The prescription drug epidemic and the opioid crisis are responsible for claiming the lives of millions of Americans across the country. In Texas, the number of opioid overdose deaths each year is climbing to 1,500, with these drugs killing at a rate of around 5.1 deaths per 100,000, according to CDC statistics. While this is lower than the national average, this is still a terrible burden on our lives and families in Texas.
If your family was affected by a prescription drug overdose and you lost a loved one to an opioid-related death, contact the Arlington, Texas attorneys for wrongful death from prescription opioid overdose. The Queenan Law Firm’s overdose and wrongful death lawyers may be able to take your case and work to get you and your family compensation for your loss. For a free legal consultation on your case, contact our law offices today at (817) 476-1797.
Suing for a Loved One’s Death from Opioid Overdose
If a loved one was killed by an overdose involving opioids or other prescription medication, you may be entitled to seek justice for their death. In many cases, patients are overprescribed opioid medication, and the overdose and subsequent death may be directly tied to errors made by the deceased’s prescribing doctor, the pharmacy that filled their medication, or the drug companies that produced their drugs. Many lawsuits are already underway across the country by states against drug manufacturers to sue for misleading advertising and unjustified drug pushing that helped contribute to the opioid crisis, but you may be entitled to individual relief as well.
If your loved one’s doctor prescribed them too much medication, refilled prescriptions that were no longer necessary, or gave them too high of a dosage, they may have committed medical malpractice. Doctors are responsible for informing patients of the risks associated with their prescription medication, and while opioids might be necessary for pain management and recovery after surgery, doctors should discuss the risk of addiction and prescribe only the minimum dosage necessary to help the patient. Any additional prescriptions beyond that may do nothing but help contribute to the patient’s opioid misuse and risk of overdose. Moreover, a doctor should recognize risk factors for addiction, such as previous substance abuse, and avoid overprescribing these drugs.
Pharmacies also have a duty to their patients. Whether the pharmacy was part of the hospital or a standalone pharmacy chain, the pharmacists and their staff have a duty to fill the prescription as ordered. This means putting the correct pills in the bottle and following ordered dosages. They also have federal, state, and local requirements they must follow before releasing such dangerous medication to the public, and failing to do so could put people at risk.
Pharmaceutical companies also share a huge share of the burden of keeping people who use their medication safe. These companies are required to properly label their drugs with warnings regarding the side effects and risks of taking these drugs so that patients understand what they are putting in their bodies and what effects it can have. Prescription drugs are still dangerous, and it is up to them to adequately warn patients or else face liability when something goes wrong.
Damages for Prescription Opioid Wrongful Death Lawsuits in Texas
When you sue for wrongful death, you must first prove your case. Depending on whom you sue – the pharmaceutical manufacturer, the pharmacist, or the doctor – the damages might be different. First, each party can only be held responsible for their share of the harm caused. This means that if they each contributed, the court will divide damages proportionately among the defendants – and potentially rule that the deceased patient shared some partial fault as well.
The damages that you can claim for a loved one’s death vary from case to case, but certain areas of damages are usually available across the board:
- Funeral and burial expenses are usually available to cover the cost of laying your loved one to rest.
- Medical expenses are often available to cover their end of life treatment or emergency medical care costs.
- Lost wage damages are available to cover the wages your deceased loved one provided your family. These damages can be projected into the future.
- The cost of lost household services your loved one provided can be reimbursed.
- Any lost value in investments or inheritances that would have continued to grow can be compensated.
- The intangible effects, such as lost companionship, lost counsel, and lost spousal benefits can be compensated.
In addition to these damages, you may be able to claim other damages as well. You should always discuss your case with a lawyer to get help understanding what your case is worth. Wrongful death lawsuits are often very high-value cases, since they work to compensate for the loss of a whole person, not just the cost of a limited injury. Having an attorney on your side to advocate for maximum compensation can help you get the justice you deserve for your loved one’s death.
Call Our Arlington, Texas Drug Overdose Death Lawyers for a Free Consultation
If you lost a loved one to a drug overdose in Texas, contact the Arlington attorneys for wrongful deaths from prescription opioid overdoses today. The Queenan Law Firm’s wrongful death lawyers represent spouses, children, and parents in wrongful death lawsuits to seek compensation against healthcare providers, pharmacies, and drug companies that allowed their negligence to cause the overdose death of a loved one. For a free legal consultation on your case, contact our law offices today at (817) 476-1797.