Typically when you think of someone dying from a drug overdose, you think of drugs purchased on the street, or illegal substances. Unfortunately, prescription drug overdoses have become epidemic, with the typical victim not fitting the stereotype you may imagine in your head of a drug user. Addiction and overdose of opioids is now the leading cause of death for people 50 years old and younger. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that the number of prescriptions written for opioids has risen by over 500 percent in the last twenty years. Thousands of individuals each year die because of an opioid overdose.
These numbers are increasing every year thus making addiction to opioids an enormous problem in the United States. Discovering who is responsible for these numbers can be difficult, however, many different companies, physicians, and individuals all play significant roles in this crisis.
If you have lost a loved one because of an overdose of a prescription opioid and you feel someone or some entity played a part in their death, you may have grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit against that party. A wrongful death claim can help the estate of the deceased recover damages incurred, both past and future, as a result of the death of your loved one.
A wrongful death attorney will need to prove that the party they are filing the claim against was negligent and was the cause of the death of your loved one. There are many possible defendants in a prescription drug overdose case. These include:
- Pharmaceutical companies and drug manufacturers are especially responsible for the opioid epidemic currently seen in this country. They quickly pass over the negative side effects and addictive components of the drugs by promoting the wonderful results you can achieve by taking these drugs. This is done through their marketing and advertising efforts the cause the patient to request a specific drug form their physician without a thorough knowledge of how it can adversely affect them. In addition, pharmaceutical representatives offer incentives to physicians who purchase their drugs.
- Pharmacies, clinics, and distributors in the past have failed to monitor the constant over-prescribing of these dangerous, addictive drugs. They continued to fill these prescriptions without concern for the wellbeing of their patients.
- Physicians and other healthcare professionals are guilty of over-prescribing opioids and not fully disclosing or even knowing the symptoms addiction presents. Not all doctors operate this way and most put the well-being of their patients ahead of profit. There are some physicians, however, that will over-prescribe these drugs — many times at the patient’s request — without concern for addiction and the consequences that come with it.
Filing a wrongful death lawsuit allows the estate of the deceased to fight for the many expenses associated with the death of their loved one. These expenses may include hospital bills, funeral expenses, lost wages by the deceased, future lost wages, and pain and suffering damages caused because of the loss. Contact a personal injury lawyer Miami, FL trusts to discuss your case and determine if you have a valid claim.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Needle & Ellenberg, P.A. for their insight into personal injury cases and wrongful death claims involving drug overdose.