Important Aspects To Consider About A Loved One's Drug-Related Death

Posted on: 6 January 2015


If you have lost someone you cared for as the result of a drug overdose and you believe that pain medication, provided with a valid prescription, contributed to the death, you need to speak with a wrongful death attorney. Unfortunately, there are many variables that pertain to the situation and it is essential to remember how challenging it can be to prove culpability in a drug overdose, even if there was only one physician prescribing the medication. 

Is The Overdose Only the Prescribing Physician's Fault?

It is important to remember that becoming addicted to narcotic pain medications can occur very quickly. That has led some patients to soliciting multiple prescriptions from multiple doctors, without informing the doctors that they are doing so. In that instance, it might not be appropriate to sue the physicians, but you may be able to speak with an attorney about the pharmacists who provided large amounts of pain medication for, even if they were doing so at the behest of doctors.

If one physician continually provided multiple prescriptions to your loved one, your lawyer may be able to determine if doing so was negligent, and if so, what options might exist for a lawsuit. In addition, it is important to remember that in instances like this, your state may require investigation into both allegations of medical malpractice and wrongful death.

Do New Laws Support Your Legal Rights?

The issue of drug dependency and poor control of prescription narcotic pain medications has been a source of great concern for many years. Therefore, new regulations by the federal government have made obtaining them more challenging.  For instance, prescriptions that were written before October 6, 2014 are no longer valid.

Instead, they must be new prescriptions that have no more than three refills and many patients will need to see their physicians at least every three months.  The prescriptions must be written in 30 day increments.  

The new laws were designed to protect people and society from the results of addiction. Therefore, if your loved one passed away of a prescription drug overdose after October 6, 2014, those laws may have failed. As a result, it is even more important than it might be otherwise, to speak with a lawyer about the situation.

In conclusion, the death of a loved one due to an accidental or intentional overdose is a terrible, catastrophic event and it is not unusual to want to blame a third party. However, it will only be by speaking with a wrongful death attorney such as Law Offices of Anthony L Coviello LLC, that you will be able to determine whether that third party is legally responsible for the tragedy. If you are unsure, you owe it to the deceased to see if it is appropriate to hold someone accountable for their death.