Zantac Recall Timeline
- More than 15 million people in the U.S. have been affected by the Zantac recall
- October 2, 2019, FDA finds unacceptable levels of NDMA in ranitidine products
- October 8, 2019, GlaxoSmithKline removes brand name Zantac from the market
- October 18, 2019, Sanofi recalls Zantac in Canada and U.S.
- November 1, 2019, FDA announces NDMA testing of 18 different ranitidine products contained NDMA levels up to 2.85ppm.
- December 4, 2019, FDA recommends manufacturers halt products if they contain unacceptable levels of NDMA
- In March 2020, more than fifteen U.S. manufacturers recalled their heartburn medications from the market, including
- American Health Packaging
- Amneal Pharmaceuticals LLC
- Apotex Corp. (Rite-Aid, Walmart, and Walgreen brands)
- Appco Pharma LLC
- Aurobindo Pharma USA
- Denton Pharma (d.b.a. Northwind Pharmaceuticals)
- Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories LTD (CVS, Kroger, Target, Walmart, and Walgreen brands)
- Glaxo SmithKline
- Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Inc.
- Golden State Medical Supply Inc.
- Lannett Company Inc.
- Novitium Pharma LLC
- Perrigo Company PLC
- Precision Dose Inc.
- Sanofi (brand-name Zantac)
- April 1, 2020, the FDA announced an immediate Zantac recall and market withdrawal of OTC and prescription ranitidine products.
Seeking Compensation After Zantac Use: The Process
After a cancer diagnosis related to Zantac use, filing a personal injury claim can provide you with the compensation you need to pay your medical bills, keep up with your regular expenses, and continue to maintain your personal and financial independence.
Contact an experienced personal injury attorney for more information about how to file a lawsuit and what it means for you.
Start by sitting down with an attorney for a free consultation regarding your claim. During that first consultation, an attorney can provide you with valuable answers that can help guide you as you decide what comes next. That free consultation can also offer you an opportunity to decide whether you want to work with a specific attorney or if you would prefer to seek out another law firm for your needs.
During your free consultation, you will:
- Go over your diagnosis and Zantac use. To file a claim, you will need to show that you used Zantac over a period of time and that you have a diagnosis linked to that Zantac use. An attorney will look at the evidence of your diagnosis, including your medical records and any information provided by your doctor.
- Assess what other information you need. To file a personal injury claim, you will need to provide a wealth of information and evidence. During your free consultation, an attorney can take a look at the evidence you already have and assess what more you need to file your personal injury claim.
- Give you an idea of the compensation you deserve and your options for seeking it. Many people, especially those who have never been through a personal injury claim before, may have little idea of how much compensation they can actually receive for a claim. Your Zantac use may give you grounds for a considerable personal injury claim, depending on your diagnosis, the extent of your medical bills, and your overall suffering related to the diagnosis. An attorney can help look over your claim and give you a better idea of how much you should expect.
- Get a feel for the attorney and what that law firm can offer you. During your free consultation, you may want to go over factors like how the attorney prefers to communicate, what fees he will take, whether you can file your claim on a contingent fee basis, and how your attorney will handle the case. You may also want to ask about the attorney’s experience, including past claims they have worked on of this nature.
Once you choose an attorney and the attorney decides to take your claim, you will start working on your personal injury claim. It starts with an investigation: collecting any evidence regarding your claim. In the case of a Zantac-related claim, this may include your medical bills and medical records, which will establish how much you have had to pay as a result of a cancer diagnosis related to Zantac use. Your attorney may also want other evidence about how your diagnosis has impacted other areas of your life: missed opportunities or friendships that came to an end, for example.
The research already exists that shows Zantac’s potential link to cancer, especially stomach and intestine-related cancers. Your attorney will cite that research as part of the reason for your claim.
The Demand Package
After reviewing the evidence related to your claim, your attorney will put together a demand package that covers the funds you expect to receive for your claim. Your demand package will include an assessment of your claim, including how much you expect to receive in compensation, as well as evidence of your Zantac use and cancer diagnosis.
Your attorney will include an assessment of your medical expenses, your lost wages, and your pain and suffering related to Zantac use and a diagnosis that followed. Most demand packages include pain and suffering as a percentage of your medical expenses. Talk to your attorney to learn more about what gets included in your Zantac claim demand package.
Once you submit your demand package, Zantac has a chance to respond. Zantac’s lawyers have already had time to prepare for their response to a personal injury claim. They may have already decided how much they want to offer you as you file your claim. Chances are, it will not reflect the amount you feel that you deserve in compensation for your suffering.
An attorney can help you decide whether to accept a settlement offer or continue to negotiate. In many cases, you may go through multiple rounds of negotiation before arriving at a satisfactory agreement.
If you cannot reach an agreement through negotiation, your attorney will recommend taking your claim to court. Carefully discuss your options to discover whether this offers the right choice for you. Most personal injury claims, including medication liability claims, settle out of court.
Once you reach an agreement or obtain a favorable judgment, you will receive payment for your suffering related to taking Zantac. Most of the time, unless designated otherwise in the agreement, Zantac will have thirty days to submit payment.
The Common Diseases and Injuries Associated With Zantac Use
Zantac use has the potential to expose users to NDMA, or N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). In studies, scientists found that a single tablet of Zantac had the potential to contain 300,000 micrograms or more of NDMA. The acceptable amount of NDMA per tablet, according to FDA regulations? Just 96 micrograms per tablet.
For users, that increased NDMA exposure means an increased risk of developing several types of Zantac cancer, all of which can have catastrophic, long-term impacts on the victim’s health. Consult an attorney as soon as possible if you used Zantac or any generic form of ranitidine.
Patients with stomach cancer may initially present with relatively mild symptoms. They may, for example, notice a consistent bloated feeling, especially after eating. Even a small amount of food may make those victims feel very full. They may also notice severe, persistent heartburn or a feeling of nausea that doesn’t seem to go away. Many people with stomach cancer notice intense stomach pain or vomiting.
Victims may also notice an ongoing sense of indigestion, always present even when they take care to eat a clean, healthy diet. Many people first start to suspect potential stomach cancer or another serious issue when they notice unexplained weight loss.
Treatment for stomach cancer may require surgical intervention to remove the impacted cells. Patients may also go through chemotherapy, radiation, or immunotherapy to help treat stomach cancer.
Cancer in the Small or Large Intestine
Cancer in the small or large intestine often develops in the form of tumors. As with stomach cancer, victims may first start to suspect the challenges ahead when they realize they have lost weight unexpectedly.
Patients may notice bloody or tarry stools due to bleeding tumors. Some victims notice generalized abdominal pain, while others may track the pain to a more specific location. Some victims with small or large intestine cancer may notice a lump in the abdominal area. Victims may also suffer from unexplained fatigue and weakness that can prove difficult to shake.
Victims with cancer in the small or large intestine may go through surgery, chemotherapy, and/or radiation to treat their cancer.
Patients with colorectal cancer may notice bloody stools or a significant change in their bowel habits. The stool may change colors or textures, or victims may struggle with diarrhea or constipation. Patients may also suffer from persistent abdominal discomfort, including a persistent cramping sensation or the feeling that often accompanies gas, but with little to no results. They may also not feel as though the bowel empties completely, which can leave them feeling uncomfortable. As with other types of cancer, the patient may suffer from fatigue or unexplained weight loss.
Colorectal cancer may not show immediate symptoms as it develops. Some patients may have few to no symptoms in the initial stages of the cancer’s growth. As a result, victims with colorectal cancer may not discover the cancer until it has a chance to further develop and grow.
Treatment for colorectal cancer may start with surgery. In the early stages, surgery can prove minimally invasive. In more advanced cases, the doctor may need to remove some or all of the colon to remove as much of the cancerous tissue as possible. Sometimes, with a partial colon removal, the doctor can reconnect the portions of healthy tissue to allow the patient to continue to evacuate their bowels normally.
In more serious cases, the victim may require the complete removal of that tissue or the doctor may not have the ability to reconnect it. In this case, the victim may require an ostomy, when the doctor creates a hole in the abdominal wall for waste to leave the body. The waste evacuates into a bag that fits securely over the opening. In addition to surgical treatment, victims with colorectal cancer may need to undergo chemotherapy, radiation, immunotherapy, or targeted drug therapy.
Esophageal cancer occurs in the esophagus, the long tube that connects the throat to the stomach. Early esophageal cancer often shows few to no signs and symptoms. Over time, the victim may notice trouble swallowing, worsening indigestion or heartburn, or chronic coughing or hoarseness. Victims may lose weight unexpectedly and without trying. Esophageal cancer can also cause chest pain or burning, which patients may initially mistake for other symptoms.
Treatment for esophageal cancer can prove complex. In some cases, cancer can narrow the esophagus to the point that food and drink can no longer pass through. Doctors may surgically place a stent that can help keep the esophagus open. Some minor cases may require surgical removal of tumors. In more serious cases, patients may require the removal of a portion of the esophagus.
In this case, the surgeon may reconnect the esophagus to the stomach by pulling the stomach into place. If the patient requires the removal of a long stretch of the esophagus, the surgeon may use a portion of the colon to reconnect the stomach and throat. Patients with esophageal cancer may also go through chemotherapy, radiation, targeted drug therapy, or immunotherapy.
Kidney cancer, also called renal cancer, does not show many symptoms in its early stages. As the cancer progresses, however, victims may notice symptoms including blood in the urine. Urine may, as a result of the blood, appear pink, red, or dark brown, depending on the age of the blood and how much appears in the urine.
Victims may cite pain in the back or side that doesn’t go away and doesn’t seem to have an obvious cause, including injury. In addition, patients may lose their appetite or struggle with ongoing fatigue. Like other types of cancer, kidney cancer can cause unexplained weight loss.
When possible, surgeons try to remove tumors in the kidney without affecting the function of the organ. In some cases, however, victims may require the removal of the affected kidney. Some doctors will also use cryoablation to freeze the affected cells, or radiofrequency ablation to burn away the affected cells.
These procedures can help treat cancer symptoms in patients for whom traditional surgery could prove extremely risky. Immunotherapy and targeted radiation therapy can also help treat kidney cancer and reduce symptoms.
Bladder cancer can cause back pain, frequent urination, or painful urination. It can also cause the presence of blood in the urine. Sometimes the blood proves clearly visible, and the patient may see it with the naked eye as red or brown urine. In other cases, the urine may appear normal to the naked eye, but blood may appear on further examination.
Treatment for bladder cancer can involve chemotherapy delivered directly to the bladder, in the case of cancer confined to the bladder alone; chemotherapy for the whole body, if the cancer has spread; immunotherapy; radiation therapy; or targeted therapy. The victim’s doctor may also recommend surgery to remove the affected tissue.
Liver cancer may first manifest as a loss of appetite or unexplained weight loss, especially if the victim does not try to lose weight. Victims may notice pain in the upper abdominal area or general abdominal swelling. As liver cancer progresses, it can cause jaundice, or yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes. Victims may also notice white, chalky stool. Nausea and vomiting and constant fatigue may accompany liver cancer.
Treatment for liver cancer can include heating or freezing cancer cells to kill them, surgery to move the affected cells, injecting chemotherapy into the liver, or injecting alcohol into the tumor. Doctors may also recommend placing radiation beads directly into the liver to kill the affected cells. Victims may also need chemotherapy, radiation, immunotherapy, or targeted drug therapy. In some severe cases, victims may require a liver transplant.
Prostate cancer, which occurs solely in men, starts with noticed difficulty in urination or decreased force in the urine stream. Patients may find that they need to get up more often to urinate, especially in the middle of the night. They may also suffer from bone pain or discomfort in the pelvic area. Patients may notice blood in their semen, a clear sign of something wrong. In addition, prostate cancer can cause erectile dysfunction.
Prostate cancer, and the treatments for prostate cancer, can also result in incontinence and erectile dysfunction. In some cases, cancer may metastasize and spread throughout the body, impacting other organs.
Some men do not need immediate treatment for prostate cancer. Instead, doctors may recommend regular monitoring to keep track of the progression of the cancer and any increasing symptoms.
As it progresses, however, patients may need treatment that includes:
- Freezing cancer cells
- Surgery to remove the prostate
- Hormone therapy
Pancreatic cancer can cause a range of symptoms as it progresses. Victims may suffer from jaundice, or yellowing of the skin and eyes. They may have abdominal pain that radiates to the back or notice itchy skin or blood clots. Like many types of cancer, it can cause ongoing fatigue. Patients may also have lightened stool or darkened urine.
Treatment for pancreatic cancer may involve surgery to remove tumors, surgery to remove the entire pancreas, chemotherapy, or radiation.
Patients can suffer from numerous types of leukemia. The most obvious symptoms, however, include fever and chills, extreme bruising, frequent or severe infections, persistent fatigue and weakness, and recurrent nosebleeds. Patients may notice bone pain or tenderness. They may lose weight quickly or without trying, often while trying to eat as much as possible. Leukemia can also cause night sweats or excessive sweating during the day.
Early leukemia symptoms often get overlooked or written off to overall fatigue. Some patients may think that they have a persistent case of the flu or other infirmity. Diagnosis usually requires a simple blood or bone marrow test. Treatment can prove extensive and require a great deal of time. Some victims need chemotherapy, radiation, or immunotherapy. In some cases, patients may require a bone marrow transplant, in which bone marrow from a donor gets transplanted into the patient to replace the diseased bone marrow.
Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma causes persistent fatigue alongside swollen lymph nodes. It can present as a chronic cough, chest pain, or trouble breathing. Patients may notice night sweats, unexplained weight loss, or fever. Treatment may include chemotherapy, radiation, or biological therapy. Some severe cases may also require a bone marrow transplant.
Often, patients receive a multiple myeloma diagnosis due to a range of symptoms, including persistent fatigue, nausea, constipation, and lack of appetite. They may suffer from brain fog and confusion or notice an increase in the number of infections they regularly suffer from. Patients may also notice weakness or numbness in the legs or suffer from bone pain, especially in the spine. Treatment may involve corticosteroids, a bone marrow transplant, chemotherapy, or radiation.
Many women first notice breast cancer through a self-exam that reveals a lump in the breast tissue. Breast cancer has the second-highest diagnosis rate in women, following only skin cancer. It can also cause changes in the appearance of the breast or unexpected discharge, including a milky or reddish discharge. In some cases, doctors can treat breast cancer by simply removing the affected cells. In other cases, doctors may recommend removing the breast to treat the cancer. Patients may also receive chemotherapy, radiation, hormone therapy, or immunotherapy.
Throat or Nasal Cancer
Cancer in the nose and throat may actually present as a blockage in the ears, including a sense of fullness and pain or hearing loss. It can also cause facial paralysis or discharge of blood and pus from the nose, bloody saliva, frequent ear infections, sore throat, or ongoing headaches. It can cause serious complications if it grows into the surrounding areas or spreads throughout the body. Treatment may include chemotherapy, radiation, or, in some cases, surgery.
Nine Common Questions About the Zantac Recall and Associated Lawsuits
If you have a cancer diagnosis related to Zantac use, you may find yourself reeling. What do you need to do next? What steps should you take to help protect your finances and make it easier for you to manage after your diagnosis? How should you handle your medical bills? If you have questions about your specific claim and your rights related to that claim, contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible.
Here, we attempt to answer some of the most common questions you may have after a Zantac-related diagnosis.
1. How do I go about seeking compensation for a Zantac-related claim?
You may have a cancer diagnosis that results from Zantac use. How should you handle seeking compensation? What does that look like?
Start by talking to an experienced personal injury attorney. You need an attorney who has experience in Zantac claims and other related issues: one who can walk you through the process, help you understand the compensation you can expect to gain through a personal injury claim, and assist you in gathering vital evidence.
Many personal injury victims, including those who have suffered cancer and other serious illnesses due to exposure to dangerous substances due to the medications they consumed, find that they receive more compensation when working with an attorney than they can without one, even when they consider the attorney’s fees.
2. When can I file a claim related to Zantac use?
You can file a claim related to Zantac use when you have a diagnosis that you suspect or know relates to your use. For example, if you are diagnosed with cancer related to your Zantac use, you could file a claim that will help you seek compensation for your expenses.
In some cases, you may want to file a claim due to Zantac’s lack of disclosure related to potential NDMA exposure in the medication you took. Filing this type of claim, however, will likely not gain the same type of compensation you might expect from a larger personal injury claim.
3. Are there class action lawsuits related to Zantac’s recall?
Several law firms have put together class action lawsuits related to Zantac use. Class action lawsuits, however, usually result in a blanket settlement. Each claimant will receive the same amount in compensation, regardless of the damages suffered. As a result, it may prove more practical to seek compensation through a personal injury claim, rather than a class action lawsuit.
4. How much can I expect in compensation when I file a personal injury claim related to the Zantac recall?
The compensation received by victims who faced cancer or another serious diagnosis due to their medication use varies. However, most parties include the same elements in their claims.
- Medical expenses. A cancer diagnosis can leave you with hefty medical bills and a lot of expenses related to travel or medical equipment used in your home. Your personal injury claim can include the medical expenses you faced as a result of your diagnosis. You can include the costs of chemotherapy and radiation, surgery, hospitalizations, tests, and even follow-up appointments with your doctor. Your personal injury claim may also include compensation for durable medical equipment, which you may use to help you maintain your independence or stay at home despite a serious cancer diagnosis.
- Lost wages. A cancer diagnosis can prevent you from going back to work during your treatments, especially if you suffer substantial weakness during your treatments or have your immune system compromised by those treatments. Your personal injury claim can include the wages you lose as a result of your diagnosis.
- Pain and suffering. A cancer diagnosis can lead to significant physical pain and weakness, especially during treatment cycles. Not only that, you may face substantial mental anguish as you struggle to determine whether your NDMA exposure caused you to develop symptoms of cancer, when it will develop, and what that will mean for the rest of your life. Talk to an attorney about how to include elements of pain and suffering in your claim.
5. Does Zantac have to pay my medical bills if I face a cancer diagnosis because of my Zantac use?
No, Zantac does not have to pay your medical bills directly after a cancer diagnosis, even a diagnosis linked to your Zantac use. Many victims believe that a Zantac-related cancer diagnosis, or another diagnosis caused by the negligence of another party, will get paid for by the party that caused their illness.
A personal injury claim does not work that way. Following any type of diagnosis, you will take responsibility for your medical expenses until you can secure a settlement or court award. If you cannot afford to pay for your medical bills, you do have some options that can help you take care of those payments. You can choose to:
Use your health insurance. Your health insurance will pay for many of the expenses associated with a cancer diagnosis following your Zantac use. Consult your health insurance provider to learn more about what coverage you have. You may need to ask questions about:
- Your deductible. Your deductible represents the expenses you will need to pay yourself before your insurance kicks in.
- Your copays. Many health insurance companies require the insured individual to pay for a percentage of any medical service you receive. You may have a flat fee for some expenses, like appointments with your doctor, and a variable fee for others. For example, you may have to pay a set percentage of any surgical bills, rather than having a flat fee.
- What your insurance company will cover with regards to durable medical equipment. With a cancer diagnosis, you may need to modify your home or use durable medical equipment to help you get around when you feel weak and unsteady on your feet. You may want to ask about what equipment your insurance company will cover and what you need to do to receive coverage for anything you need.
- What coverage your insurance company offers for in-home care. Many cancer patients prefer to stay at home if they can, rather than receiving all of their treatments in the hospital directly. You may, however, need assistance or even skilled nursing care to make it possible for you to stay at home. Consult your insurance provider to learn more about what coverage they offer.
- Your out-of-pocket maximum. Most insurance companies will set a maximum amount that you will have to pay out-of-pocket each year. Consult your insurance provider to learn more about how much you will have to pay out-of-pocket each year. Keep in mind that this will represent an annual amount, so if you have cancer treatments that span more than a year, you may need to budget for future years’ expenses.
Ask your hospital about what payment options it has available. Many hospitals and cancer centers will work with you so that you can receive the treatment you need even if you cannot pay upfront for that treatment. Consult your hospital to learn about your options. Teaching hospitals, in particular, often offer discounts for people who cannot otherwise afford their services. You may also work out a payment arrangement that will allow you to continue treatments while you work out a way to pay for them. Consult with your care team as soon as possible so that you can adapt your payment schedule as needed.
Get help. Several programs can help you seek help paying for cancer-related expenses. Consult your local cancer care center or hospital to learn more about what programs are available in your area. Often, these programs can also help you cover other bills you may find yourself facing as you juggle cancer treatments.
Hope Lodge and the Healthcare Hospitality Network, for example, offer lodging assistance to individuals and families who need to travel to receive cancer treatment. Your state may offer assistance with in-home caregiver expenses. Your attorney may have a list of the organizations that can assist you while you undergo cancer treatment.
Let your care team know that you have a lawsuit in progress. Consult with your care providers and let them know that you have filed a lawsuit against Zantac, and that you intend to use some of the settlement funds to pay for your medical bills. Your attorney may issue a letter of protection that can help you continue to receive medical care while the lawsuit remains ongoing.
6. How much does it cost to hire a lawyer to help with a Zantac recall lawsuit?
Hiring an attorney, to many people, sounds like an expensive proposition. You may worry that you cannot afford the cost of a lawyer or that hiring a lawyer will cut into the funds you need to pay for your medical bills.
In truth, however, hiring an attorney often proves less expensive than you think. Many victims find that working with an experienced personal injury attorney actually increases the compensation they can receive for their diagnosis—even after they pay for their legal fees.
When you contact a lawyer, you will start with a consultation. Many attorneys offer these free of charge. During your free consultation, you can get a feel for whether you want to hire that attorney to work on your claim, and the attorney can decide whether to accept you as a client. You can also ask more questions about the attorney’s fees.
In the case of a Zantac recall claim and many other types of personal injury claims, an attorney may take your claim on a contingent fee basis. That means you will not have to pay upfront for the attorney’s services. Instead, you will pay only a percentage of your settlement or award after you receive it.
The cost of not hiring an attorney can be far greater. Many victims find that trying to handle things on their own complicates the process, and leaves them without the compensation they really deserve for their losses and their diagnosis.
7. How long should I expect it to take for me to get settlement or award funds in hand?
Filing a personal injury claim, like a Zantac lawsuit, can get complicated quickly. You should not expect a short process that ends in the funds you need in your hand within a few days or weeks. Several factors can contribute to the length of your claim. Primarily, however, it will depend on how long you need to negotiate to get the compensation you need in hand. Each round of negotiation adds to the time it takes for you to finalize your claim. If you need to take your claim to court, it can take even longer.
8. Will I have to go to court to reach a settlement agreement?
Most medical liability claims settle out of court. In some cases, including aggressive diagnoses or cases in which you must ask for a considerably higher settlement, you may need to go to court to receive the funds you deserve for your losses and your suffering. An attorney can help you decide when to continue negotiations and when to accept a settlement offer.
9. If I do not want to go to court, should I accept the first settlement Zantac offers?
Many people adamantly do not want to go to court. They want the funds for their personal injury claim in hand as soon as possible, rather than having to wait it out. You do not, however, have to accept the first settlement offer you receive from Zantac.
Consult your attorney to learn more about when to accept an offer and when to continue negotiations. An attorney can give you a better idea of how much you deserve and how much the company will likely give as you go through further rounds of negotiation. You can go through several rounds of negotiation before deciding that the claim needs to go to court.
Your Next Four Steps: What to Do After a Cancer Diagnosis Linked to Zantac
You used Zantac for several years.
Now, you have a cancer diagnosis from one of the categories associated with NDMA consumption, including:
- Stomach cancer
- Cancer in the small or large intestines
- Colorectal cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Liver cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Pancreatic cancer
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Multiple myeloma
You may have talked to your doctor about your Zantac use and even discovered that your Zantac use probably contributed to your eventual cancer diagnosis. Now what? The steps you take in the immediate aftermath of your discovery can go a long way toward helping you establish a personal injury claim against Zantac, which can help pay for your medical treatments as well as your pain and suffering related to that diagnosis.
1. Document your Zantac use, including the amount of time you spent taking Zantac.
How long did you take Zantac or generic ranitidine? How often did you take it? You may not have a definite record of exactly how long you took the product, but you may have an estimate of how long you took it. Document your use, especially if you took Zantac for a long period of time.
If you talked to your doctor about your heartburn, received a prescription for a ranitidine product, or received a direct recommendation from your doctor, your medical records may contain documentation about when you used the product, including any recommendations your doctor made about dosing or frequency. You may also have disclosed your decision to use Zantac any time you met with your doctor for other reasons, since most physicians will ask what prescription and nonprescription medications you take at each visit.
A careful look at your past medical records can give you a better idea of how long you took Zantac and how frequently. Talk to your doctor about those records.
2. Seek the treatment recommended by your doctor for your cancer.
Your doctor will recommend a specific course of treatment for your cancer. It may include chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery, depending on your symptoms and the specific diagnosis. Follow all recommendations issued by your doctor. The steps you take to seek the cancer treatments you need as soon as possible after your diagnosis can make a big difference in your eventual prognosis. Denying or delaying treatments can not only worsen your symptoms, it can affect the compensation you can seek as a result of your illness.
You may need to get in touch with your insurance company to learn what cancer treatments it will cover. Some insurance companies have specific limitations, not just in terms of calendar year deductibles and copays, but in terms of the procedures they will cover.
Contacting your insurance company can also give you a list of in-network providers that can offer treatment for your cancer, reducing your costs as much as possible. Work closely with your doctor to determine what treatment you need for your cancer and how that treatment will impact your odds of recovery. In some cases, your doctor may present you with options regarding treatment. Try to choose treatment options that will help you achieve the best possible outcomes.
If you do not seek treatment for your cancer, especially if you ignore the recommendations of your doctor, it not only impacts your health, it can also impact the compensation you can receive through a personal injury claim after your diagnosis. Talk to an attorney to learn more about your legal rights if you choose to delay or avoid cancer treatments.
3. Talk to your employer.
You need to notify your employer about your cancer diagnosis and your treatment plans as soon as possible. Informing your employer about your plans can help them work with you—not to mention increasing the odds that your job will still be there later.
Make sure you have a solid understanding of what your employer can offer you and how it will impact your job in the long run. Ask about options to work from home, to work on a part-time basis, or to work around your cancer treatments while possible. In some cases, your employer may keep you employed and working despite your diagnosis.
4. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
Look for an experienced personal injury attorney who has worked with medication-related claims, potentially including Zantac claims, in the past. Because you suffered illness as a result of your Zantac exposure, you deserve compensation from the company that produced the drug. A personal injury attorney can help you better understand your right to compensation and how to manage your claim.
An attorney will help:
Collect evidence. A personal injury attorney can help you collect evidence relating to your claim, including the evidence you will need to show to seek compensation from Zantac.
You may need to show:
- Your Zantac use over time. An attorney can work with you to discuss how much Zantac you took, when you took it, and how long you took it. You may not fully know how long you used this common medication; however, an attorney can help you consider when you first started suffering from heartburn, how long you suffered, and when you began treatment.
- Your cancer diagnosis. An attorney can help guide you through the evidence you will need to prove your cancer diagnosis, including what paperwork you will need from your doctor and what evidence you will need to show of your limitations related to your diagnosis. You may need an independent medical evaluation to help determine how your cancer diagnosis limits several areas of your life, or your attorney may work with an expert witness to help establish those limitations and how they impact you.
- Your medical expenses. Medical expenses can add up fast following a cancer diagnosis. You may find yourself dealing with multiple specialists and even numerous trips to manage your medical care, especially if you need to go to a cancer care center or need to seek specialist treatment. An attorney can help you track and estimate the cost of your medical expenses, even if you did not keep track of your medical costs from the beginning of your diagnosis. An attorney can also help estimate the potential impact of future medical costs, which you may face if treatment remains ongoing at the time of your lawsuit.
Provide you with a better understanding of the compensation you deserve from your personal injury claim. When you file a personal injury claim, you will start by working with an attorney to assess your financial losses related to your illness. That assessment can give you a better idea of how much compensation you should expect for your diagnosis, which can, in turn, make it easier for you to make financial decisions or decisions related to your treatment even before you receive a settlement for your injuries.
Medical expenses. A cancer diagnosis can leave you with considerable medical bills, both in the immediate aftermath of your diagnosis and in the months and even years that follow. Your health insurance coverage can help provide a buffer that may make it easier for you to manage those costs; however, most patients will still face high out-of-pocket bills related to their medical expenses.
You may need to consider the cost of:
- Hospital stays
- Durable medical equipment needed to help you remain independent while receiving treatment
- An in-home care provider, if you cannot provide for yourself
- Modifications to your home-related to your medical needs, if your cancer diagnosis leads to extreme weakness or loss of mobility
- Travel fees, if you must travel to visit specific cancer centers
Talk to your attorney about all factors that you can include as part of your medical expenses. An attorney may also help you include medical expenses from before you started tracking your medical costs. You may no longer have a direct record of those medical expenses, but an attorney can help you calculate the average cost of cancer treatment and provide you with a closer look at the compensation you deserve for those expenses, even if you did not necessarily keep track of those bills.
Lost income. Cancer and cancer treatments impact people differently. As a result of their diagnosis or the impact of cancer treatments, however, some people lose the ability to work. Many employers will allow you to work on a part-time basis or work with you to help you work when you can while you undergo cancer treatments.
Not all employers, however, have that ability. In some cases, a cancer diagnosis can prevent you from returning to work at all, especially if you work in a setting where your disability could prove dangerous to others around you. Discuss your lost hours at work, including lost vacation or sick time, with your attorney to learn more about how it can factor into your claim.
Pain and suffering. You took Zantac to alleviate the suffering associated with heartburn. Unfortunately, it left you with much more serious symptoms. If you faced a cancer diagnosis as a result of your Zantac use, you may have the right to include pain and suffering associated with your diagnosis and treatment as part of your personal injury claim.
In addition to the physical suffering associated with many forms of cancer, you may also suffer through many of your treatments, especially chemotherapy. Cancer victims often also suffer from social isolation and distance from friends and family, or may need to avoid social gatherings, especially with a vulnerable immune system following cancer treatment. Talk to your attorney about how to factor in pain and suffering related to your claim.
Offer you valuable advice about your legal proceedings. When should you file your personal injury claim if you received a cancer diagnosis due to your Zantac use? Should you wait until the conclusion of treatment, when you will have a better idea of how much your treatment will impact your finances and how long cancer will impact your life, or should you file your claim as soon after your diagnosis as possible? Can you post on social media about your cancer treatments and the probable cause of your cancer diagnosis? An attorney can provide you with valuable advice at every stage of the process.
An attorney can also advise you about when to accept a settlement offer and when to continue negotiating for the compensation you really deserve after facing a cancer diagnosis. With the recall on Zantac products, the company already knows the potential lawsuits that can come their way. Their legal team may already have formed a settlement offer that it plans to issue to most individuals who file a personal injury claim.
Many drug companies that issue those settlement offers, however, do not initially offer the full compensation a victim really deserves. Before accepting the settlement offer given to you, consult with your attorney. Your attorney can offer you valuable advice about the compensation you really deserve for the losses you faced related to your claim. In many cases, an attorney will recommend continuing to negotiate to increase your odds of receiving the compensation you truly deserve after your Zantac use.
Help you get the treatment you need. In some cases, you may not have the money to pay for your cancer treatments before you file your personal injury claim. When you face a cancer diagnosis related to a recalled drug like Zantac, however, the compensation you receive from a personal injury claim can help you get much-needed compensation that can help you pay for treatment.
An attorney can write a letter of protection establishing your intent to pay for medical treatment once you receive that compensation. As a result, you may have an easier time getting the treatment you need. An attorney can also make recommendations regarding local treatment options and the assistance you can get while undergoing treatment.
The Dolman Law Group works with local counsel in any jurisdiction outside Florida for the purpose of filing lawsuits in jurisdictions wherein we are not licensed. Thus, we will follow each State’s ethical rules to ensure a local attorney is involved.
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA – Clearwater Office
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756
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