Opioid drug use continues to be a crisis in the United States. According to the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse, opioid-involved overdose deaths rose from 21,088 in 2010 to 2019 to 49,860.
This extremely addictive form of pain medication remains over-prescribed and often, deaths from an overdose of these pills could have been avoided, especially since doctors now clearly understand the consequences and devastation this medicine has wright throughout the country.
If your family member has recently passed away because of an opioid overdose, you may have a wrongful death case that an experienced law firm like Simmons, Hanly & Conroy, can help you pursue.
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Do You Have a Wrongful Death Case?
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 68% of the 70,000 people who died due to a drug overdose in 2017 were due to opioid drugs, which include commonly prescribed drugs such as Vicodin and Percocet.
In many cases, the loved ones of these victims could have a wrongful death claim and can seek compensation. The key is proving that your loved one’s death was caused by the actions of another party. Some of the factors or situations that determine whether or not you have recourse include:
- Your doctor prescribes an incorrect dosage of the opioid and the patient, following doctor instructions, dies as a result.
- Your pharmacist dispenses the drug incorrectly and the patient overdoses and dies as a result.
- Your doctor fails to properly explain the possible risks and side effects of a drug, including the potential for addiction. The patient becomes addicted to the drug and then overdoses as a result of the doctor’s negligence.
- Your doctor fails to prescribe an alternative, non-opioid medication and/or treatment for pain management and relief when they could have.
- The drug company responsible for the drug incorrectly or misleadingly markets its drugs or seeks to hide the side effects of the medication, such as how addictive the drug is.
When you pursue an opioid-related wrongful death case, you can receive compensation for a variety of damages. There are both economic and non-economic damages, including:
- Medical bills for treating physical and psychological damage related to opioid use
- Lost wages, current, and future
- Lifecare expenses
- Hospitalization or treatment center
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium or companionship
- Mental anguish
If your loved one has died because of an opioid overdose, do not hesitate to receive a consultation from an experienced attorney to see whether or not you have a case.