Prescription drugs are still drugs, and no class of prescription drugs has proven more dangerous in America than opioids. In the past few decades, the number of prescriptions issued for narcotic painkillers and other opioids has skyrocketed, and millions of Americans have died and suffered serious injuries and addictions as a byproduct of this overprescribing. If a loved one died from an opioid overdose, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit for the harm you and your family faced.
For help with your prescription opioid overdose case, contact Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA today. Our Miami attorney for wrongful deaths from prescription opioid overdoses may be able to help you and your family seek justice from negligent pharmaceutical companies, pharmacies, and prescribing doctors who put your loved one at risk for an overdose and contributed to their death. To schedule a free legal consultation to help with your case, contact Prosper Shaked today at (305) 694-2676.
Holding Doctors, Pharmacies, and Drug Companies Responsible for Opioid Overdose Deaths
If your loved one died from an opioid overdose, you may be entitled to file a lawsuit for their wrongful death. Opioids are an incredibly powerful class of drugs that includes common pain relief drugs like OxyContin and other oxycodone drugs as well as fentanyl and heroin. These drugs produce a euphoric effect and help block pain, which makes them excellent drugs for post-surgery recovery or pain management. However, patients can build up a tolerance to these drugs as well as addiction, which often brings patients to misuse or abuse these drugs. Misuse can potentially lead to overdoses, liver damage, other organ damage, or even death.
Opioids may be a necessary evil in healthcare, but proper monitoring and oversight of these prescriptions can help limit a patient’s dependence and avoid many of the problems associated with opioid misuse. When a doctor prescribes large doses of opioids without giving the proper care and attention, the patient may be put at risk for injury or death. Similarly, if drug manufacturers continue to push and distribute these dangerous drugs, the risk of addiction and death increases. If a pharmacy negligently allows a patient with clear drug abuse issues to continue to fill and refill their prescription, they may also be increasing their risk of injury or death.
These kinds of errors may justify suing any of these three parties for their role in getting drugs into your loved one’s hand, supporting their habit, and failing to prevent or reduce the risk of overdose. In addition to these errors, any of the following issues might also put a pharmacy, pharmaceutical manufacturer, or doctor at fault for a prescription opioid overdose:
- Prescribing or filling the wrong dosage
- Mislabeling drugs
- Failing to properly label a drug with side effects and risks
- Failing to warn the patient about the side effects and risks
- Failing to provide the patient with resources for addiction treatment
- Failing to prescribe an alternative low-risk drug when reasonable
- Using long-term or high-count prescriptions without proper monitoring or restriction
- Filling or refilling prescriptions for a patient in obvious distress
- Prescribing opioids to a known addict or patient with a history of substance misuse
Filing a Lawsuit for Opioid Overdose Deaths in Florida
Florida law often allows the family of someone who dies before their time to sue the parties responsible for their death. If someone is killed in an accident, their surviving family may be entitled to damages for their loss, and the same is true for other deaths caused by someone’s negligence or mistakes. These cases often work by proving the at-fault party’s negligence and requesting substantial compensation for the death and its effects on the family.
Proving Negligence in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit
To sue for wrongful death, you must prove that the at-fault party – the “defendant” – owed your loved one a duty, and that their death occurred because the defendant breached that duty.
For a physician, the duty comes from their doctor-patient relationship and typically involves a duty to provide your loved one with healthcare up to the same standards of reasonableness that other doctors in the same situation would have provided.
For a pharmaceutical manufacturer, that duty may include reasonable labeling and warning in how they package and market their drugs.
For a pharmacy, the duty may be to fill the drug as prescribed and to follow federal, state, and local rules regarding prescription drug safety, so filling a higher or lower dosage would be negligent.
If you can prove that they violated this duty, and that the violation contributed to your loved one’s drug use, overdose, and death, you can typically claim compensation for your loss.
Damages for Prescription Overdose Deaths
When you file your lawsuit, you can claim damages for any harms you faced because of your loved one’s death. If the deceased was responsible for providing for your family, the economic damages may be catastrophic. You can sue for the deceased’s lost wages, lost investments, lost inheritances, and the cost of their funeral and burial, as well as other economic costs tied to their death. In addition, you can sue for the intangible effects – the lost companionship, lost counsel, anguish, and longing that the death caused you.
Talk to a lawyer about what damages are available and how to claim and prove them in court.
Call Our Miami Opioid Overdose Death Lawyer for a Free Consultation
If your loved one passed away because of a drug overdose brought on by negligent prescriptions, bad drugs, insufficient warnings, or negligent medical care, contact Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA today. Our Miami wrongful death and prescription opioid overdose lawyer, Prosper Shaked, represents the families of deceased overdose victims and fights to get them justice and financial compensation for their losses. For a free legal consultation and to learn more about your options, contact our law offices today at (305) 694-2676.