Gone are the days of visiting a small town pharmacist who knows the entirety of your personal medical history. Instead, most of us visit large chains like Walgreens or CVS to pick up a prescription. These stores are great for low costs and convenience. However, with this speed and convenience comes a real risk for mistakes. Fortunately, if you or a loved one was harmed by a pharmacist’s negligent actions, you may be able to file a claim for pharmacist malpractice.
For help, contact the malpractice attorneys at Montero Law Center: 954-767-6500.
What constitutes malpractice for a pharmacist?
Unlike other medical doctors, a pharmacist spends relatively little time with each patient face-to-face. In many cases, only a technician in the pharmacy will actually speak to the patient. This is extremely problematic as, in many cases, we trust a pharmacist with our lives. Any mistake can leave a patient with serious or fatal injuries.
Common examples of negligence that the law may consider pharmacist malpractice include:
- Giving the patient a prescription that he or she is allergic to
- Giving the patient the incorrect prescription
- Giving the patient an improper dosage of the medication
- Not warning the patient of potential side effects
- Mixing prescriptions that a patient should not take together (e.g., filling a prescription for a blood thinner without telling the patient that he or she cannot take aspirin with the blood thinner)
- Not checking patient’s medical history before filling prescription
- Not advising patient how to properly take medication (e.g., not telling a patient that drinking alcohol with the medication can cause severe dizziness)
If you can prove that your pharmacist performed any of these actions, you may have a claim for pharmacy malpractice in Florida.
What do I need to prove to establish pharmacist malpractice?
In order to recover compensation for a pharmacist malpractice claim in Florida, you must prove that the pharmacist was negligent. This means proving four elements: duty, breach, causation, and damages.
The first element, duty, is simple. Pharmacists have a duty to provide patients with a certain standard of care. This means they must follow the accepted guidelines of their profession and warn patients of any potential risks associated with a procedure or medication.
The second element is breach. In order to win your malpractice claim, you must prove that your pharmacist breached his or her duty to you. This could mean not paying attention when filing your prescription or failing to warn you about certain side effects.
Third, you must prove that this breach of duty actually caused your injuries. For example, if a pharmacist negligently gives you the incorrect medication and you have a terrible reaction to that medication, you must prove that the reaction only happened because you took the wrong medication.
In other words, if the pharmacist successfully argues that you would have had the same reaction if you had taken the correct medication, then the pharmacist’s negligence did not cause your injury and you cannot recover under medical malpractice.
Note: You must also be able to prove that you actually suffered an injury. If your pharmacist gave you the wrong medication, but you did not suffer any harm, you do not have a case.
Finally, you must prove that you have actual, measurable damages. This means that you can prove you were injured. Typically, you can prove your damages with a doctor’s report after you visit the hospital. The medical paperwork detailing your injuries and what may have caused it will serve as proof of your injury and will be the baseline for your compensation.
Our attorneys will work with medical and financial experts to prove your injuries
What can I recover?
If you successfully establish that your pharmacist was negligent, you can recover compensation for:
- The cost of your injury, including current or past due medical bills
- The foreseeable future cost of your injury, including future medical bills, prescriptions, therapy, or surgery
- Any lost wages or decreased capacity to earn income
- Your pain and suffering
The medical malpractice attorneys at the Montero Law Center can help you establish the full and fair amount of your damages.
Time Limit to Bring Your Claim
Under Florida Statute § 95.11(4)(b), victims must file a medical malpractice case within two years of the time of the injury occurred. If you do not discover your injury right away because it is an internal injury, you have two years from the time that a reasonable person should have discovered it.
However, Florida follows a very strict rule called the statute of repose that prohibits victims from filing medical malpractice cases if four years have passed since the original injury.
This means, if your pharmacist gives you the incorrect medication and causes internal injuries which you do not discover until five years later, you cannot file suit against the pharmacists.
In certain circumstances, such as when the pharmacists took deliberate actions to hide the fact that there was an injury or if the victim is a minor under eight years old, a court could extend the statute of repose deadline to seven years.
Our attorneys have years of experience with medical malpractice cases and can help you find out if your case may qualify for an extension.
Regardless of when you notice your injury, you should speak with a medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible. Doing so will give you time to collect important pieces of evidence, such as records and expert testimony, as well as allow you and your attorney to present the best possible case.
Call the Montero Law Center for Help Today
If you were injured by a negligent pharmacist, the Montero Law Center can help. Our medical malpractice attorneys can speak with you about your case and give you advice on the best ways to proceed. The consultation is free and you are under no obligation to proceed with a case.
Do not let a pharmacist’s mistake ruin your life. Get the compensation and help you deserve. Contact the medical malpractice attorneys at the Montero Law Center today: 954-767-6500.