Negligence in Atlanta Medication Error Cases

In the context of civil litigation, negligence is generally the failure to do what an ordinary, reasonable, and prudent person would do. To demonstrate negligence in an Atlanta medication error case, patients would need to demonstrate that healthcare providers owed a legal duty of care to them, that they then breached that duty, and that the breach directly caused their damages.

Depending on the circumstances, though, proving every aspect of legal negligence is often a lot easier said than done, especially when filing suit against a medical professional. A client-centered malpractice lawyer could walk you through the steps needed to show negligence in your case and effectively pursue compensation.

How Duty of Care Can Be Breached

In a medication error case, the alleged wrongdoer is the specific healthcare provider or providers who owed the victim a duty of care. Typically, a physician-patient relationship creates that duty, and that duty is to do what an ordinary, reasonable physician, nurse, or other healthcare providers would do in the same or similar circumstances.  This is also known as the standard of care.

For example, a reasonable and prudent healthcare provider would ask patients what allergies they have and what other medications they are taking, and the patients would have the responsibility to answer those questions honestly and completely. In situations where the patient is unable to answer because they are incapacitated for whatever reason, the healthcare provider might also have a duty to review the patient’s available medical records to determine the answers to those questions.

The standard of care for healthcare providers is generally the same in Atlanta, Georgia as it is in rural parts of Georgia or New York City. It is essentially developed by physicians, medical researchers, government regulators, and literature guidelines, and it is ultimately testified to by expert witnesses in civil cases. Therefore, if a healthcare provider in Atlanta or anywhere else does not meet the standard of care for the exercise of his or her profession, that constitutes a breach of their duty to the patient.

Defining Causation in Atlanta Medication Error Claims

To recover damages, an injured party must show that a medication error was the actual cause of the sustained injuries. To that end, causation is the legal term for the relationship of cause and effect that leads to the damages alleged in a personal injury case.

One unique element of proving causation in Atlanta medication error cases is that when a patient is prescribed medication, there are many people that are involved in that process. From start to finish, the process includes the doctor who orders the medication, the hospital staff member who looks at that order and relays it to the pharmacy, and the pharmacy technician who interprets the order and actually fills the prescription.

Usually, a thorough analysis has to be done to determine who in that chain made an error, because a victim has to show whose negligence specifically caused his or her injury. Victims cannot just broadly say that there was an injury and it was due to a prescription error—they have to name a specific defendant, or multiple specific defendants depending on the circumstances.

Atlanta Medication Error Victims Could Rely on an Attorney

No malpractice case based on any grounds can succeed without a finding of legal liability, and usually, liability in Atlanta medication error cases takes the form of traditional negligence. How negligence manifests is unique to each individual case, but an experienced malpractice attorney who could rely on the experience of an in-house doctor should be able to help an individual track down evidence and construct a comprehensive claim that demonstrates fault in this way. Call today to learn how an attorney who takes calls after hours could offer a free case review and utilize cutting-edge technology to produce a favorable result.