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Can I sue for wrongful death over a prescription drug overdose?

In a world so focused on safety, wrongful death seems like a term that should be seen less and less. Precautions are taken with cars and electronics to make them as safe as possible. But some dangers aren't being addressed to the same degree.

Medications are one such example. Prescription opioid overdoses have been on the rise for years, causing thousands of deaths across the United States. Doctors who write these prescriptions could be responsible for overdose deaths.

Why would the doctor be liable?

A drug overdose may not necessarily be the fault of the patient. A wrongful death is one caused by negligence or intentional harm. A doctor could be careless or even malicious while prescribing drugs to a patient. This can take on many forms over the course of a patient's treatment. The doctor may have:

  • Prescribed an excessive dosage of a drug
  • Failed to notice signs of addiction or abuse
  • Not informed the patient of the dangers of the drug

The doctor has a responsibility to properly educate and medicate their patients. They may be at fault if the drugs they prescribed caused their patient's death.

What can I do about my loved one's wrongful death?

The tragic nature of an overdose death can cause a lot of confusion. Michigan has specific laws that govern wrongful death so that you can get the help you deserve. The first thing you should know is that any legal action must begin within three years of the death occurring.

In Michigan, you can only file a wrongful death suit if you're the personal representative of the estate. Each other member of your family can submit their own list of damages, but you will act on their behalf. If a court rules in your favor, then you and your family may be able to receive compensation for:

  • Income that your loved one would have made
  • Emotional loss
  • Any expenses incurred for your loved one's medical treatment and funeral

Coping with the sudden loss of a loved one is an immensely painful process. Seeking justice for such a preventable tragedy could help make the grieving process a bit easier.

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