Expert Witness on Opioid Lawsuits
Provided by HG.org
Opioid usage, abuse and prescription issues have become such a problem that some persons are addicted and may become injured through use and abuse. Because these drugs are both used in the medical world and through illegal personal purchase, many are harmed when the drugs are not consumed properly.
Opioids are used in prescriptions for anesthesia and to reduce or handle pain. However, these drugs are considered part of the worst drug epidemic that has been transpiring in the United States for several years. From 2015, roughly 25 different locations within states have already filed civil lawsuits due to injury, addiction and other types of harm against manufacturers of opioids.
The problems with these drugs have far outweighed the possible benefits according to these areas within the country. To support the clients, numerous lawyers have joined the fight, and this requires additional help in many instances through expert witnesses.
Some medical experts are hired to explain the addictive factor of pain relievers, how the receptors of the body are affected by opioid use and what types of injuries may occur through abuse and overuse. If there are defects in some opioid products, the expert may need to detail how these could affect the brain and body when used as directed. Additionally, some supplies may experience contamination from other substances, have side effects based on extended storage and similar issues. When injury requires compensation, the expert could also describe the amount and why compensation is needed for opioid complications.
How are Opioids Harmful?
Many opioids are common pills that have been prescribed for years such as Oxycodone or Oxycontin, Percocet, Hydrocodone or Vicodin and Meperidine or Demerol. They’ve been acquired through a doctor for managing pain after various injuries that cause constant pain for the victim. However, some are addictive, others have addictive symptoms, and some become addicted to these pills through the alleviation of pain or a sense of euphoria. Overuse and abuse may lead to death, and constant consumption affects judgment, motor skills and cognitive thinking. All of these effects could lead to accidents, car crashes and instances where the individual harms himself or herself unintentionally.
Because addiction and abuse of prescription pills is an unknown factor among the masses, many persons following this behavior may go through life unnoticed as addicted or abusing medication. If the person has obtained the medicine legally and through a doctor, it is more difficult to determine there is an issue. Additionally, some are able to acquire the pills from someone with a legitimate prescription that is selling them for cheap. These actions are not easy to discover unless someone in authority observes the activity firsthand. However, the problem with opioid overuse and abuse increases when the drugs are provided for nearly any injury that brings moderate to severe pain.
The Expert Witness on Opioids Effects
One of the reasons an expert witness is needed for opioid lawsuits is to explain the effects, the addiction or abuse and how the body reacts to extended prescriptions for pain. Many experts on drugs have a background in medicine or psychology so they are able to detail the physiological and psychological effects drugs have on the body and mind. Addiction affects both the body and the brain, and removing the drug initiates withdrawal which could be deadly for some. If the person becomes reliant on the release from pain, he or she may want to keep using whichever drug has been provided by the doctor.
Psychological effects may harm both the mind and the body. The brain may rewire how pain and other receptors act within the systems. The expert may be hired to examine the client and then describe how the drugs have affected him or her. If injury is part of the claim, the professional provides information about how compensation may be required for recovery and therapy to break away from the opioid substance consumed. Some cases arise when the person taking the opioid died. The family may attempt to correct the loss through a court case.
The Legal Battle
Lawyers have been hired in increasing numbers along with other professionals to explain to the courts how devastating some drugs are for the patient. Even occasional or slight use could end in disaster if his or her system cannot take the drug. Some side effects could lead to further injury. Additionally, an expert may need to explain how adverse reactions are possible and some symptoms are worse than enduring the pain.
Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.