Whenever you visit a pharmacy in Cooper City or other parts of Florida, you certainly hope that the pharmacist knows what he or she is doing. We tend to place our trust in pharmacist even though very often, many of these people are fresh graduates or have not even received proper education and practice yet.
But that is not the core cause of all pharmacy errors in Florida, as even the most competent and qualified pharmacist make mistakes sometimes. Though just because the pharmacist has three medical degrees, it does not mean that you will not be able to hold him/her liable for any harm caused by breaching one or several of his/her duties.
Contrary to the popular belief, a medical malpractice lawsuit can be pursued even outside the hospital. It does not necessarily have to be a negligent doctor, nurse, surgeon, physician, or any other medical professional at a hospital to be able to recover damages under the legal theory of medical malpractice. “What many people do not realize is that medical malpractice laws also apply to pharmacists,” says our Cooper City medical malpractice attorney at the Law Offices of Bradley Hartman.
So, yes, you can actually sue a pharmacist in Florida for making a mistake if he or she failed to uphold a legal responsibility to you, as the patient. Because when a person walks into a pharmacy to receive a prescription, he or she is not considered a “customer,” but a patient.
Pharmacist’s duties to patients in Florida
But before we get to the meat and potatoes of filing a medical malpractice lawsuit for a pharmacy error, let’s review some of the most basic duties pharmacists in Florida owe their patients.
- Asks questions or inquires into your medical history before giving you the prescription.
- Before selling a drug, warns about the potential interactions with other drugs you may be taking for your particular condition.
- When in doubt or any concerns/questions arise, contacts your primary treating physician for clarification.
- Warns you about the potential side effects of the medicine.
- Asks if you need him/her to clarify anything about the prescription.
- Provides you with the correct medication as well as the potency and dosage required for your medical condition.
- Ensures that labels and instructions on the drug are accurate.
- Knows about the manufacturer’s alterations of the drug.
In case a pharmacist breaches any of the above-mentioned duties, and you sustain injuries or develop a disease or illness as a result, you may be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit to obtain compensation for your damages.
Filing a medical malpractice lawsuit against a negligent pharmacist
Our experienced medical malpractice attorney in Cooper City warns that although you have a legal right to hold a negligent pharmacist responsible for your injuries and harm suffered as a result of his/her negligent act or omission to act, suing a pharmacist for medical malpractice is not as easy as it might seem.
After all, your attorney will have to establish four elements of the medical malpractice claim in order to recover compensation on your behalf:
- The pharmacist owed you a duty.
- The duty was breached by the pharmacist’s negligence, recklessness, intentional act, or omission to act.
- The pharmacist’s negligence was the direct or contributing cause of your injury or illness.
- You suffered damages due to the pharmacist’s breach of duty.
You can sue even if the pharmacist did NOT cause your injury
You may be wondering right now, “Wait, so does it mean that I will not be able to sue the pharmacist if his or her negligence aggravated my condition, but not caused it?” Well, here is where it gets tricky. It is true that if you visit a pharmacy or doctor, chances are you already have a pre-existing medical condition that prompted you to get a prescription or medicine in the first place.
Under Florida law, you may be able to sue a negligent pharmacist under the legal theory of medical malpractice even if his or her actions or omission to act aggravated or accelerated the injury or illness. So even if the pharmacist was not directly responsible for causing your illness or injury, he or she contributed to making it worse, which is a clear breach of the pharmacist’s duty.
Get a free consultation about your particular case by scheduling a call with our Cooper City medical malpractice attorney. Call the Law Offices of Bradley Hartman at 954-438-1000 or complete this contact form to get a free consultation.