Liability for Stevens-Johnson Syndrome
Most lawsuits brought about by SJS diagnoses are filed against drug manufacturers. If you developed Stevens-Johnson syndrome from taking a medication that has been linked to this condition, you might have a legal case against the drug company.
Winning your case will likely depend on the labeling of the drug. Insufficient warnings of potential side effects can be grounds for a defective drug lawsuit.
Depending on the particulars of your situation, there are other parties that could also be liable for your damages. If your doctor prescribed a drug that has been linked to SJS, and you have a family history of SJS or a medical condition that makes you more susceptible to the illness, like cancer or HIV, you might be able to bring legal action against them.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit?
If you are pursuing a case related to Stevens-Johnson syndrome in Georgia, you will generally have two years to file a lawsuit against the liable party. If you don’t file your lawsuit within this time frame, you could miss your chance to recover compensation from the at-fault party.
However, you must realize that many exceptions could apply depending on the specifics of your case. In some situations, you may find that you are still able to file even if two years have already passed. That being said, you could find that you have far less time to file.
The best way to ensure your claim gets filed on time is by hiring an SJS attorney in GA, SC, or NC as soon as possible after receiving your diagnosis. Your lawyer can ensure that all deadlines get met and that you don’t lose your right to pursue compensation.
If you’re considering filing an SJS lawsuit in South Carolina, you must pay attention to the statute of limitations. In South Carolina, you will generally have three years to file a personal injury lawsuit against the liable party.
However, you must realize that the statute of limitations is not immovable. Special circumstances may apply to your case, which could alter the amount of time you have to file.
In some situations, you may be able to file a lawsuit long after the typical two years have passed.
By hiring an experienced SJS attorney in South Carolina, you can ensure that all deadlines will be met and your right to recover compensation from the liable party will be protected.
North Carolina also has a statute of limitations for SJS suits. According to North Carolina General Statutes §1-52, you have three years from the date of your diagnosis to file a civil suit. Waiting too long to take legal action could prevent you from meeting the filing deadline and collecting the compensation you’re owed.
That being said, certain details in your claim could lengthen or shorten your filing deadline significantly. It’s best to discuss your case with a North Carolina Stevens-Johnson syndrome attorney as soon as possible in order to ensure that your claim is filed on time and appropriately.
An SJS Attorney Gets Paid Based on the Outcome of Your Case
SJS lawyers in GA, SC, and NC typically charge their clients on a contingency fee basis. That means that their pay depends entirely upon the results they are able to get in your case. Unlike other attorneys who charge a high hourly rate regardless of the outcome, an SJS attorney will only charge you if you receive compensation.
When hiring an SJS attorney, you will agree to pay a contingency-based fee which will be assessed as a fixed percentage of the money you recover from the liable party. This fee will be the only money your attorney receives for their services. Because of this, you can feel confident that your attorney will do everything they can to ensure you collect a fair settlement.
The more money you receive from the at-fault party, the bigger the payday will be for your lawyer. If you fail to recover compensation, your attorney won’t get paid. This system works to ensure that all SJS victims have the ability to hire legal counsel, regardless of financial status.
Recoverable Damages in an SJS Lawsuit
If you received a Stevens-Johnson syndrome diagnosis after taking medication, there are a variety of damages you may be able to recover from the liable party. Which damages apply to your case will depend on the specifics of your situation. A skilled Stevens-Johnson syndrome lawyer from GA, SC, or NC can identify which damages you’re owed.
Economic damages are any losses suffered that cost you money. These damages can include expenses related to your condition, as well as income that your condition has prevented you from earning. Some of the economic damages you will likely be able to recover in an SJS lawsuit include the following:
- Medical bills
- Future medical costs
- Lost wages
- Lost earning ability
The rest of the losses you’ve suffered due to your SJS are categorized as non-economic damages. Non-economic damages cover a wide range of losses, which can be quite varied. However, the one thing that these damages often have in common is that, for the most part, they have a profound impact on your life and mental health.
Non-economic damages you may be able to claim in an SJS lawsuit include the following:
- Decreased quality of life
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Permanent disability
Understanding SJS Symptoms and Causes
Although SJS is a fairly uncommon disorder, its effects can be disastrous. If you are predisposed to SJS or are taking a medication that’s linked with the disorder, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the signs and symptoms. Patients diagnosed with SJS may experience any of the following symptoms:
- Skin pain
- Body aches
- Peeling skin
- Painful urination
- Red rash on skin
- Blisters and sores throughout the body
How Patients Develop SJS
SJS can develop in response to a variety of different medications. You could experience SJS after taking a medication prescribed by your doctor or from taking a common OTC drug like Ibuprofen. The following types of drugs have been linked to SJS:
- Anti-gout medications
- Anti-seizure medications
- Meloxicam and Piroxicam
- OTC pain medications
While the majority of people can take the medications listed above with zero side effects, a small percentage may experience symptoms of SJS. Studies have identified certain risk factors that make individuals more susceptible to developing SJS. Risk factors include HIV, immune system issues, cancer, previous history of SJS, and family history of SJS.
There are also several genetic markers that predispose individuals to SJS. The presence of HLA-B*1502, HLA-B*5801, HLA-B*5701 or HLA-A*3101 genotypes have been associated with an increased risk of experiencing SJS. If you are at risk for SJS, speak to a doctor before taking a medication that’s linked to the disorder.
Seek Medical Attention ASAP
Diagnosing and treating SJS early on can help prevent life-threatening symptoms from occurring. If you’re experiencing symptoms associated with SJS, it’s important that you seek medical attention immediately. An experienced doctor can conduct imaging, bloodwork, and other tests to determine if you have SJS.
Your SJS treatment may include wound care, eye care, medications, fluid replacement, and lifestyle changes geared toward monitoring and preventing symptoms. Once you’ve received the treatment and medication you need, reach out to our SJS lawyers in GA, SC, or NC an attorney to find out if you’re eligible to file a product liability claim or lawsuit.
Locate a Burn Center
A burn center can offer the medical care you need to treat SJS and prevent further complications. Consider reaching out to one of the following burn centers in GA, SC, or NC, to get the treatment you need:
- Joseph M. Still Burn Center (Augusta, GA)
- The South Carolina Burn Center (Charleston, SC)
- UNC Pediatric Burn Care (Chapel Hill, NC)
- Jayce Burn Center (Chapel Hill, NC)
To locate a burn center that can treat you, you can also take advantage of the American Burn Association’s burn center finder.
Speak with an SJS Lawyer in South Carolina About Your Case Today
At SJS Firm, we have helped countless SJS victims recover the money they need to put their life back together. If you have been diagnosed with Stevens-Johnson syndrome, our team of SJS lawyers in South Carolina, North Carolina, or Georgia can help get you the compensation you deserve.
Contact us today to find out if you’re eligible to pursue a product liability lawsuit. You can schedule a free case review with a member of our team. At your case review, we will look over your case and answer any questions you may have. We look forward to hearing from you soon.