Our nation is in the grips of an addiction epidemic. If you’ve struggled with addiction and believe that a doctor overprescribed opioid, you should talk with a medical malpractice attorney in Indianapolis. You could have a medical malpractice claim.
Addiction Often Starts with a Prescription
People addicted to opioids often reach that point because of a legal prescription they were given because of a surgery or other serious and painful medical problem. While the prescription can certainly help with pain, it often has an unwanted side effect that affects millions of Americans and their families: addiction. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 80% of heroin users became addicts by first receiving a prescription for pain medication they needed for legitimate reasons.
Whose Fault Is It?
Addiction is a serious medical condition. It requires treatment that sometimes must continue throughout the lifetime of the patient. If you’ve become addicted to pain medication that you received from a doctor, you may be wondering who is responsible. There’s no way to know whether someone will become addicted if they are prescribed opioids. Even if they take them as prescribed, there’s a chance of addiction.
Doctors and other medical professionals were told by narcotic manufacturers that there was practically no chance for addiction. However, once the addictive qualities of these drugs came to light, many doctors continued to hand them out for long-term use. These drugs weren’t necessarily designed for long-term use. Some of the drugs were initially developed to treat excruciating pain that comes with certain types of cancers. Some manufacturers pressured doctors to prescribe the drugs for other conditions. And many doctors complied despite their vow to do no harm.
Medical Malpractice and Addiction
With medical malpractice and addiction, you must be able to show that your doctor was negligent. Doing this requires the assistance of an experienced medical malpractice attorney in Indianapolis. These cases are often complicated. It requires proving that you were overprescribed pain medication. These cases also require testimony by qualified medical experts who are in the same field as the prescribing physician. The expert witness will review and consider:
- Your previous medical history.
- Your diagnosis or diagnoses that caused the doctor to prescribe the narcotics.
- Your reasons for going to the doctor.
- The objective medical findings listed in your medical records.
- The experience the doctor had in treating your condition.
- What medical textbooks and medical literature discuss on how your condition should be treated.
Medical malpractice, even where addiction is involved, is about proving that your doctor was negligent in continuing to give you narcotics. Under certain circumstances, this can be easy to prove. However, not all medical malpractice claims are easy to prove. These claims must:
- Prove a doctor-patient relationship. With addiction, this element may be easy to prove with your medical records.
- Prove that the doctor was negligent. This will require the medical expert going over the factors discussed above. It must be proven that the doctor did not exercise reasonably skillful and careful treatment of your condition.
- Prove that the negligence caused the addiction.
- Prove that addiction as an injury led to actual damages. This can be the cost of treatment, lost wages, loss of earnings, mental anguish, and other damages.
Schedule Your Free Case Review
Medical malpractice cases are complicated. When they involve addiction, they become even more complex. If you believe that your addiction was the result of your doctor overprescribing narcotics to you, you should schedule your free case review with The Ken Nunn Law Office. Don’t try to take on the doctor alone. You need an experienced medical malpractice attorney on your side. With offices in Indianapolis and Bloomington, we’re here to help. We’re available 24/7. Our goal is to help victims get the compensation and justice that they deserve!