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Many medical lawsuits involve antibiotics and painkillers

Patients in Georgia depend on healthcare professionals to make safe and effective choices about their medication. Two commonly prescribed classes of medication, painkillers and antibiotics, account for the most lawsuits involving medication errors.

Doctors must typically navigate conflicting priorities when giving prescriptions for these types of medication. Writing too many prescriptions for pain pills might expose a doctor to claims of enabling an addict. Denying appropriate relief to a person in pain, however, might result in accusations that a doctor failed to provide adequate care. Similarly, antibiotics sometimes place doctors in a quandary. A doctor might avoid giving someone a broad-based antibiotic for fear of contributing to antibiotic resistance. A prescription for an antibiotic that targets a specific type of infection, however, might later prove to be insufficient if it was the wrong choice.

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, over 1 million people every year experience harm because of medication errors that could have been easily avoided. Medication errors might involve choosing the wrong drug, dispensing the wrong drug or administering the drug incorrectly.

A person who knows or suspects that a medication error caused injury might suffer short or long-term complications. Harmful effects could send the person to the hospital, which results in unexpected medical expenses and likely lost income. A medical malpractice claim might allow the person to recover these damages. The support of an attorney may help a person collect medical records and prepare a formal complaint. An attorney might pursue independent testimony about the person's medical care and communicate evidence of negligence to the doctor's insurer. Legal advice may also help someone make a decision between accepting a settlement offer or taking the case to court.

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