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medication error malpractice

Medication Error Malpractice

medication error malpractice

What Is a Medication Error?

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a medication error is “any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm while the medication is in the control of the health care professional, patient, or consumer.” Such errors are among the most common causes of medical malpractice injuries and deaths in the country, harming more than 1.5 million Americans each year. In fact, these errors happen so frequently that the cost of treating medication-related injuries reaches $3.5 billion annually — a figure that doesn’t even account for a patient’s lost wages or additional medical costs.

Unfortunately, medication errors can happen at any stage of your treatment — including at home — and it’s often the most common medications that carry the greatest risks. For example, insulin is used by more than 6 million diabetes sufferers in the nation, yet it remains the most common prescription associated with medication errors. Pain relievers like morphine, codeine, and Vicodin also carry a high risk of medication errors — especially overdoses — in hospitals and in patients’ homes.

Vitamins and over-the-counter medications found in most medicine cabinets can also contribute to a lethal medication error. Failure to inform you of the risks of a prescription can have lethal consequences at home. Neglecting to explain a medication’s contraindications — such as the fatal hemorrhage risk of mixing blood thinners like Heparin with a pain reliever like Advil — is just one example of a medication error that may be easily overlooked by a hurried doctor.

When it comes to medication errors, even the best-case scenarios are grim. The smallest mistake — like missing a decimal point on a prescription’s dosage — can cause permanent damage or even death. Other consequences of medication errors can include long-term disability, astronomical medical bills, and a diminished quality of life.

Medication Error Cases in Arizona

Medical malpractice cases are difficult to file in any state, but in Arizona, these difficulties are compounded by laws intended to reduce so-called frivolous lawsuits. When you file a medical malpractice case in Arizona, the filer must certify “whether or not expert opinion testimony is necessary to prove the health care professional’s standard of care or liability for the claim.” In layman’s terms, unless the error is glaringly obvious, the burden falls on the injured party to hire an expert witness who can tell the judge what good care should look like and prove that the defendant violated this standard of care.

Your expert witness can’t be just any doctor, however. The expert witness must be actively practicing in the defendant’s field or employed as a professor of medicine in the defendant’s specialty. Finding such an expert can be confusing, time-consuming, and emotionally draining for a plaintiff, who may still be suffering from the physical and financial effects of the medication error that started the case to begin with. Even with an expert at hand, you still have to contend with the complicated issues of contributory negligence and joint or severable liability.

Since there is no monetary limit in medical malpractice claims, doctors and hospitals do everything in their power to lessen their accountability. With so much at stake, you can be sure that the defendant in your case will have a retinue of skilled attorneys on hand to protect them. It’s only right that you, the injured party, should receive the same standard of legal aid.

The disturbing truth is that medication errors are often not reported to the patient or family members, especially in a hospital setting. In fact, a study released in 2012 found that families were informed of a medication error in less than 2 percent of hospital cases. If you suspect a medication error has been made, it’s essential to consult professional legal counsel, which can help you find out the truth.

At the Law Offices of Gonzales & Poirier, we understand the unique difficulties that victims of medication errors face. Our compassionate Flagstaff malpractice attorneys have helped countless plaintiffs like you recover medical costs and lost wages to help get their lives back to normal. While no settlement amount can reverse the consequences of a medication error, our medical malpractice lawyers will do everything possible to help you receive the compensation that is rightfully yours.

Common Causes of Medication Error Malpractice:

  • Drug name confusion
  • Prescription labeling errors
  • Faulty medication pumps
  • Drug interactions
  • Misinterpreted handwriting on prescriptions
  • Dosage errors
  • Incorrect administration methods
  • Compound mixing errors
  • Incorrect medication substitutions
  • Contaminated medical equipment
  • Failure to prescribe necessary medication
  • Misleading directions for use
  • Failure to disclose contraindications
  • Failure to disclose side effects
Shady Discount Lawyer

Should I Pay My Accident Attorney a Contingency Fee of 25%?

Shady Discount Lawyer

With just about everything in life, you get what you pay for, and legal services are no different. Don’t settle for less by paying less! Your future could depend on it.

You have seen the ads for discount accident attorneys. These attorneys tell you that you should never pay a charge of one-third or more to an attorney to handle your accident case. While it is true that in our present market, lawyers are able to charge any price to handle your accident case. However, paying less is not always better.

The price of an attorney’s services is dependent upon how much time and effort they put into a personal injury case. If you believe this, then paying a lawyer 25% may not get you the same legal effort as a firm that charges 33% or 40%.
The fact remains that working on an accident case is not a simple process. Lawyers invest several hours of their own time and their staff’s time in putting together a case that is ready for settlement or trial. Insurance companies do not want to pay you any money. That’s why you need to make sure you have a lawyer working hard for you.

You can pay a lawyer any amount you want. But if you want to make sure that you will receive the best settlement, pay your attorney for their time and effort.

The lawyers at Gonzales and Poirier have successfully represented hundreds of clients in personal injury cases. Each case is handled with extraordinary care. The client’s interests are priority, not the lawyers. We almost always cut our fee to make sure you receive as much money as possible in any settlement. Otherwise, we want you to have a good experience. Our firm handles all types of accident cases such as automobile and motorcycle accidents, truck and bus accidents, slip & fall, medical malpractice, wrongful death and other types of personal injury cases. We handle cases in Flagstaff, Holbrook, Winslow, Williams, Sedona, Cottonwood, Prescott and other parts of the State. Please call us today if you have any questions at (928) 774-5400. Otherwise, please email us at

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Flagstaff’s Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Attorneys

Cadaver in Morgue with Toe Tag

If you or a loved one has fallen victim to incompetence or negligence by your medical provider, take a stand, to help protect others from having to endure the same fate.

Wrongful Death is defined as the taking of a life of another individual through the willful or negligent act of another person or persons. According to A.R.S §12-611, to justify a law suit there must be another party which is liable for the actions leading to a loss of an individuals life. The people who are capable of presenting a justified law suit are known as the “Party Plaintiffs” and are defined by A.R.S §12-612 as: the decedent’s husband or wife; the decedent’s children, both natural and adopted; the decedent’s natural parents, adoptive parents, or guardians; and the personal representative for the decedent’s estate.

Wrongful Death in Arizona Information

At the Law Offices of Gonzales and Poirier we are wrongful death attorneys who know how difficult it is to lose a loved one. We also understand, as wrongful death lawyers, that seeking restitution can be incredibly difficult as many different emotions may arise in the process. So why should you hire a wrongful death attorney for a wrongful death suit? Getting representation is the best method in attaining the best result in your case, and our attorneys for wrongful death are skilled and experienced and can give solace in your time of grieving. Our wrongful death law firm has dealt with numerous wrongful death cases and our wrongful death attorneys have plenty of experience in the field.

A wrongful death case is an incredibly complicated process that can take an extraordinary amount of time and can be very expensive. Hiring a wrongful death law firm who is knowledgeable in the field will take care of all of these factors that tie in with this type of case, and in doing so, relieve you of a lot of stress in your time of grief, all while ensuring a more prompt result in your suit. In Arizona, the statute of limitations for wrongful death is under A.R.S §12-504, and states that actions regarding the decedent’s suit must occur within 2 years of the individual’s death.

The U.S Department of Justice reported that 90% of cases regarding medical malpractice have involved a permanent disability or wrongful death. In wrongful death cases, damages awarded tend to take into account the following:

  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Adequate compensation for pain and suffering caused

These costs deal directly with the victim, but other compensation may be awarded to the family for things such as:

  • Mental and emotional distress
  • Loss of income that will affect the family
  • Loss of parental guidance and support
  • Loss of kinship

If your loved one has been a victim of a wrongful death, call the Law Offices of Gonzales and Poirier today at (928) 774-5400. You may also email us at, or message us from our website at or We handle cases in Flagstaff, Holbrook, Winslow, Williams, Sedona, Cottonwood, Prescott and other parts of the State. Our initial consultation is free and we work on a contingency fee basis, which means that we don’t get paid, unless you get paid. The goal is to settle your case with the responsible party. Should they decide not the settle, our aggressive trial attorneys will file a wrongful death lawsuit.

Remember each and every case is different and this article should not substitute seeking the advice and counsel of an experienced wrongful death attorney.


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