People are prescribed narcotic medications for a variety of reasons. Some are recovering from dramatic injuries and others have just come through surgery. No matter the reason, being prescribed a pain relieving medication is not without its risks. Most popular pain medications on today’s market are made from Opium, the prevalent ingredient in heroine, and are highly addictive. Percocet, Vicodin and even OxyContin are prescribed on a daily basis and abused just as frequently.
Patients can easily become addicted to these medications, prompting the question: Is addiction grounds for a medical malpractice case? The answer is not as clear cut as people would like. To prove a successful medical malpractice case, an attorney must show evidence that a medical professional was negligent. How can a doctor be considered negligent for trying to help a patient make it through a period of pain?
If a doctor fails to take an adequate medical history, continues to prescribe the medication beyond its typically warranted period, or even fails to seek assistance for a patient who is known to be addicted, that doctor may be found legally liable for the addiction. As with any other medical malpractice case, an attorney must prove several things:
1. A relationship existed between the doctor and the patient.
2. The standard of care was not delivered.
3. The doctor was negligent.
4. A serious injury occurred as a result of that negligence.
If an attorney can prove these things in a medication addiction case, a doctor may very well be considered to be liable. If, on the other hand, the doctor did everything right and provided the acceptable standard of care, these types of cases can be very difficult to prove. Addiction is not something anyone wants to deal with, but anyone who is overusing narcotic pain medication can be considered an addict and should seek treatment.
If you believe that you have been the victim of medical malpractice, please call our team of attorneys today. We will review the details of your case and advise you how to best proceed. We want to help you and your family put the pieces of your life back together. Call now.