The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) works diligently to test and approve drugs before they become available to the public. Drug companies are also required to test their products even before they pursue FDA approval. Yet, dangerous drugs sometimes make it into consumers’ hands and cause serious health problems.
If you suffered an illness or injury due to a defective drug in North Carolina, get in touch with Ricci Law Firm Injury Lawyers. We can connect you with an experienced dangerous drug attorney. From here, our lawyer can review your claim and help you decide if now is the right time to file a personal injury lawsuit.
When to File a Dangerous Drugs Lawsuit in North Carolina
A defective drug lawsuit falls into the product liability category of personal injury law. In this type of lawsuit, a drug reseller or manufacturer offers a product that can harm consumers. If you become ill or get injured after taking a dangerous drug, you can seek damages in a lawsuit.
There are three types of product defects that can lead someone to file a defective drugs lawsuit:
- Manufacturing: A drug manufacturer makes a mistake in the production process, leading to contamination that impacts the quality and integrity of its product.
- Design: A drug is manufactured properly but causes side effects that occur due to a flawed design.
- Marketing: A drug reseller or manufacturer does not provide sufficient instructions or warnings about its product and how to use it correctly.
A North Carolina dangerous drug lawyer allocates time, energy, and resources to understand your legal claim. The attorney identifies any product defects and understands how they caused your illness or injury. Next, the lawyer helps you pursue compensatory damages from any at-fault parties.
How to Respond If You Suffer an Illness or Injury Due to a Dangerous Drug
Do not wait to respond to any problems you incur due to a defective drug. At the first sign of an illness or injury after taking a drug that may ultimately be dangerous, you should:
Visit a Doctor
Go to a doctor so you can undergo a medical evaluation. A doctor can help you identify the root cause of your illness or injury. Most importantly, your doctor can provide treatments to ensure you can manage your illness or injury.
Organize any medical documents and receipts from your doctor. When you meet with defective drug attorneys, you can share these records with them. A dangerous drug lawyer can review your medical records to understand the impact of your dangeorus drug illness or injury.
Undergo any medical treatments you need for as long as a doctor recommends them. As you complete these treatments, monitor your progress and organize your medical records. You may be required to present all of this information as evidence if your defective drug case goes to trial.
Meet with a North Carolina Defective Drugs Attorney
Set up a date and time to discuss your illness or injury with a North Carolina dangerous drugs lawyer. Before you meet with an attorney, put together a list of legal questions and concerns. This allows you to make the most of your meeting and get plenty of legal insights that can help you decide whether to proceed with a defective drugs lawsuit.
The best defective drug lawyers act in their clients’ best interests. In an initial meeting, a dangerous drugs attorney in North Carolina will:
- Learn about you and why you are considering filing a defective drugs lawsuit
- Ask questions about your illness or injury and how it has impacted you to date
- Examine the strength of your case and whether you can present a compelling argument to a judge or jury
Consider hiring a dangerous drugs lawyer in North Carolina that has received positive reviews from clients. As you read these reviews, you can get a good idea about what it is like to work with this dangerous drug attorney. If past clients rave about the lawyer, it is a positive sign that this attorney can fulfill your legal requirements.
Work in Lockstep with Your Attorney
Listen to what your attorney has to say and follow their guidance. Your lawyer knows the ins and outs of the legal system and can help you navigate all stages of your litigation. If you work closely with your attorney, you can position yourself to achieve the optimal results in your defective drugs lawsuit.
Once you hire a dangerous drugs lawyer, this legal professional will:
- Help you determine how much to request in damages
- Identify the at-fault parties in your case
- File your lawsuit within a reasonable time frame
- Provide comprehensive legal support as you prepare for your trial
Perform an in-depth evaluation of dangerous drug attorneys in North Carolina. As you assess dangerous drug lawyers, choose one that instills confidence. With this attorney at your disposal, you can get the help you need to win or settle your defective drugs case in as little time as possible.
Dangerous Drug Lawsuit Examples You Need to Know About
Many defective drug lawsuits have been filed across the United States. These lawsuits include:
Thousands of patients using Xarelto filed lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, and Bayer Corporation. In these lawsuits, some plaintiffs claimed Xarelto caused fatal injuries. Also, plaintiffs claimed Xarelto caused them to suffer surgical wounds, along with infections and other health issues.
More than 25,000 federal lawsuits have been filed against these drug companies. In March 2019, Johnson & Johnson and Bayer agreed to pay $775 million to settle their Xarelto lawsuits. Each company paid half of the settlement amount.
With the Johnson & Johnson and Bayer settlement, neither company accepted responsibility for any illnesses or injuries that may have been caused by Xarelto. Rather, the companies indicated that they believed Xarelto was safe. They noted that they paid the settlement as part of their efforts to avoid further litigation.
Several people filed lawsuits against generic drug manufacturers that produced Zantac. The plaintiffs claimed they developed cancer after taking Zantac. One generic drug manufacturer paid a $500,000 settlement to a plaintiff one week before the first lawsuit was scheduled to go to trial.
The lawsuits related to the inclusion of ranitidine in Zantac products. In April 2020, the FDA ordered all Zantac manufacturers to avoid using ranitidine in their products due to the risks associated with it. Since that time, Zantac 360 has been released, and no one to date has filed a defective drugs lawsuit against manufacturers of these products.
Thus far, thousands of Zantac dangerous drug cases have been dismissed. In these instances, the judge ruled the plaintiffs lacked sufficient evidence. As of January 2023, the plaintiffs in these cases still have the option to appeal.
People have filed lawsuits against Janssen Pharmaceuticals due to vision problems they developed after taking Elmiron. These plaintiffs claim they suffered maculopathy and other vision issues that may be related to their use of Elmiron. They are arguing that Janssen did not properly warn the public about the health risks associated with taking Elmiron.
The first Elmiron lawsuits were filed in January 2020. As of September 15, 2022, over 1,700 lawsuits have been filed against Janssen due to health issues that may be linked to Elmiron. These lawsuits are still pending and have not yet gone to trial.
There have been no settlements in the Elmiron lawsuits, but they remain possibilities. As the Elmiron cases move closer to going in front of a judge or jury, negotiations remain open between the defendant and plaintiff. If the defendant wants to resolve the case before a lengthy and expensive trial gets underway, it may be inclined to propose a settlement.
How a Settlement Offer Works in a Dangerous Drugs Lawsuit
After you file a defective drugs lawsuit, the defendant may consider a settlement proposal. By offering a settlement, the defendant can avoid litigation and brand reputation that can come with it. In addition, the defendant may propose a settlement in which you receive only a fraction of the damages you request in the first place.
It can be tempting to accept a settlement, since doing so allows you to close your case. On the other hand, you need to consider the ramifications of doing so. If you accept a settlement, you are forced to:
- Give up your right to seek the most damages possible
- Forgo a trial in which you can show the defendant is fully responsible for your illness or injury
- Sacrifice compensation you can use to cover the short- and long-term costs associated with your illness or injury
Your attorney will keep you up to date if you receive a settlement offer. Even though you are responsible for deciding whether to proceed with a settlement, your lawyer can help you make an informed decision about it. If you consider your lawyer’s perspective, you can weigh the pros and cons of a settlement and decide if it meets your requirements.
The Amount of Time You Have to File a Dangerous Drug Lawsuit in North Carolina
For dangerous drug lawsuits in North Carolina, there is a three-year limit in which you can seek damages. This window opens on the day you discover your illness or injury. If you do not file a personal injury lawsuit within this time frame, you lose the opportunity to request damages from any at-fault parties.
If you are debating whether to file a dangerous drug lawsuit, consult with an attorney. At this time, your lawyer can review your legal claim and offer tips and recommendations on what to do. Your lawyer will urge you to move forward with a lawsuit if you have a compelling argument.
The best argument in a dangerous drug case is built around evidence and witness testimony. When you meet with an attorney, share all of the facts surrounding your case with this legal professional. Then, the attorney can find out if you have enough evidence and witness testimony to move forward, or if additional work may be required before you file your lawsuit.
Evidence and Witness Testimony You Can Provide in a Defective Drug Case
There is no shortage of evidence and witness testimony you can use in your defective drug case. Common types of evidence utilized in defective drug cases include:
- Medical records that illustrate the impact of your illness or injury and how it may affect you in the years to come
- Medical bills that highlight the financial impact of your illness or injury on your bottom line
- Pay stubs that show how much money you are losing due to the fact that you cannot work due to your illness or injury
- The defective drug itself, including any packaging or instructions that indicate the product was unsafe
Along with these forms of evidence, you can seek a medical professional who can testify for you during your trial. This professional can attest to the pain and suffering a dangerous drug has caused you to incur. You can also seek witnesses that are familiar with your defective drug illness or injury and can explain how it impacts you day after day.
Your lawyer will help you collect and assess evidence and look for prospective witnesses. It requires hard work and persistence to find pertinent evidence and witnesses that can help you win or settle your case. Regardless, your attorney is committed to your legal success and does what is necessary to ensure you can present evidence and witness testimony that supports your claim.
How to Determine What to Request in Damages in Your Dangerous Drug Lawsuit
You are under no restrictions as far as economic and non-economic damages go in your North Carolina defective drugs case. A plaintiff can request any amount of economic and non-economic damages in personal injury lawsuits in North Carolina. Your lawyer will encourage you to submit a request for a reasonable amount of damages.
There are many reasons why you can pursue damages as part of a defective drug lawsuit, such as:
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Medical bills
Your damages to date may total tens of thousands of dollars. In this scenario, your attorney will urge you to pursue the maximum amount of damages. If your lawsuit is successful, you can secure damages that will help you cover the immediate and long-term expenses associated with your illness or injury.
What Will Happen When Your Dangerous Drugs Lawsuit Goes to Trial
It may be months or years before your dangerous drugs lawsuit goes to trial. You and the defendant can negotiate a settlement to avoid a trial. If no settlement agreement is reached, you and the defendant receive the opportunity to present your argument to a judge or jury.
A dangerous drugs trial can require hours or days to complete. During your trial, your attorney will:
- Present evidence to support your request for damages
- Question witnesses that are testifying on your behalf
- Dispute evidence and claims from the defendant’s lawyer
- Cross-examine witnesses presented by the defendant’s attorney
- Offer a closing argument designed to convince a judge or jury that you should be awarded full damages
A judge or jury does not rush through the process of making a decision in a defective drugs case. Evidence and witness testimony are evaluated, and the perspectives of all parties involved in the case are considered. Finally, a judge or jury will render a verdict, which determines if you will be awarded damages.
How Damages Are Awarded in a North Carolina Dangerous Drugs Case
If a judge or jury believes a defendant is responsible for the plaintiff’s illness or injury, it may award full damages. When this happens, the plaintiff receives 100% of the damages that were requested. Once the defendant pays the plaintiff, the case is settled.
Comparatively, a defendant may overwhelm a judge or jury with evidence and witness testimony to support their argument. This can lead a judge or jury to rule against a plaintiff. Fortunately, a plaintiff can still file an appeal.
Your attorney will do everything possible to make sure your argument is strong. In the event that an appeal is required, your lawyer can help you submit your request for a court to reconsider its initial decision. It is difficult but not impossible to get the court’s original decision overturned, and your lawyer will do what is necessary to help you do just that.
What to Look for in a Dangerous Drugs Attorney
For those who are interested in filing a defective drugs lawsuit, consider all of the available legal options. It is paramount to hire a dangerous drugs lawyer that:
- Is familiar with North Carolina’s dangerous drugs laws
- Can teach you about the legal process and all that it entails
- Understands your point of view and why you are pursuing damages from any at-fault parties
- Can explain legal terms and definitions to you
- Will respond to any legal concerns and questions you have
Meeting with an attorney is a great starting point. This allows you to share your thoughts about your defective drugs case with a lawyer and get this legal professional’s insights into it. If you believe an attorney is the right choice, you can hire this legal professional and move forward with your lawsuit.
Reach Out to a Dangerous Drugs Attorney
Ricci Law Firm Injury Lawyers is a leading choice for those in need of a defective drugs attorney in North Carolina. Our law firm simplifies the process of hiring a top-notch attorney who advocates for their clients. To learn more or request a consultation, please contact us today.