Modern medicine can be an incredible asset toward keeping you and your family healthy—unless a drug is not properly vetted before release. Taking a dangerous medication could lead to severe and potentially fatal side effects. For this reason, pharmaceutical companies may be held liable for the impact and side effects their drugs have.
If you suffered injuries or losses because of a drug prescribed by your doctor, contact an Arvada dangerous drugs lawyer today. A seasoned personal injury attorney could work to help you hold large drug manufacturers responsible for the harm they caused.
FDA Regulations in Dangerous Drug Cases
One of the primary roles of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is to control and supervise both prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceutical drugs. New drugs require extensive study and review by the FDA to determine potential side effects and protect consumers.
However, fast-tracked studies mean side effects may not be apparent until after a drug is already available on the market. In these cases, the FDA usually issues a warning or recall, but by then it may be too late to avoid serious damages—which is where an Arvada dangerous drugs lawyer could step in to help.
Who is Liable in a Dangerous Drug Case?
Pharmaceutical companies can be held liable for injuries caused by dangerous drugs under the legal theory of product liability. This theory was adopted by the Colorado Supreme Court in Hiigel v. General Motors Corp., (1975).
Hiigel v. General Motors Corp dictates that anyone “….who sells any product in a defective condition unreasonably dangerous to the user or consumer or to his property is subject to liability for physical harm thereby caused to the ultimate user or consumer.” Essentially, this means that individuals can seek compensation from pharmaceutical companies if a dangerous drug causes them harm.
Warnings Labels and Liability
In addition to ensuring that medication is safe, pharmaceutical companies have a duty to warn consumers of any potential complications their medication may pose. This duty includes accurately marketing drugs and their potential side effects. For this reason, pharmaceutical companies are required to place appropriate warning labels on medications and make consumers aware of any potentially hazardous side-effects.
However, proving liability in a dangerous drug case is often more complicated than merely showing a drug did not contain a proper warning label. Instead, plaintiffs, or an Arvada dangerous drug lawyer, may be required to demonstrate all of the following elements:
- The defendant manufactured, marketed, and sold the medication in question
- The medication was defective, or unreasonably dangerous, at the time of sale
- Medication reached consumers in a relatively unchanged form
- The consumer used the medication
- The consumer suffered injuries or sustained damages
- The medication was a direct cause of injuries
An aggressive attorney with experience handling dangerous drug claims could help a plaintiff establish these components of liability. They may also be able to connect harmed people with others who have faced similar injuries and wish to pursue damages as a group.
How an Arvada Dangerous Drugs Attorney Could Help
If you are unsure of whether a drug caused injury or harm, it may be beneficial to check if any medications you previously took were recalled or had warnings issued about them. If so, it may be time to speak with an Arvada dangerous drugs lawyer.
Your attorney could assist with filing a claim, collecting evidence, and helping you build a positive case. They may additionally be able to help you evaluate losses, understand settlement offers, and identify what compensation could be available. Reach out today to discuss a potential claim with a dangerous drug attorney.