Opioid pain relievers such as Oxycodone and Vicodin are often prescribed to treat chronic or long-term pain. It’s no secret that the United States has an opioid crisis, but how are people getting access to these controlled substances when they require a prescription and are highly regulated? The two ways people get them are either obtaining them through illegal means such as theft or buying them on the streets, or a doctor prescribes them.
It may seem hard to believe that an addict is still sometimes able to get opioid prescriptions, but it happens, even here in Hawaii where the rate of addiction is lower than other parts of the country. An opioid addict may go “doctor shopping” by going to different doctors to try to get a one-time prescription for pain. Or they have the same doctor giving them refills. A doctor may be committing medical malpractice by writing prescriptions for a patient who doesn’t need them and is being harmed by them. To make a case for medical malpractice, you must look at the facts to determine if a doctor or several doctors breached their duty of care to the patient.
There are many factors that need to be addressed and examined to make a case for medical malpractice in prescribing opioids including some of the following:
These and other factors will be considered when establishing a case for medical malpractice. If you or a loved one has developed an addiction to prescription opioids and you believe medical malpractice caused the addiction or enabled the addiction, you may want to seek compensation for your damages which may include claims for things such as job or money loss, injury, or even death. Recent cases have awarded millions of dollars to medical malpractice victims who were injured by prescription opioid addictions. Opioid addictions can be physical, emotionally, and financially devastating. If you believe medical malpractice in Hawaii caused or contributed to an opioid addiction, contact our medical malpractice attorney, Jed Kurzban, to schedule a consultation.