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What is the difference between a drug and a poison? Sometimes, unfortunately, there is very little difference.

If you have experienced an adverse reaction from a pharmaceutical, you may or may not have a legal claim for product liability.

If you do, however, it could be worth quite a bit depending on how seriously you were injured.

The problem might lie in your doctor’s choice to prescribe the drug to you in the first place.

In that case you may have a medical malpractice claim against your healthcare provider.

If the drug itself is the problem, however, you have a product liability claim against the pharmaceutical manufacturer.

You can sue the pharmaceutical manufacturer directly under Alabama law, and you don’t even have to directly prove that the manufacturer was at fault.

Building Your Case

Suing pharmaceutical companies is no walk in the park.

To sue a drug company, you need to provide evidence on all the elements of a defective drug claim.

Elements of Your Claim

You must prove the following legal elements to win a defective drug claim against a pharmaceutical manufacturer:

  • You suffered some harm (injury and/or financial loss). Emotional harm is not enough to support a claim on its own, but if you have a claim for other damages, you can add emotional distress to your claim.
  • The product is defective. That means the presence of either a manufacturing defect, a design defect, or a warning defect.
  • The defect actually caused the harm that you suffered. You can be sure that the pharmaceutical company will try to prove otherwise.
  • You were using the product as it was intended. If you took a drug for recreational reasons when you were not ill, for example, you will likely have no claim against the drug manufacturer. 

You will be able to file a claim (without it being thrown out of court) as soon as you can assemble enough elements for a plausible claim based on each of the four elements listed above.

Types of Defects

Alabama law recognizes three types of product defects.

Design Defects

A design defect exists when the product is unreasonably dangerous even when manufactured and used according to specifications.

A design defect can be difficult to prove when the FDA has already approved the drug.

Manufacturing Defects 

A manufacturing defect exists when the product is dangerous because it was not manufactured according to its design.

For example, if the wrong drug or the wrong dose was packaged, this could be a manufacturing defect.

Warning Defects

A warning defect exists when the product documentation fails to warn of a significant danger.

For example, if the drug can cause harmful effects to an unborn fetus, it needs a warning against pregnant women using it.

Special Case: Vaccine Injuries

If a vaccine caused your injury (an allergic reaction, for example), you have an alternative.

Instead of suing the pharmaceutical company, you can file a claim under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program.

If you win, the Department of Health and Human Services will pay your claim.

We’ve Got Your Back

If you live in Alabama and you believe that a defective pharmaceutical might have caused your injury, don’t hesitate to contact Fob James Law Firm, LLC.

With over 40 years of experience in personal injury law, we have the respect of defense attorneys and insurance companies across the State of Alabama.

We can help you identify the best strategy for your claim and fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact us online or call us at 205-635-4575 for a free case review.

Author Photo

Fob H. James, IV

Fob James obtained a B.S., in software engineering from Auburn University and then continued his education by getting his J.D. from Vanderbilt University School of Law. After working for a large regional firm for several years where he obtained awards for both individual and corporate clients, Fob found that his passion was fighting for individuals who have been seriously injured or wronged by others. Fob believes that the jury is the great equalizer to the power and influence that large corporations have in society.