The following is a public service announcement from the Southeast Texas Record:

Have you or a loved one taken medical advice from a personal injury attorney and suffered a serious injury, side effect, or even death?

There are many personal injury attorneys advertising in Texas media and making misleading and inflammatory claims about prescription drugs, the companies that manufacture them, and the doctors who prescribe them, according to a recent medical survey.

Heart attacks, strokes, hemorrhaging, aneurysms, and internal bleeding are some of the things that can happen when patients discontinue taking prescribed medication or alter their dosages in response to misinformation from personal injury attorneys looking for clients for lawsuits against drug companies and doctors, the doctor survey says.

Eight out of 10 Texas doctors agree that “personal injury lawsuit ads can lead patients to stop taking their medicines as prescribed,” according to a recent survey by Texans Against Lawsuit Abuse.

“Consumers need to understand that the intent of these ads is to generate lawsuits, not to provide sound health information,” says Steven L. Gates, president of the Texas Osteopathic Medical Association. “They should remember two very important things: Don’t believe everything you see in any ad – especially medical lawsuit ads. And, patients should always ask their doctor, not a lawyer, about health concerns.”

If you have misconstrued the scare tactics of personal injury attorneys as legitimate medical advice and suffered adverse consequences, you should be entitled to hold those attorneys accountable for their unprofessional behavior.

Don't be a victim. Don't change your medical regimen because of something you heard a personal injury attorney say. If you have questions about your treatment, ask your doctor.

Don't let a lawyer be your doctor. Don't let biased advertisements mislead your loved ones with fast talk and hysterical claims.

Don't let personal injury attorneys drum up business at your expense with one-sided ads about prescription drugs. To find out what you can do about those ads, visit the Texans Against Lawsuit Abuse website at or call 1-800-476-1442.

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