Reed & Terry, L.L.P.

Damages in Defective Drug Cases

By Jackson Reed on December 02, 2019

Small pills in packagingWe rely on medical professionals and companies to have our best interests and our well-being in mind. It’s not unreasonable to assume that over-the-counter and prescription drugs will be safe when used as instructed. Sadly, that’s not always the case. When OTC medications and prescription drugs put our health at risk, it’s important to speak with a defective drug lawyer about a potential lawsuit.

At Reed & Terry LLP, our attorneys have helped numerous people in Sugar Land, Katy, and Richmond, TX who’ve been affected by dangerous drugs. We can help you seek damages from pharmaceutical companies, holding them accountable for their negligent actions. Our law firm is on your side.

Types of Damages Common in Dangerous Drug Cases

As with other civil cases, there are two kinds of damages that can be sought: compensatory damages and punitive damages. These damages differ in important ways and should not be confused with one another.

Let’s consider compensatory and punitive damages individually and offer examples of how they function.

About Compensatory Damages

Compensatory damages are intended to cover the material and financial losses associated with a harmful incident. In other words, these damages address the impact of dangerous drugs on people’s lives. This includes medical bills, lost wages, lost earning potential, emotional pain and suffering, and even funerary costs.

Example of Compensatory Damages

Say that the use of a dangerous pharmaceutical resulted in the death of a loved one. In this case, compensatory damages would cover medical bills for treatment prior to death, lost income related to the use of the dangerous pharmaceutical, funerary expenses, and grief counseling for family members dealing with the psychological toll of the loss.

Calculating Compensatory Damages

Calculating compensatory damages is relatively straightforward. Bills, receipts, and invoices can be added up to arrive at a final amount. Your attorney can discuss various costs and losses that you may not have considered that can also be added to compensatory damages.

About Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are not linked to any material losses. Instead, punitive damages are intended to punish the negligent party for their actions. Given the expectations we have of pharmaceutical companies to test their products for safety, punitive damages help hold large companies and corporations accountable for negligence. The public is not a test lab or a Petri dish.

Example of Punitive Damages

Let’s say that the drug that killed a loved one was not sufficiently tested before it went on the market. Your loved one took the drug as instructed, but it was unsafe even when used properly. Punitive damages would be sought against the pharmaceutical company for putting that harmful drug on the market without taking all measures to protect consumers from injury, illness, or death.

Calculating Punitive Damages

Calculating punitive damages in defective drug cases is not as cut and dry as calculating compensatory damages. The nature of the case and its similarity to past civil litigation will typically determine the amount sought. Our lawyers can go over these matters with you in more detail as we discuss the nature of your case.

Contact a Skilled Product Liability Attorney

For more information about product liability lawsuits and how to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable, be sure to contact a skilled defective drug attorney. You can reach our law offices in Sugar Land, Katy, and Richmond by calling (281) 201-0988.

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