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Assigning vicarious liability to prescribing physicians

Have you ever considered if the use of medication by a complete stranger could somehow affect you, as well? Many of those in Providence County that we here at DeLuca and Weizenbaum have worked with in the past may tell you yes based off their own personal experiences. If you were ever to encounter such a scenario, could the prescribing doctor be held liable, just as he or she would be in a case involving a medication error that you experience?

Say that you are involved in a car accident which was later determined to be the fault of another driver who was drowsy following the use of a medication. Such a scenario was described in an analysis shared by the National Institutes of Health. It claims that in order to hold a prescribing doctor liable in such a scenario, “The Four Ds” of malpractice must be proven. These are:

  •          The doctor must have a duty of care to the person who caused the accident.
  •          The doctor was derelict in fulfilling his or her duty to the patient.
  •          His or her dereliction was found to be directly responsible for any accident the patient was involved in.
  •          Such an accident caused damages and injuries to the patient (and to you).

The key in such a case is to focus on whether or not a doctor was derelict in his or her duties of prescribing a medication. This could include him or her supplying medication without an established clinical reason or to a person he or she could reasonably foresee abusing it. It may also include cases where a doctor failed to warn a patient of a drug’s impairing effects.

You can learn more about dealing with issues involving medications by continuing to explore our site. 

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Providence Personal Injury Office

199 North Main Street
Providence, RI 02903

Toll Free: 888-876-9415
Phone: 401-354-7233
Fax: 401-453-1501
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