This guide will explain what you could do if a doctor prescribed the wrong medication through negligence. If a patient takes the wrong medication, they may experience unwanted symptoms. Or the patient may develop serious health problems, such as organ failure.
Any healthcare professional could make an error. For example, a doctor can prescribe the wrong medication or prescription errors in a pharmacy can happen. If a prescription error has harmed you and it was caused by negligence, you may be eligible to claim compensation for your injuries.
Settlements for the wrong prescription in the UK vary, depending on factors such as the severity of the claimant’s injuries. This guide will explain what happens if you are prescribed the wrong medication. And we will explain how to claim compensation if a medication error harmed you.
To see if you can begin your compensation claim, please call our claims helpline on 0161 696 9685. We can offer you free legal advice and start work on your compensation claim. Or contact us to start your claim online.
Select A Section
- What Is A Wrong Prescription Medication Error?
- Who Could Have Prescribed The Wrong Medication And How?
- What Can You Do If You Were Prescribed The Wrong Medication?
- When Could You Claim For Being Prescribed The Wrong Medication?
- Check Damages For Being Prescribed The Wrong Medication
- Discuss Your No Win No Fee Claim For A Harmful Prescription Medication Error
A wrong prescription medication error can happen if a doctor has prescribed the wrong medication to a patient or prescribes the wrong dosage, for example. A pharmacist can make errors when dispensing medication to a patient too.
Not every prescription medication error would amount to medical negligence. That’s because a prescription error may not be caused by a medical professional’s substandard care.
All medical professionals (including pharmacists) owe patients a duty of care. If their care falls below the required standard, they’d be negligent. If this negligence results in injury, the patient could claim.
GP negligence or other healthcare practitioner negligence can cause a prescription error. Below are examples of the types of prescription errors that can happen.
- A doctor prescribes the wrong dosage of medication. Therefore the patient could experience an overdose and be poisoned. Or the patient’s dosage may be too low to have the proper effect.
- A doctor prescribes the wrong type of medication. Therefore the patient can suffer unwanted side effects.
- On the other hand, the doctor prescribes medication that the patient is allergic to, triggering anaphylaxis.
- Likewise, a pharmacist could give the medication to the wrong patient. Or a pharmacy may not give enough medicine.
- Or the doctor prescribes medication that will have an adverse interaction with medication the patient is already taking. An adverse interaction means that the medications will have harmful effects if mixed.
How Often Do Doctors Prescribe The Wrong Medication?
Unfortunately, medical professionals make over 273 million medication errors in England each year. These medication errors cost the NHS over £98 million and over 1,700 lives every year.
If a medical professional gives you the wrong prescription or wrong medication, you should advise them. They could rectify the problem. If you have taken the wrong medication, you should seek the appropriate medical advice or care.
You could have a valid claim if the healthcare professional prescribed you the wrong medication because of their substandard care and this caused you injury. It may have even worsened or prolonged your injury. If you suffered as a consequence, you could claim.
If you wish to seek a settlement for a wrong prescription causing harm, our panel of solicitors could handle your prescription error claim. They can arrange for you to have a medical assessment to help prove your claim. Please contact us today to see if you can begin your wrong medication compensation claim.
Under the Limitation Act 1980, there is a general time limit to making a medical negligence claim. Therefore, the patient should begin their compensation claim within three years of the error. Alternatively, the medical negligence claims time limit begins on the date that you gained knowledge that negligence at least contributed to your injuries.
If the claimant is under 18, they cannot claim compensation for themselves. Subsequently, the child can wait until they are 18 years old to claim. The claims time limit will begin on the day of the child’s 18th birthday. Alternatively, an eligible adult could act as a litigation friend. Therefore, the litigation friend would claim compensation on the child’s behalf.
What Evidence Could You Use?
You should provide evidence to prove that medical negligence caused your suffering. This could include:
- Medical records
- An independent medical report
- Scans of any organs that the wrong medication damaged
- Photographic evidence of visible symptoms
- A copy of your wrong prescription
- The wrong medication that the doctor prescribed or the pharmacist dispensed.
If the wrong medication claim is successful, the claimant will receive up to two types of damages.
Firstly you would receive general damages, compensating for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity the injuries caused.
Moreover, you may receive special damages. Special damages repay you for any expenses the injuries caused. Examples of special damages you can claim include your medical or travel costs.
The amount of compensation you could receive would depend on several factors. However, you can look up your injuries in our compensation table to estimate how much compensation you could claim. We have used figures from the Judicial College Guidelines to create the compensation amounts in the table. This is a publication solicitors use to help when valuing claims.
|Injury And Severity||Settlement||Notes On This Injury|
|Bowel Injury (C)||In the region of £75,000||Passive incontinence and faecal urgency which causes distress and embarrassment.|
|Bowel Injury (D)||£41,850 to £65,440||A severe injury which has caused the impairment of bowel functions. This may require a temporary colostomy and could restrict the person's diet.|
|Kidney Injury - (B)||up to £60,050||There is a high risk of developing a UTI in the future or experiencing the loss of natural kidney function.|
|Kidney Injury - (C)||£28,880 to £42,110||One of the kidneys is lost and the other kidney is unaffected.|
|Bladder Injury (B)||Up to £132,040||This person has lost all control and function in their bladder.|
|Bladder Injury (C)||£60,050 to £75,010||Bladder control has been seriously impaired resulting in incontinence as well as some degree of pain.|
|Spleen Injury (B)||£4,080 to £8,110||There is only a minimal risk of internal infection and immune system damage.|
|Sight Loss (G)||£8,550 to £19,690||Loss of sight in one eye. There is permanent minor impairment of sight in one or both of the eyes.|
|Taste And Smell (B)||£30,870 to £36,770||Significant loss of taste and total loss of smell.|
|Mental Anguish||£4,380||Fears of reduced life or of death.|
Of course, the circumstances of every claim are different. So how much compensation you can claim will vary depending on your circumstances. Why not contact our advisors, who can value your claim for free?
We hope this guide has been helpful. If a doctor has prescribed you the wrong medication due to negligence, and you suffered as a result, you may be eligible to claim compensation. If so, you could access the services of a solicitor under a No Win No Fee agreement.
Essentially, under this agreement you would:
- Not have to pay the solicitor’s fee if the claim doesn’t work
- Not have to pay an ongoing or upfront solicitor’s fee
- Only pay the success fee if the claim wins
The success fee is a small percentage and it’s capped by law.
To see if you can begin your No Win No Fee claim, please contact us today.
- Call our claims helpline on 0161 696 9685.
- On the other hand, you can use our Live Advice widget to ask us a question.
- Or contact us via our website.
These guides may be helpful if you consider making a medical negligence claim.
Medical Negligence And Wrongful Death Compensation Guide – compensation for a wrongful death caused by medical negligence.
How To Claim Compensation For A Surgical Error Or Surgical Negligence – claim compensation if a negligent surgical error has harmed you.
Claiming Compensation For An Operation Gone Wrong – advice for making a surgical negligence claim.
Reporting concerns about a pharmacy to the General Medical Council.
Thank you for reading our guide to what you could do if you were prescribed the wrong medication.
Page by AE
Published by HE