By Cat Grayson. Last Updated 13th July 2023. In this guide, we will be discussing prescription drug errors and how to claim if you were harmed because a medical professional gave you the wrong medication. Being given an incorrect prescription or administered the wrong amount of a drug can have significant and lasting effects on both your health and your finances.
This guide will touch on the definition of medical negligence and how substandard care could lead to a claim. We will also discuss how medication errors can occur in professional settings and when you could be eligible to make a claim.
Following this, we will detail the different areas of compensation that you could pursue. We also discuss how legal professionals value these areas of compensation and what you could claim for.
Finally, we will discuss No Win No Fee solicitors and how working with a solicitor could benefit your claim. Read on to learn more, or contact our team of advisors today to start your free consultation:
Select A Section
- What Drug Errors Could You Claim For?
- Examples Of Prescription Drug Errors
- How Do I Establish Duty Of Care In Medical Negligence Cases?
- Check If You Could Claim Against A Medical Professional
- Check How Much Victims Of Drug Errors Could Claim
- Discuss How To Make A No Win No Fee Claim For Drug Errors
A drug error happens when a medical professional makes a mistake when supplying or administering medication to a patient. If a patient takes the wrong medication, they may experience preventable harmful effects. For example, a patient may experience seizures or damage to their organs if they take medication that they don’t need.
Medical workers can also make mistakes that result in a patient receiving the wrong dose of medication. The patient may overdose on prescription drugs and experience the common symptoms of poisoning. Alternatively, the medication dose may be so low that the drugs do not take effect. Therefore, the patient’s medical condition may worsen over time in a way that would have been avoidable if the right level of care were administered.
According to a British Medical Journal report, 237 million prescription errors are made a year in England. The prescription errors cost the NHS more than £98 million a year and cause over 1,700 avoidable deaths a year.
For more information on claiming for drug errors caused by negligence, speak with an advisor today.
Below, we have looked at some potential causes of medication errors:
- A pharmacy prescription error happens because the pharmacist is distracted and pulls the wrong medication from the shelf.
- The doctor makes a spelling mistake on the prescription which means that the wrong medication is prescribed.
- A prescription error in a hospital where a healthcare provider mistakenly prescribes a patient two drugs that are harmful when taken together. This has a negative impact on the patient’s health.
- When prescribing medication, the doctor gives the patient incorrect advice about how often to take the drug. This leads to an overdose which harms the patient.
- Because the doctor failed to check the records of a patient before filling out a prescription, the patient was prescribed a drug that they were known to be allergic to.
This is not an exhaustive list of the ways that drug errors can occur. Speak with an advisor today for more information on your eligibility to claim.
To make a drug errors compensation claim, your legal representative will have to prove the following:
- The healthcare provider owed you a duty of care.
- They provided care that was below the expected standard
- As a result of this breach of duty of care, you were injured.
When claiming compensation for medical negligence, something called the Bolam test might be administered to determine whether negligence occurred. This is where a group of medical professionals who are trained in the relevant field are asked whether or not the level of care administered by the professional in question was of an acceptable standard. If it wasn’t, you might be entitled to compensation.
For more information on proving negligence for claims relating to drug errors, speak with an advisor today.
If a drug error has injured you, you may be eligible to claim compensation. You will need to provide proof in support of your claim. We have outlined some of the evidence you could provide below:
To prove that medical negligence took place, you can provide the following evidence:
- Medical records. You might also be invited to a medical assessment so that your injuries can be determined
- Photographs of any visible injuries
- Any relevant prescriptions or medication
According to the Limitation Act 1980, the medical negligence claims time limit is three years. This can either run from the date of the incident or the date when you knew (or should have known) that your symptoms resulted from negligence.
In some cases, there might be exceptions to this time limit. For instance, if you’re under the age of 18 you cannot make your own claim, and the time limit is suspended until you turn 18. Before this, a litigation friend can claim on your behalf. Speak with an advisor today for more information.
If your medical negligence compensation claim is successful, you will receive up to two heads of claim. Firstly you will receive general damages to compensate for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity you experienced. Secondly, you may be eligible to receive special damages.
We have used guidelines from the Judicial College to create the compensation table below. These are guidelines based on previous compensation awards that have been made. However, it’s important to note that these are not guaranteed amounts, and the compensation you receive might differ.
|Injury||Settlement||Notes On The Injury|
|Injuries affecting sight||£49,270 to £54,830||There has been the complete loss of sight in one eye. If there is scarring around the eye, then awards at the higher end of the bracket may be made.|
|Injuries affecting sight||£23,680 to £39,340||Serious but not complete loss of sight in one eye. There is no significant risk of reduction in or loss of vision in the other eye.|
|Hearing loss||£14,900 to £29,710||Moderate to severe tinnitus|
|Impairment of taste and smell||In the region of|
|Total loss of the senses of smell and taste.|
|Impairment of taste and smell||£32,900 to £39,170||Loss of smell only.|
|Psychiatric damage (Less severe)||£1,540 to £5,860||The final settlement will account for any disability the person has as well as what impact this has had on this person's daily life.|
|Kidney damage||£30,770 to|
|One of the kidneys has been lost. There is no damage to the remaining kidney.|
|Bowel damage||Up to|
|Natural function of the bowels has been totally lost. The person will be dependent on a colostomy.|
|Bladder damage||Up to|
|Loss of bladder function and bladder control is complete.|
The second potential head of claim is special damages. which is compensation that takes into consideration the financial impact of your injuries. For instance, you could require time off work if you’re injured by a medication error, leading to a loss of earnings.
It’s important that you provide proof of the special damages you would like to be included in your claim. For more information on what you could be entitled to, speak with an advisor today.
For more information on the drug errors claims process, speak with one of our advisors today; they offer free legal advice. Furthermore, our panel of clinical negligence solicitors have solid experience handling prescription error claims; you could be connected with one if an advisor thinks your claim is valid.
You can claim with confidence when you make a No Win No Fee claim. Firstly, solicitors will only take on your claim if there is enough evidence to support it. What’s more, there is less financial risk involved for you.
To begin your drugs negligence claim, please contact us today. You can:
- Call our claims helpline on 0161 696 9685 to speak to an advisor
- Use the live chat feature to the bottom right of the screen
- Fill out our contact form
If you would like to make a medical negligence claim, these online guides may be helpful.
How Much Compensation For Dental Negligence Can I Claim? – A guide to claiming compensation for injuries caused by dental negligence.
Advice On Claims For NHS Walk-In Centre Medical Negligence – A guide to claiming compensation if medical negligence at a walk-in centre injured you.
What Circumstances Are Classed As Medical Negligence? – A guide to how medical negligence is defined and how to make a medical negligence claim.
How to make a complaint or give feedback on the NHS.
NICE guidelines for prescribing medication.
An NHS guide to prescription and pharmacies.
If you have any more questions about claiming compensation for drug errors, get in touch with our team.