More than half of all Americans take a prescription drug daily. Beyond this, many people rely on over-the-counter medications for everything from dry eyes and headaches, to helping them get to sleep. Unfortunately, this means that many people introduce foreign substances into their bodies without always knowing the potentially dangerous side effects.
While many side effects are made clear, any substance that has caused you unwarranted harm may be the cause for a civil lawsuit against the drug manufacturer or distributor. If you were harmed after safely taking a substance, consider reaching out to a Michigan dangerous drugs lawyer to discuss seeking compensation. A claim may include the costs of any resulting medical bills, lost earnings, and even damages for pain and suffering.
However, the Michigan laws that control these cases are strict, and plaintiffs will need to meet a narrow legal standard to collect payments. Because of this, working with a dedicated attorney may prove to be essential.
Types of Harmful Substances
Unfortunately, there are numerous consumer substances that have been shown to have harmful side-effects, some of which are not properly labeled by manufacturers. These include, but are not limited to:
- Talcum powder
Dangerous drug lawsuits are often filed when a substance is brought to the market and sold to the public too quickly. This is often done so that a manufacturer can obtain the biggest share of the market for that specific type of substance.
Many times, however, the drug manufacturer does not even know of all of the potential and likely risks of the medication before marketing it and selling it in pharmacies throughout the United States. Other times, the pharmaceutical companies hide the dangers from the FDA, so that they can get approval to place the substance on the market. The side effects of these drugs can cause serious injury and harm, and in some cases, death.
Michigan Laws Concerning Dangerous Products in General
Simply put, the makers of any product have a legal duty to ensure that their products are safe for use. Therefore, if a product malfunctions as a result of the maker’s fault, oversight, or neglect, they may carry civil liability. However, evidence that a product caused an injury is insufficient on its own to maintain a lawsuit.
Pursuant to Michigan Compiled Law §600.2946(2), manufacturers and sellers of defective products are only liable if a plaintiff can prove that the product was not reasonably safe at the time that it left the control of the maker or seller. Additionally, the injured claimant needs to present evidence that there is a practical alternative design that would have prevented the harm—without impairing that product’s usefulness.
Often, this is a difficult standard to meet, especially for claimant’s who are underprepared and recovering from an injury. Typically, a plaintiff will need to work with an expert witness who can testify as to why the product failed, as well as to provide a viable alternative design. Furthermore, a well-versed dangerous drugs lawyer in Michigan could help a claimant injured by a dangerous drug to evaluate the reasons for their damages and to identify experts who could help to prove a claim.
Proving that a Dangerous Drug Caused an Injury
Proving that any product caused an injury is a difficult legal hurdle. However, the prospects for recovery are even more daunting when they applied to drugs. Mich. Comp. Law. §600.2946(5) provides that a drug maker is rarely liable for an injury when the drug passed all FDA-required testing and the labeling followed all FDA requirements. In other words, the makers of common drugs such as Tylenol are likely never at-fault in a dangerous drug case.
However, there are exceptions to this rule. Makers of drugs who intentionally deceive the FDA regarding the safety—or lack thereof—of their drugs might still be held at fault for an injury. A drug maker who withholds vital information concerning the effects of their drugs may be liable for any damage that results, as well as be the subject of an FDA investigation.
A detail-oriented attorney could help a claimant to investigate the FDA approval process for any drug that they have taken. Additionally, they can work to press claims for people injured by non-FDA approved supplements, vitamins, or other substances.
Call a Michigan Dangerous Drugs Attorney to Discuss a Claim
Most people take medication, if only to help them get over a cold or passed a headache. However, others rely on medicine to aid in vital bodily functions. No matter the reason for taking a substance, however, all manufacturers have a duty to produce a safe product.
If you or a loved one was injured after safely taking a substance, consider reaching out to a Michigan dangerous drugs lawyer to discuss your legal options. Because these cases require exhaustive information and are often difficult to navigate, the aid of a practiced and determined attorney may prove to be vital. To get started on your case today, reach out to a legal professional.