A personal injury damages a plaintiff’s emotional health, physical health, or both. Mental health injuries include emotional pain and anguish sustained by an accident, such as PTSD. Physical injuries include injuries to organs, limbs, or other parts of the anatomy. It is important to note that the injury sustained by a personal injury plaintiff does not need to manifest itself instantly, as it may develop over time.
In a claim for personal injury, the plaintiff claims that they have sustained an injury, due to an act or failure to act by the defendant. In response, the court may award the plaintiff with money damages for personal injury. In some cases, the events which form the basis of a personal injury claim may also form the basis of criminal charges. An example of this would be how a defendant may face a civil lawsuit for assault, as well as a criminal assault and battery charge.
There are several types of events or accidents which may form the basis of a personal injury claim, including:
- Accidents and injuries;
- Construction accidents;
- Dog bites and animal attacks;
- Defective products (class action);
- Elder abuse;
- Nursing home abuse;
- Premises liability;
- Product liability injury;
- Toxic exposure (class action);
- Unsafe drugs (class action); and
- Wrongful death.
A personal injury may occur intentionally, such as when the defendant deliberately injures a victim, or intends to commit an act that results in injury. Intentional injury occurs when a defendant commits battery, assault, and/or false imprisonment.
A personal injury may also occur unintentionally, such as the result of someone’s negligence, in which case the plaintiff may file a lawsuit based on the negligent behavior. Automobile accidents, slip and fall accidents, and injuries sustained from medical malpractice are common examples of negligence cases.
More specifically, a negligence personal injury claim is one in which a plaintiff claims that a defendant injured the plaintiff as a result of breaching the duty of care that the defendant owed to the plaintiff. A defendant is under a legal duty to exercise the degree of care that an ordinary person would use under a particular set of facts.
Additionally, whether a duty of care to a plaintiff exists largely depends upon the foreseeability, or predictability, of harm that may result if the duty is not exercised. The test for whether a plaintiff is owed a duty of care questions whether an average person, in the position of the defendant, foresees that the type of injury sustained by the plaintiff was likely to take place.
When yes, the defendant owes the plaintiff a duty of care. As such, if the defendant breaches that duty which causes an injury resulting in damages, the defendant has committed personal injury through negligence. When no, then no duty is owed, and the defendant cannot have committed negligence.
What Are Unsafe Drugs?
Serious injury or death can occur due to adverse reactions and side effects associated with prescription medications. Drug manufacturers are legally responsible for marketing medications that are safe to use; as such, the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) assesses the safety and effectiveness of prescription drugs before they are sold to the public.
However, even FDA approved drugs can still cause harmful side effects that are not identified during the approval process. Harmful effects may also result from errors in the administration of medications; or, if a person is taking more than one medication at a time, from the interaction of drugs in the body. If a person is injured due to a prescription medication, they may need to file a prescription drug lawsuit in order to obtain compensation from healthcare providers or the pharmaceutical manufacturer of the drug.
A high alert drug or medication (or, HAM) is a medication associated with an increased risk of causing significant harm if it is used in a way other than exactly as prescribed. These high-alert medications are considered to be dangerous because small changes in the dose given, or in levels of the drug in a person’s blood, can lead to critical events. The adverse events caused by error in the administration of HAMs are persistent, life threatening, or even permanent, and can lead to disability, hospitalization, or death.
The Institute for Safe Medication Practices maintains three categories of high-risk medications according to the settings in which they are used:
- Medications that are high alert medications in community or ambulatory care settings;
- Medications that are high alert medications in acute care settings; and
- Medications that are high alert medications in long-term care settings.
Some examples of HAMs include:
- Anticoagulants: Anticoagulants are blood thinners, such as warfarin and heparin. They are used to treat blood clots and for conditions such as venous thrombosis or pulmonary embolism. Too much of an anticoagulant can be life-threatening, so it is imperative to take only as much as is prescribed, and to take it on a strictly regular dosing schedule;
- Insulin: Insulin is a prescribed treatment for diabetes. Although it is a life saving medication, it must be taken as prescribed, as there are numerous risks associated with taking insulin;
- Opiates and Narcotics: OxyContin, hydrocodone and methadone are opioids which carry a considerably high risk of addiction. When taken in excess, they can result in death by overdose;
- Injectable Potassium Chloride or Phosphate Concentrate: While these medications treat electrolyte imbalance, they require monitoring and careful supervision for administration; and
- Potassium and Other Electrolytes: These medications are used to regulate electrolytes, but can be dangerous when not used correctly and with supervision.
All of these medications are potentially life-saving treatments when they are prescribed correctly and administered strictly as directed by a physician’s prescription. However, if used incorrectly and not as directed, their effects could be life threatening.
What Is Acutrim?
Acutrim is a diet supplement whose active ingredient is phenylpropanolamine (or, PPA), which is a drug that has been sold as a decongestant and weight loss aid. It was widely available over the counter until 2005, by which point many companies had voluntarily halted its use due to various concerns associated with the ingredient.
However, some drug companies still use PPA in their products, particularly in cold medicines such as Alka-Seltzer Plus and Robitussin CF. In addition to its health risks, PPA can be used as an ingredient in the manufacture of methamphetamine; as such, identification is required in order to purchase drugs containing the ingredient.
In 2000, the Food and Drug Administration released findings showing that PPA increases the risk of stroke in people who were assigned female at birth. However, people who were assigned male at birth and who take PPA may also be at risk.
Because of this, many people who have suffered side effects after taking PPA are taking legal action. It is important to note that having a stroke after taking PPA is not sufficient for a legal claim; rather, it must be shown that the stroke was caused by taking PPA, which will require investigation by a medical expert.
Do I Need A Lawyer If I Have Been Injured By Acutrim?
If you were injured by Acutrim, you should consult with a class action lawyer. Most lawyers who handle Acutrim injury cases will take the matter on a contingency basis, and as such will only be paid if the victim collects. Additionally, an attorney will be aware of any existing class action lawsuits that you may be able to join.