What Are the Requirements to Prove a Medical Malpractice Case for Incorrect Medication Prescription?

Prescribing incorrect medication can have serious, even life-threatening, consequences for patients. If you have suffered harm due to a medication error, you might be contemplating a medical malpractice lawsuit, and a Baltimore, MD medical malpractice attorney can help you to prove that an error was made and that this error has harmed you.

Ask a Medical Malpractice Attorney in Baltimore, MD: What Are the Requirements to Prove a Medical Malpractice Case for Incorrect Medication Prescription?

Key Elements You Must Prove

To win a medical malpractice case based on an incorrect medication prescription, you must prove the following four elements:

Duty of Care

Establish that there was a physician-patient relationship, which creates a legal duty for the physician to act with the same level of skill, care, and diligence as a reasonably competent physician would under similar circumstances.

Breach of Duty

Demonstrate that the healthcare provider failed to comply with these standards in prescribing medication. This could involve prescribing a drug that the patient is known to be allergic to, a drug that interacts negatively with another medication the patient is taking, or a medication inappropriate for the patient’s condition.


Link the breach directly to the harm you suffered. It must be clear that the incorrect medication directly caused or significantly contributed to your injury or worsening condition.


Show that you suffered actual harm as a result of the medication error. This can include physical pain, additional medical treatment costs, emotional distress, and loss of income or earning capacity.

Collecting Evidence

The strength of your claim largely depends on the quality and quantity of evidence you can gather. You’ll need your medical records, as they contain details about the prescribed medication, your medical history, notes from your healthcare provider, and records of any adverse effects you experienced. Medical malpractice claims in Maryland also require testimony from a medical expert. This expert, typically a doctor in the same specialty as the defendant, will need to provide a Certificate of Merit certifying that, in his or her opinion, the standard of care was not met when the incorrect medication was prescribed.

Pharmacy records can also be helpful, as they confirm what medication was prescribed and dispensed. They can also provide insight into whether the error was on the part of the physician or the pharmacy. Statements from other healthcare providers, family members, or anyone who was aware of your medical care and the impact of the medication error can support your claim. Other evidence may also be useful, and your attorney can help you find what you need. Click here to learn more.

Common Defenses in Medication Error Cases

Healthcare providers may employ several defenses in response to a medication error claim:

Comparative Negligence

The defense might argue that the patient contributed to their own harm, for instance, by not disclosing a known allergy or not following the prescribed medication instructions.

Conforming to Accepted Medical Practice

The defendant may claim that the medication prescribed was in line with reasonable and accepted medical practices, even if the outcome was negative.

Lack of Causation

The defense could argue that the patient’s injuries or deterioration were not caused by the medication error but by other factors, such as an underlying health condition.

Consulting a Medical Malpractice Attorney

Given how difficult medical malpractice law is, and the proof required, working with an experienced medical malpractice attorney is vital if you want to have any hope of success. An attorney can provide valuable guidance on the viability of your claim, help in gathering and presenting evidence, and represent your interests in negotiations or at trial.

Proving a medical malpractice case for an incorrect medication prescription requires clear evidence of a duty of care, breach of that duty, causation, and demonstrable damages. If you believe you are a victim of such an error, consult a medical malpractice attorney today to get started.

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