Your doctor may be guilty of medical malpractice if their negligence leads to your addiction to pain medication. Here are three examples of factors that may determine whether your doctor is liable for your addiction:
Your medical history contains the type of medical conditions you had and the types of drugs prescribed by your physician. The court will use this information to discover whether it is standard practice to prescribe the drugs for your specific condition.
For example, opioid pain relievers are commonly used for severe pain. This is mainly because of their side effects, such as impaired judgment and slowed breathing. Therefore, you may be given the medication if you hurt your spine in a car crash, but not when you slice a finger when chopping food in the kitchen. Therefore, your doctor may be liable for your addiction problems if they prescribe an opioid for a minor pain that a standard physician wouldn't manage with an opioid.
Some powerful pain medication should only be used briefly. For example, methadone is a strong opioid that can lead not only to addiction but also multiple health effects if used for a long time. Therefore, this strong painkiller isn't prescribed for long-term use. If your physician prescribes methadone for long-term use, you may hold them liable for your addiction to the drug. Medical experts will determine whether your use of the drug was long term.
History of Addiction
Your history with addiction or use of addictive drugs will also come into question. It is easier for a recovered or recovering addict to get back to relapse. This is one of the reasons your doctor will use your history of drug addiction to determine which pain medication to prescribe.
For example, if you have been treated for drug addiction before, then it is best to avoid addictive painkillers because they may take you back to your old habits. A doctor that has your addiction information and goes ahead to give you the addictive painkillers is liable for the ensuing damages.
These are just three examples; other factors may still determine whether or not you can sue your doctor for medical malpractice if you become addicted to a prescribed drug. Since you may not be aware of all the possible factors, consult a medical malpractice attorney or law firm like Littman & Babiarz Law Office to help you. The attorney will review the circumstances of your addiction and help you with a way forward.
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