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Can You Sue a Drug Company for an Injury?

Chicago Drug Injury & Liability Attorney

If you took a prescription or over the counter medication and suffered an injury or side effect; as a result, you may be able to seek compensation from the company that produced the drug. Drug manufacturers usually include warnings of side effects on drug containers’ labels and in advertisements for the drug. However, if you were warned of possible side effects by the drug company or your physician, you may not be able to file a claim against the drug manufacturer.

If you do wish to file a product liability lawsuit against a drug manufacturing company, you will generally need to prove that the medicine you took had one or more of the following types of defects:

  • Harmful or Hazardous Side Effects – bad reactions to the drug that the manufacturer knew of or should have had the experience of before producing and providing the medication.
  • Defects in Manufacturing – medications are defective when they contain hazardous or tainted ingredients. The manufacturer is responsible for detecting and reporting any faulty drug elements.
  • Defects in Marketing – also referred to as “failure to warn,” marketing defects occur when the drug manufacturer does not warn the consumer or physician prescribing the medication with adequate information to decide whether or not the drug’s benefits outweigh the risk of any side effects.

Seeking compensation from a drug manufacturer can be challenging. If you suffered side effects of a medication that you were not warned about prior to taking the drug, you should hire an experienced drug injury attorney such as Michael J. Brennan, who may be able to help you with your case. Michael may be able to assist you in identifying all liable parties for your losses, damages, and pain and suffering,

Who May Be Liable for an Injury Related to Drugs?

Drug Manufacturers

Drug manufacturing companies are responsible for producing the safest drugs possible and warning of any potential side effects. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) places strict regulations on medications and must approve them before being sold to consumers. Pharmaceutical companies are responsible for thoroughly testing each drug to ensure there are no defects and detect and report any potential side effects of the medication to any consumers before product distribution. If you sustained a drug injury due to the manufacturing company failing to fulfill its responsibilities, they might be liable for your losses or damages, and you may be able to seek compensation. However, the U.S. Supreme Court has made it more difficult to sue drug manufacturers once they have received FDA approval for the drug. An experienced lawyer may often be necessary to pursue a claim against a manufacturer successfully.


Doctors are responsible for accurately prescribing medication to their patients. If your doctor knew of the potential side effects of a drug and failed to warn you and you sustained an injury as a result, he or she may be liable. Sometimes, doctors prescribe medications for “off-label uses,” which means they prescribed the drug for an illness or injury other than the one it was intended for or may also specify the wrong dosage. If your doctor took any of these actions, and your treatment caused you to suffer adverse side effects, you may be able to file a malpractice lawsuit against your physician.


Legally, pharmacists have a duty of care when distributing medications. They should be trained appropriately and have a thorough knowledge of each medication they dispense, including any potentially harmful side effects of those drugs. They should also have experience of any possibly hazardous effects of reactions to drugs when taken simultaneously. If your pharmacist fails to fulfill his or her responsibilities and you are injured, they may be deemed liable for your losses and damages. 

How Can Someone Sue a Drug Company for an Injury?

Drug injury lawsuits may often be grouped or “consolidated” into class-action lawsuits with other victims that have been injured by the drug. This strategy may often be beneficial for victims as the victims together may be taken more seriously and be better able to more successfully negotiate with the drug manufacturer to obtain a reasonable settlement. In contrast, a manufacturer may be less likely to settle a claim with an individual victim. However, you will start the process by hiring an experienced lawyer to pursue your claim and help you understand your legal options.

How Long Do You Have to Sue A Drug Company in Illinois?

Generally, drug injury lawsuits have the same statute of limitations, or legal time limits, as other personal injury lawsuits in Illinois. As a result, you will generally have two years to file a lawsuit from the date the injury was suffered, or you discovered the damage. In drug injury cases, this may often be difficult as it is hard to prove when you found your injury or should have discovered any harm, and hiring a skilled lawyer like Michael J. Brennan may often be crucial to successfully pursue compensation for your drug injury.

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