How Do You Establish Fault in a Pharmaceutical Drug Case?

What the injury laws say in Texas

By Super Lawyers staff | Reviewed by Canaan Suitt, J.D. | Last updated on March 9, 2023

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Unfortunately, not all prescription drugs are as safe for consumers as they should be.

Too often, drug companies put unsafe medications on the market. Indeed, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) notes that many dozens of pharmaceutical products and over-the-counter medications are recalled, both voluntarily and involuntarily, every year. Some new drugs are only recalled after many people have been harmed.

Drug manufacturers may be liable for injury and medical complications caused by an unreasonably dangerous product. This raises an important question: How do you prove fault in a dangerous and defective medication claim? Below, you will find an overview of the most important things to know about establishing fault in a pharmaceutical drug injury claim in Texas.

Defective Drug Claims are Product Liability Claims

A defective drug or pharmaceutical liability cases are a type of product liability claim. Under Texas law, a pharmaceutical manufacturer or seller of a medical products, including medication, may be liable for harm caused by an unreasonable safety or design defect. Here are four things to prove to bring a successful pharmaceutical injury claim in Texas:

  1. Proper Use of the Drug: As a starting point, all pharmaceutical injury claims start with proper use. Did you use the medication as directed? If so, the drug company may be liable for dangerous side effects, injuries, or other complications. A manufacturer could raise a defense on the grounds of improper or otherwise unapproved use.
  2. Harm: Patients must prove actual harm to bring a prescription drug defect claim in Texas. In this type of product liability litigation, your compensation will be linked to your damages—both economic and noneconomic. If you took a drug that was later determined to be unreasonably dangerous, but you yourself suffered no harmful dide effects, you do not have a legal claim.
  3. Causation: One of the most challenging elements of a defective drug claim is proving causation between the drug and your injury or complications. Generally speaking, Texas product liability lawyers and personal injury attorneys will rely on scientific evidence to link the dangerous drug to the specific harm you suffered.
  4. Lack of Warning: As you probably know from watching television commercials and reading warning labels, virtually all prescription drugs carry the risk of adverse side effects. A drug company is not necessarily liable for an injury or complication if the risk was reasonably small and the patient was fully informed. When patients are not adequately informed of risks, companies bear liability.

Getting Legal Help

Defective drug claims are among the most complex types of personal injury cases. Victims and their families need an experienced advocate on their side.

If you have any specific questions about your legal rights or your legal options, contact a law firm with a Texas product liability attorney or personal injury lawyer for immediate help. A lawyer who has experience going up against the country’s pharmaceutical giants can help you take the appropriate steps to get justice and compensation.

For more information, see our overview on personal injury law.

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