When Can Healthcare Professionals Be Held Responsible for an Opioid Overdose?

Most people are very familiar with the opioid epidemic in the United States. Each year, tens of thousands of people in this country die from overdoses. While the US government works to properly regulate opioid use, it is important for victims and families to know whether they can file malpractice lawsuits against doctors who prescribe these medications. At The Weitz Firm, LLC, our opioid-related medical malpractice attorneys in Philadelphia want to share some information on this topic with you.

What do the statistics show?

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were more than 47,000 opioid overdose deaths during the latest reporting year. This is a problem that has affected all areas of the country and people of all socioeconomic levels. While many people would not have thought this to be a problem caused by doctors in the past, we now know that healthcare professionals and companies within the healthcare industry have directly contributed to the opioid crisis in the United States. Several massive judgments against opioid manufacturers have shown that they worked with doctors to purposely get patients hooked on the medications.

Some of the most common types of medication opioids that are prescribed include the following:

  • Hydrocodone (brand name Vicodin)
  • Oxycodone (brand name OxyContin, Percocet)
  • Morphine
  • Codeine
  • Tramadol
  • Dilaudid
  • Methadone
  • Fentanyl
  • Demerol

Why would a doctor be liable in these cases?

Opioids are sold and marketed as drugs that alleviate pain. While these medications do alleviate pain, they also have plenty of side effects that are dangerous for individuals. Unfortunately, many doctors have failed to properly prescribe opioids. An opioid-related medical malpractice attorney at The Weitz Firm, LLC says that “…overprescription of opioids and failure to timely react to early signs of opioid addiction become the basis of thousands of medical malpractice lawsuits against negligent or careless healthcare providers each year.”

Recognizing the signs of opioid abuse and addiction

If you or a loved one are taking opioids, whether legally or illegally, you need to be on the lookout for these important side effects of opioid use:

  • Apathy
  • Sudden changes in mood
  • Drowsiness
  • Slurred speech
  • Impaired judgment
  • Diminished attention
  • Pinpoint pupil
  • Uncontrollable movements of arms and legs
  • Hallucinations
  • Confusion
  • Inability to perform basic tasks
  • And more

In many cases, those who have become addicted to opioids because of doctor carelessness end up seeking more dangerous drugs such as heroin and morphine from drug dealers.

Our team is ready to get to work on your case

If you or somebody you care about has overdosed on opioids, or if you have lost a loved one due to an opioid overdose, contact an attorney today. At The Weitz Firm, LLC, our team will investigate your case secure any compensation you are entitled to. This can include:

  • Compensation for all medical expenses related to opioid use
  • Coverage of lost income and benefits
  • Loss of enjoyment of life damages
  • Pain and suffering damages
  • Punitive damages against the healthcare provider or agency responsible

When you need a Philadelphia opioid-related medical malpractice attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling 267-587-6240.



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