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Chicago Medication Error Lawyers

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A medication error can leave you with catastrophic injuries, including brain injuries, paralysis, organ damage, emotional trauma, and other lifelong effects. The HCA Healthcare Journal of Medicine reports that 7,000 to 9,000 people die from the adverse effects of medication errors annually in the United States.

Medication errors are always preventable. Patients rely on health care providers to provide a reasonable standard of care when prescribing, dispensing, or administering medication. If you or your loved one suffered harm from taking prescribed medication, our Chicago medication error lawyers can determine whether medical malpractice is to blame. If so, we can help you pursue substantial compensation. Call us today at (312) 332-2872.

Why Choose Levin & Perconti to Handle Your Medication Error Claim?

We have been standing up to large health care providers since 1992 and are one of the most respected medical malpractice law firms in the United States. Nine of our Chicago medical malpractice attorneys received national recognition as Super Lawyers in 2024, and four more were recognized as Rising Stars. Only the top five percent of lawyers in the nation receive these honors, yet our attorneys are recognized year after year.

We have won more than $2 billion in compensation for injured clients. Our successful trial record has won us the respect of our adversaries. Medical malpractice insurers know that we refuse to settle for less than fair compensation and have sufficient financial resources to fight them and win, even if the case goes to trial. This gives us powerful leverage that we can use in settlement negotiations to maximize your compensation.

How Chicago Medication Error Attorneys Can Help

Medication errors are medical malpractice. When you file a medical malpractice claim, you’ll likely go up against large insurance companies, drug companies, and health care corporations. These powerful companies have massive resources to fight claims, and only the most resourceful, experienced law firms can successfully stand up to them.

John Perconti, our firm’s co-founder, is a national leader in medical malpractice claims due to his extensive experience in state and federal courts and in-depth knowledge of complex medical issues. For over 32 years, we have helped clients recover substantial compensation from large medical corporations. We know what it takes to fight negligent health care providers and have the resources, skills, and experience to win you the compensation you deserve.

You can count on us to identify the health care providers who made the mistakes and collect evidence to prove the provider failed to follow a reasonable standard of care. We have a nationwide network of the best experts in the medical field working for us, and we will use these connections to strengthen your case.

What Compensation Can You Recover From A Medication Error Lawsuit?

Compensation for medication errors may include economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are compensation for the monetary losses you experience due to your injuries. Non-economic damages are the subjective losses the injuries cause. The table below shows examples of economic and non-economic damages.

Economic Damages Non-Economic Damages
Medical expenses Physical pain
Projected future medical expenses Emotional distress
Lost wages Loss of bodily functions
Lost future earning capacity Loss of enjoyment of life
Lost business opportunities Loss of society
Domestic services Inconvenience

If your loved one passed away because of a medication error, you may be able to recover compensation for your loved one’s pain and suffering and your family’s losses, such as lost inheritance, loss of your loved one’s income, funeral expenses, and loss of companionship.

Our dedicated Chicago medication error attorneys won’t settle for less than you deserve. Call us today at (312) 332-2872 to find out how much we can recover for you.

Who Can Be Held Liable in Medical Malpractice Claims and Lawsuits?

Liability in a medication error claim is not always straightforward. Even if a provider dispenses the medication correctly, that provider may not be the only responsible party. A dispensing error could occur due to malfunctioning equipment or unclear instructions by a doctor. If a misdiagnosis causes a doctor to prescribe the wrong medication, a radiologist or pathologist may be partly to blame.

When you choose our Chicago medication error lawyers, we will hold every party accountable who contributed to your injuries or employed someone who contributed. Such parties may include the following:

Medical malpractice insurance companies often try to blame the victim. Under Illinois’ comparative negligence law, your compensation will be reduced if your conduct contributed to your injuries. If the insurer can pin more than half of the blame on you, the law bars you from recovering any compensation.

For example, the insurer may claim you failed to disclose information or follow instructions. You can count on us to defend you against such tactics so nothing keeps you from recovering the compensation you deserve.

What Is the Time Limit to File a Medication Error Case?

The Illinois medical malpractice statute of limitations is two years from the date of the error or the date you discover the error. Regardless of when you discover the injury, you must file your claim no later than four years after the health care provider committed the error.

Within 90 days of filing your claim, you must file an affidavit of merit, a sworn statement by a licensed health care provider that your claim is reasonable. We have experts in our network that can meet this requirement for you. 

Don’t wait to contact an attorney about your medical malpractice claim. The statute of limitations is not always straightforward, and if you miss the deadline, you will lose your right to pursue damages forever. Contact us now for a free consultation. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Process of Filing A Medication Error Lawsuit?

The first step in filing a lawsuit for a medication error is to contact an experienced Chicago medication error attorney. After investigating your case and identifying all the liable parties, we will evaluate your damages and file an insurance claim. If the insurance company refuses to compensate you fairly, we will file a civil lawsuit. We will work to negotiate a settlement to avoid a trial. However, if we cannot reach a fair and just settlement, we will fight for you in court.

How Much Will a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Cost Me?

We believe that the cost of a medical malpractice lawsuit should not be a barrier to justice. Therefore, our medical malpractice attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning we charge no upfront fees. We will advance your case costs, such as filing fees and the expense of hiring experts. If we win and successfully recover compensation for you, we will collect our fees from your settlement. If we don’t win, you owe us nothing.

How Much Money Can I Recover For My Injuries?

The compensation you can recover will vary based on the severity of the harm you suffered and its financial impact. Our resourceful Chicago medication error lawyers are committed to maximizing your compensation. We have won verdicts ranging from the thousands to the millions for medication error clients.

How Do Medication/Pharmaceutical Errors Happen?

Medication errors happen when health care professionals fail to follow best practices while prescribing, dispensing, or administering medications. Medications are powerful substances that work by altering bodily functions. Multiple providers play a role in determining a patient’s medication regimen. 

Every provider has a legal duty to provide a reasonable standard of care. It only takes one careless mistake by any of the following providers to cause serious harm through medication errors:

Common Types of Medication Errors

The National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention defines a medication error as “any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm while the medication is in the control of the health care professional, patient, or consumer.”

Common types of medication errors include the following:

Causes of Medication Errors

Human error is almost always to blame for medication errors. Every health care professional in the chain of providers—from diagnosis to medication delivery—must exercise reasonable care to prevent errors. 

Misdiagnosis

If you’ve been misdiagnosed, you may receive medications for a condition you do not have while not receiving medications you need. These errors can cause you to experience unnecessary side effects and risks while the real condition is allowed to progress. If you were harmed by inappropriate medications resulting from a misdiagnosis, contact our Chicago misdiagnosis lawyers for a free consultation.

Charting Errors

Health care providers rely on the information in your chart to make decisions about your care. The following charting errors can lead to a patient receiving the wrong medication, an overdose, too little medication, or the wrong form of medication:

Every health care provider has a duty to record the details of all interactions in your patient chart, including the medications you’ve received with the correct date, time, and dosage.

Failure to Obtain a Complete Medical History

You could receive a dangerous medication if your physician makes treatment decisions without considering your entire medical picture, including the following:

Failure to Monitor Side Effects

Some medications have a risk of producing serious side effects. Even if side effects are rare, doctors should monitor your response and treat any adverse reactions by adjusting your dosage or changing your medication.

Understaffing

Nurses in understaffed medical facilities work excessive hours and may become fatigued. They experience pressure to rush through care. They may spend too little time with patients to notice adverse medication effects or changes in a patient’s condition. 

Understaffing in nursing homes leads to abuse and neglect of residents and increases the risk of medication errors. Nursing home doctors frequently prescribe inappropriate medication, such as antipsychotics, as a substitute for care in understaffed facilities. These drugs work as chemical restraints.

Inexperience

Understaffing in hospitals and nursing homes often leads to a high turnover among nursing staff, increasing the ratio of inexperienced staff. Inexperienced nursing staff may find medication labels and procedures confusing, increasing the risk of errors. They may also struggle with the workload, hurry through care, or fail to recognize emergencies.

Inattentiveness

Health care providers who are distracted, hurried, overworked, or fatigued cannot give patients the attention they need. Thus, providers might overlook symptoms, dispense the wrong medication, or fail to hear a patient’s complaints. 

Illegible Handwriting

Illegible prescriptions or instructions can lead pharmacists or nurses to dispense the wrong medication or an incorrect dose. Electronic medical records are reducing the need for handwritten instructions for nursing staff, but handwritten prescriptions are still common.

Confusing Medication Labels

Many different types of drugs have similar names and come in packages that can be difficult to differentiate. In a fast-paced health care environment, this can lead to nursing staff giving the wrong medications to patients. Sometimes, a provider may choose prescriptions from electronic menus arranged alphabetically. Drugs with similar names can be confused if the provider is under pressure to hurry.

Emergency Room Mismanagement

Emergency rooms are fast-paced environments in which doctors often must make treatment decisions based on limited information. Due to the unpredictable flow of incoming patients, the environment changes constantly, creating pressure on providers to make fast decisions. Regardless of the time limitations, health care providers should always prioritize safety over speed.

Equipment Failures

Medical equipment and devices can improve patient monitoring and efficiency in administering medications. However, technology creates the potential for new types of errors, such as disconnected tubing, user error, poor design, and inadequate maintenance. Equipment produced by different manufacturers may work differently, increasing the risk of user error in infusion pumps and other dispensing equipment.

Who Is At Risk of Medication Errors?

Medication errors can happen to anyone, but some patients have higher risks than others. 

Diabetic Patients

A study published in the European Journal of Internal Medicine found that diabetic patients have a higher risk of serious medication errors than non-diabetic patients. Clinical pharmacists involved in the study were able to detect and correct 25.8 percent of these errors. According to research, the elevated risk stemmed from diabetic patients’ need for multiple medications. 

Elderly Patients

Elderly patients often have comorbid medical conditions and need multiple medications. Such conditions heighten the provider’s responsibility to consider drug interactions and the patient’s tolerance to medications. Elderly patients are also more vulnerable to serious side effects from medications in general. 

Pediatric Patients

Prescribing and administering medications to children is more complex than in adults because the prescribing physician must consider the child’s age and weight when determining the dosage. These factors increase the likelihood of error.

How Can Medication Errors be Reduced?

Preventing medication errors would require system-wide changes. Hospitals, nursing homes, doctors, and other health care providers could dramatically reduce medication errors by implementing the following procedures:

What Can You Do To Stay Safe?

Communication is the most important way to minimize the risk of medication errors. Tell your doctor about all your allergies, medications, and history of adverse reactions. Learn everything you can about your medication. You cannot ask too many questions. A study by the University of Vanderbilt School of Medicine identified a higher risk of medication errors in pediatric patients when communication between caregivers and doctors was inadequate. 

Before you go to the pharmacy, make sure your prescription is legible or ask the doctor to call it into the pharmacy. Ask the pharmacist to verify that the medication is correct based on your condition. Your pharmacist should also be able to provide additional information about your prescription. 

Have You or a Loved One Been Harmed Because of a Medication Error?

When a medication error occurs, the effects can be devastating to victims and their families. These errors can result in serious medical complications and may even cause death. Victims should understand their rights to ensure they receive fair and reasonable compensation for their injuries or loss.

The Chicago injury lawyers at Levin & Perconti have represented numerous clients who suffered serious personal injuries due to medication errors and have recovered notable compensation on their behalf, including a $650,000 settlement against a Chicago-area doctor, medical group, and pharmacy.

If you believe you or a loved one may have a medication error case in Illinois, please call us for a FREE consultation at 877-874-1417 or 312–332–2872 or contact us online.