How much responsibility does a doctor have when prescribing painkillers? If a woman subsequently wrecked her car, would the doctor be responsible?
According to a court in Connecticut’s neighboring state of New York, the answer is yes. The court’s ruling is that a medical malpractice lawsuit against a doctor, a physician’s assistant and a Long Island hospital may proceed. The medical malpractice lawsuit was filed by a bus driver who suffered injuries in a crash. The driver of the other vehicle was a woman to whom the doctor had given an anti-anxiety drug and an opioid narcotic intravenously. There was no warning given to the woman about the medication impairing her ability to safely operate a vehicle. She caused the accident when she crossed over into oncoming traffic and hit the bus.
The Court of Appeals was divided on whether doctors and medical providers have a duty to tell patients about the potential dangers that exist to third parties from drugged driving. The vote was four to two, with the two dissenters saying that the duty only applies to the patient that received the medication.
Medical malpractice lawsuits can be complex and require a great deal of legal knowledge. In some cases, medical experts are needed to testify in court and provide reasons why some forms of compensation are necessary. Your attorney will need access to your medical records, including treatments, second opinions, bills, prescriptions and more.
Claims for damages may include medical expenses both past and future, pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of consortium and more. Your attorney can provide additional information on all aspects of a possible medical malpractice case.
Source: ctpost.com, “NY court reinstates medical malpractice suit in car crash,” Dec. 17, 2015