steps can and should be taken by that patient and when.

The Basics

Frequently, just because you have a bad drug does not mean that you have a case. It’s like putting together the pieces of a puzzle, but not many people are going to help you connect these dots. You are diagnosed with breast cancer, and you go to your doctor, who tells you that you should not be taking a certain drug. That’s because the warning label advises against anyone with breast cancer taking the drug. Well, in actuality the drug causes and promotes breast cancer, but no one ever publicizes this part.

Consumers become understandably frustrated about the side effects of drugs that are supposed to help, but are reported in the news as being dangerous to your health and being recalled. Drugs are good one moment and bad the next, so consumers find it hard to understand how to deal with this turn of events.

Multi-District Litigation

Experienced firms look for multiple clients with the same type of drug injury to try drug injury cases because of all the expenses and resources involved in these lawsuits. The courts treat drug injury lawsuits somewhat differently, too. Instead of dealing with several cases of drug injury as a class action, these types of lawsuit are referred to as multidistrict litigation (MDL).

As far as the client is concerned, here is the general way that a drug injury lawsuit proceeds.

On first contact with a drug injury law firm, a legal assistant with a strong background in conducting medical history interviews will speak to you about your drug injury.

The attorney later reviews the legal assistant’s interview materials to evaluate whether he can help given the criteria for whatever drug under review. The drug injury criteria differ from drug to drug and from case to case. In some cases, you need to have been taking the drug the day you were injured. Other situations have a drug injury window within which you need to have taken the drug and become injured.

If it turns out that the criteria fit for the drug under review and drug injury lawyer thinks he can help your case, then the attorney’s office will send you an extensive questionnaire, a drug package insert, a contract, and an update on where their office is in terms of litigating that particular drug injury issue. It may be that you are joining a legion of plaintiffs similarly injured, and the lawyer has already well proceeded into litigating the issue that you are bringing before him.

When the attorney receives the comprehensive medical questionnaire, he gathers all the patient medical records necessary and initiates any follow-up with the client. This may take the form of obscure questioning about family history. The lawyer is trying to determine what actually happened, and whether a viable case can be made.

After evaluating the details of your particular case, the lawyer will contact you with his decision on whether he believes he can make a case given that particular set of facts. If everything works out, then the attorney will schedule a personal meeting or a telephone appointment to discuss your case.

The reason drug injury attorneys wait so long before finally initiating personal contact is that they would not really be able to speak competently and meaningfully about the details of a case. It truly requires that investment of time and research before the attorney can speak to a client about injury issues and chances for success. At this point, the attorney will tell you what his litigation strategy is and any other details unique to your case.

Once the firm takes your drug injury case, the law office will usually send you monthly updates as to how things are progressing with your particular case until it is resolved. Often these updates will discuss not only legal issues, but breaking medical news pertinent to your particular situation.

Although the information we present on this website is designed to help shed light on the often complex legal and procedural issues arising out of elder abuse and neglect, please remember that there will be times when it’s best to consult with a legal expert regarding your situation. While this site provides good general information, an attorney can provide legal advice tailored to your situation and help guide you personally to a favorable outcome.

As a nationwide network of independent attorneys and law firms focused on personal injury law, the member-attorneys of InjuryBoard are available to assist you with a completely free and secure review of your case. If you have additional questions about your case, we encourage you to learn more about InjuryBoard and let us connect you with an InjuryBoard Attorney Member practicing near you.

Please remember that hiring an attorney is an extremely important decision and you should take care in choosing one that’s right for you. By using the information found on this website, combined with the legal advice of an attorney, you should be well on your way keeping your family safe and resolving any nursing home and elder abuse issues.

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