Although each product liability claim is unique and the state laws where the case is heard will vary, product liability cases, such as those where someone took a defective drug and was harmed by it, generally consist of four basic elements that must be proven in order to create a case.
The first element to any product liability case is being able to prove that you were injured or suffered some type of financial loss. This must be a tangible, calculable loss that a product liability lawyer can lay out in front of a judge or jury and clearly show. Without a definite injury or loss, there can be no claim.
The next element required is proving that the drug was, in fact, defective. Typically, there are three categories to show defectiveness: the drug was not manufactured correctly, it was inherently flawed in its design, or there were not adequate warnings or instructions about how to use the product properly to avoid harm. This part of the claim can become very complex and will perhaps make up the bulk of your claim.
The remaining two elements tend to go hand in hand. Causation is proving that the defect you specify directly caused your injury. The last element is proving that you were using the product as the manufacturer intended when it occurred.
For example, you take an anti-coagulation medication for a heart condition. During the manufacturing process of this medication, the machinery malfunctions and puts too much of the active ingredient in your capsules. Because you do not know this, you take your medication as directed, but you then suffer a life-threatening hemorrhage as a result of the mistake during manufacturing. You are seen by an expert who can tell that the direct cause of your hemorrhage was an overdose of the active medication in you anti-coagulation medication, and nothing else. In this scenario, you could provide adequate proof of causation and also that you were using the product as directed by your physician.
While product liability cases can become complicated, there are always four elements at their root: an injury or loss, proof of being defective, causation, and proof of proper use. Being able to clearly prove each of those elements will help you establish the best case possible to sue for damages if you took a defective drug.