If you listen to the news or read online articles, you know that America’s opioid crisis is in full swing. Like other states, residents of Illinois have been affected by this crisis. According to the state of Illinois, “2,278 drug-related overdose deaths” occurred in 2016. This is nearly double the number of fatal overdoses that occurred in 2013. Clearly, opioid use and overdose is a problem in our state as it is elsewhere.
As injury attorneys, we cannot speculate as to why more people are dying from opioid overdoses. Like you, we can only express our sorrow over the loss of so many of our neighbors. However, what we can do is try to help those impacted by this tragedy. The best way we can accomplish this goal is by assisting families in identifying whether a wrongful death was responsible for the loss of a family member.
The problem with opioid-related deaths is that the victim may have received the drug in compliance with the law. In many cases, this means that neither the prescriber nor the pharmaceutical company can be held to account. However, this does not necessarily mean that the bereaved has no legal recourse.
For example, if a physician prescribed the opioid in a reckless manner or failed to educate the patient about the dangers associated with opioids, a wrongful death lawsuit may be a legitimate solution. At least one doctor has already been convicted of murder in the overdose deaths of three patients.
Sometimes, the best way to affect real change is by using the tools provided by law. Pursuing a wrongful death claim brings attention to the issues and to any wrongdoing in which the defendant may have engaged. In turn, this can lead to more federal changes in the way physicians prescribe opioid drugs and could potentially save lives. Read more about wrongful death by visiting our website.