Skip to content

New York Personal Injury Attorneys

Do Medication Errors Qualify as Medical Malpractice?

May 23, 2023 in

Patients trust that healthcare professionals will provide safe and effective care. However, medical errors can and do occur, sometimes resulting in severe consequences. For example, medication errors can have significant implications for patient safety. Below, the experienced medical malpractice professionals at Sullivan Papain Block McManus Coffinas & Cannavo, P.C. (SPBMCC) discuss how to determine whether a medication error qualifies as medical malpractice.

What is a Medication Error?

Medication errors comprise a wide range of mistakes related to the prescribing, dispensing, administering, or monitoring medications. While errors can happen for many reasons, miscommunication, negligence, inadequate training, inadequate supervision, and faulty systems are some of the most common causes.

This can include a doctor incorrectly prescribing the wrong medication, a nurse mistakenly administering an incorrect dosage, or an emergency room providing medication to the wrong patient. Can you imagine what would happen if someone with a severe drug allergy was given the wrong medication? Such errors can lead to severe consequences, including adverse drug reactions, worsening of a patient’s condition, and even death.

Hospitals, pharmacies, and other healthcare settings should have systems in place to ensure that the proper medication is given to the right person at the right time, but systems aren’t perfect, and mistakes happen. When they do, contacting an experienced medication error lawyer is crucial.

What Constitutes Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice refers to negligence or professional misconduct by a healthcare provider that results in harm or injury to a patient. For a medical malpractice claim to be successful, certain elements need to be established, including:

  • Duty of Care: Medical professionals must owe a duty of care to the patient, meaning they have a legal obligation to provide competent and appropriate care.
  • Breach of Duty: The provider must have breached their duty of care and acted negligently by failing to adhere to the recognized standards of care, such as by making an error in medication administration.
  • Causation: The patient must prove that the healthcare provider’s breach of duty caused injury or harm. In the case of medication errors, it must be shown that the error directly led to the patient’s adverse outcome.
  • Damages: The patient must have suffered quantifiable damages, such as physical or emotional pain, medical expenses, or loss of income.

When Are Medication Errors Medical Malpractice?

Medication errors can be grounds for medical malpractice lawsuits if they meet the abovementioned elements. However, not all medication errors automatically qualify as medical malpractice. However, determining whether a medication error constitutes malpractice depends on factors such as the standard of care, the nature and extent of the error, and the resulting harm to the patient.

For a successful medical malpractice claim, it must be established that the healthcare provider did not follow the standard of care expected in their profession. Medical malpractice law often requires expert testimony to demonstrate how a competent and diligent healthcare professional would have acted differently in the same situation. Additionally, the patient must establish a direct relationship between the medication error and the resulting harm or injury to prove they were medically negligent.

Medication errors can have devastating consequences. If you or a loved one has been harmed due to a medication error, seeking legal advice and promptly contacting an experienced medical malpractice attorney is crucial. A skilled medication error lawyer will review the details of your medical malpractice case, gather evidence, consult with medical experts, and guide you through the complex legal process. By pursuing a medical malpractice claim with an experienced medical negligence lawyer, you not only seek justice for yourself but also contribute to improving patient safety and preventing future errors.

Contact the NYC Medical Malpractice Lawyers at SPBMCC Today

Sullivan Papain Block McManus Coffinas & Cannavo, P.C. is a full-service personal injury law firm specializing in all personal injury areas, including medication errors and medical malpractice. Our dedicated litigation support teams vigorously represent clients, including matters related to 9/11-related illness, personal injury, car accidents, construction accidents,  premises liability, product liability, and firefighter law across New York City, Long Island, Nassau, and Suffolk counties, as well as New Jersey. Contact us today to learn more about our firm or schedule a consultation with an attorney.

Free Case Evaluation

Our fee is on a contingency basis. If we don’t recover money for you, we will never charge you. If you are unable to come to any of our offices, we are happy to visit you at home or in the hospital.

*Field Required

Contact Information


Skip to content