Are you looking for free legal advice on claiming for an overdose injury? Perhaps you’ve considered starting a compensation claim against a third party for medical negligence that caused an overdose? In this guide, we offer answers to the questions you may have about the process of claiming.
We understand that starting a medical negligence claim may seem complex and daunting. Medical negligence law is a difficult field, and you will probably have various questions about the process, such as “who is responsible for my injuries; the individual or the health practice?”, “How can I prove negligence?” and “what kind of compensation amount could I realistically expect to be awarded?”.
In this guide, we’ll look to answer these questions and more so that you feel confident and prepared going into your claim. You can also contact our personal injury team and discuss your case in a brief, informal chat where we’ll be able to answer these questions for you.
The free legal advice we offer could set you on the right path to winning damages for the overdose injury. There is a time limit of three years for starting a medical negligence claim, so if you’d like to initiate one right now, you can simply:
Select A Section
- A Guide To Claiming Compensation Payouts For An Overdose Injury
- What Is An Overdose Injury?
- Top 3 Causes Of An Overdose Injury
- Calculating Medical Negligence Compensation
- What Are Special Damages?
- Case Study: £25,000 For An Overdose Injury
- Free Legal Advice That Can Help Evaluate Your Overdose Injury Claim
- No Win No Fee Policies For Medical Negligence Victims
- Our Advisors Can Provide Free Legal Advice
- More Resources And Guides On Overdose Injuries
- Overdose Injury FAQs
Medical negligence is a multidimensional subject. Although you may have some knowledge as to what it may mean, when combined with the law it can become very complex. If you are deciding to make a medical negligence claim because a medical professional has caused you unnecessary harm when they breached their duty of care towards you, we would always advise having a medical professional on your side. It should be noted at the outset that you are perfectly free to start a claim for medical negligence compensation on your own; there’s no legal requirement to use a solicitor when making a claim.
However medical negligence solicitors could help you in the following way;
- Establishing who may have responsibility for your safety
- Proving how they breached their legal duty of care to you
- Arranging a medical assessment to validate the injuries you suffered
- Properly calculating the two heads of your claim to maximise the compensation you could receive
- Offering expert free legal advice and support throughout your case
In this guide as well as describing what an overdose injury is, we will look at the 3 mains ways this could happen. Whilst we cannot give an accurate answer in this guide to how much compensation you may be entitled to we will look at how compensation may be calculated and what damages you could claim for. The case study which is merely an example shows how such an injury could come about. To conclude, in the article we will take a look at No Win No Fee medical negligence solicitors and how they could benefit you.
Many substances can cause an overdose when taken in excess or in combination with other substances. Medication that is helpful or even necessary when taken at their proper doses can be dangerous or even deadly if more than the recommended amount is taken.
Overdose injuries can result in many of the following symptoms:
- Nausea, vomiting, and headaches
- Drowsiness and confusion
- Breathing difficulties, either immediately or at a later date
- Double or blurred vision
- Loss of appetite
- Unconsciousness or seizures
- Skin rashes
- Overproduction of saliva
Some medications produce specific symptoms as well as the general ones listed above when too much of them is taken. For instance, an overdose of paracetamol can cause yellowing of the whites of the eyes and the skin, whereas an aspirin overdose might cause temporary hearing loss. This NHS guide on poisoning looks at some of the common symptoms of overdoses of different drugs.
The incorrect prescription or administering of drugs can have chronic side effects. Practitioners are liable if they act in breach of the duty of care they owe to their patients to prevent them from coming to harm. If that patient suffers harm and can prove negligence caused it they may be eligible for compensation.
All healthcare professionals in the UK owe a duty of care to their patients to prevent avoidable harm from occurring. This duty of care is set out in the Medical Act 1983.
The General Medical Council outlines the duties of doctors and healthcare providers and the standards expected of them in four domains. These are:
- Knowledge, skills and performance. A doctor should always have the care of their patient as a priority and should keep their knowledge and professional skills up to date.
- Safety and quality. A doctor should promote patient and public health and take immediate action if patient safety is compromised.
- Communication, partnership and teamwork. Doctors should treat patients with respect and as individuals. They should listen to their concerns and preferences.
- Maintaining trust. Doctors should be honest and open with their patients.
We’ve looked at the overview of the duty of care of healthcare providers to their patients. Next, we’ll look at some typical examples of negligence that could lead to overdose injury.
Misdiagnosis is the term used when your doctor diagnoses you as having a certain illness or condition, but in fact, it is another ailment that may share similar symptoms. This could lead to you being prescribed the incorrect medication for the condition you do have, which could lead to adverse effects and harm you would not have suffered from.
As patients, we trust medical professionals. But what if the pharmacist reads the prescription and gives you a medication similar to what you are taking. If the two medications are very close in ingredients this could cause you to take too much of the same medication. This may result in an overdose.
Prescribed Too Much Medication
In these cases, you might be prescribed too much of the same medication, leading to an overdose as the result of medical negligence. Furthermore, the failure of a healthcare provider in noting when you’ve been administered a drug might result in you receiving another dose too soon, which could cause an overdose.
We trust our doctors to listen to our concerns and discuss treatment openly with us, and when following a doctor’s advice fails to make us better- or worse, it makes us more ill- this can have a real impact on our wellbeing. We encourage you to reach out to our medical negligence claims team if you feel a medical professional has neglected their duty of care to you.
Having a medical negligence solicitor represent your case can ensure that you are fully compensated. They will know how to break down your case into damages and ensure that your compensation is calculated correctly.
Your medical negligence compensation claim is made up of two heads of claim. The first head of the claim is general damages.
General damages will cover the injuries that you’ve sustained and the effect that the injuries have had on your daily activities. Your lawyer may refer to the Judicial College Guidelines, which outline bracket compensation amounts that are used as guidelines for certain injuries.
In order to strengthen the general damages head of your claim, you’ll be invited to a medical assessment where your injuries will be assessed, and the impact that they have had on you will be ascertained.
Having looked at the general damages head of your claim, we will now look at the second head of the claim, which is known as special damages.
Where general damages attempt to compensate you for the pain and suffering that your injuries have caused you, special damages seek to compensate you for any financial losses you have incurred as a result of your subsequent injuries. Special damages can include:
- Lost current or future earnings
- Additional medical treatments or counselling not available on the NHS.
- Travel costs to hospital or work
- Care costs – this can include help from family members as long as they can supply weekly invoices proving the time they spent caring for you.
- Impact on pension contributions
- Loss of attendance bonus at work
- Childcare costs
- Pet care, gardening and other household requirements
- Cancelled plans and lost deposits
The list that we’ve included above is by no means extensive, so if you’ve been left out-of-pocket in a way that isn’t listed above, don’t worry; you may still be able to include it in your claim. Get in touch with a member of our team today to chat about your claim and find out more.
Mrs Blake was in the hospital to have her gallbladder removed in open surgery. The operation was successful, but Mrs Blake had to stay in hospital afterwards for three days.
While in hospital, Mrs Blake’s postoperative pain was managed by morphine. Mistakenly the doctor had put her down for far too high a dose and had not realised. So as usual the nurse proceeded to administer the morphine.
The overdose of morphine caused Mrs Blake to become tired, and she found it difficult to breathe. She lost consciousness for a period of time, and her brain was deprived of oxygen.
Tests performed on Mrs Blake after she regained consciousness revealed that the lack of oxygen to her brain had caused minor brain damage. As a result, she decided to pursue a compensation claim for the injuries she sustained.
How did Mrs Blake’s injuries impact her?
After leaving the hospital, Mrs Blake was stressed and confused. In order to help her get accustomed to being at home with her condition and to help her around the house, her sister came to stay with her for several weeks following her discharge.
Mrs Blake had to take some time off work as an office administrator from her following her injuries, meaning that she lost out on wages and a £1,000 attendance bonus.
Because her brain damage caused her issues with concentration, she felt uncomfortable driving. Because of this, she had to pay travel expenses to get to and from work and for travel expenses until she felt confident driving again around several months after the accident.
Her brain injury had also caused some changes in Mrs Blake’s mood and temperament. After seeking counselling on the NHS for depression and anxiety, she felt she would benefit from further sessions. She decided to seek these out privately.
Mrs Blake’s was awarded a compensation amount of £25,000. Liability was admitted straight away. This included special damages as well as general damages.
|Kind of damages||special||How much?|
|General||Brain damage caused by lack of oxygen, resulting in changes in concentration and mood||£19,000|
|Special||Loss of earnings||£2,500|
|Special||Counselling for depression and anxiety||£1,000|
|Special||Travel costs to and from hospital visits||£500|
|Special||At-home care upon initial discharge from hospital.||£500|
|Special||Loss of attendance bonus at work||£1,000|
|Special||Gardening, cooking, cleaning||£500|
The above case study is an example. It is not based on a case that actually occurred. Instead, it is based on our past experiences of dealing with a variety of claims for medical negligence.
The internet is full of websites offering instant compensation calculations and on-the-spot settlement amounts. However, many of these instant services don’t collect all the important information they need about your case to give you an accurate compensation value.
The service that we offer differs from this by providing personal and detailed advice about your claim. When you call our medical negligence claims team, they can discuss your claim in a short telephone chat. The more detail and information that you can provide about your overdose injury, the greater an insight we can gain as to how much compensation you could receive.
If we can connect you with a No Win No Fee solicitor, they will work with you to ensure the maximum payout, enabling you to get on with your recovery without worrying about the legal side of pursuing a claim for medical negligence.
Obviously, overdose injury can be a very serious accident. Whether it was caused by the negligence of a healthcare provider in an NHS walk-in centre, at your GP surgery or private health facility, we can offer free legal advice to support your search for accurate information. Speak to our friendly team right now to get your claim started.
No Win No Fee arrangements, formally known as Conditional Fee Agreements, can offer many benefits to people who would like to pursue a claim with the help of a solicitor but aren’t in a position to pay the hourly fees that some medical negligence solicitors charge.
As well as immediate access to professional and free legal advice, other advantages of a No Win No Fee agreement include:
- No fees to pay upfront to engage the services of the solicitor.
- As the case progresses, you won’t pay any fees to your solicitor.
- If your case does not succeed, there’s nothing to pay the solicitors at all
- You’ll only be asked to pay a capped fee if your claim is successful; this fee is a percentage of the overall compensation amount you receive.
Because of these combined advantages, No Win No Fee agreements can offer an immediate solution to your problems. Get in touch with our team today, and we can talk you through the process of starting a No Win No Fee claim.
Thank you for reading our guide on advice to calculate compensation. We hope that it has helped in your decision to seek compensation for your overdose injury caused by medical negligence. If you are happy to proceed with a claim, simply contact us in the following ways:
- Calling us on 0161 696 9685
- Filling out our contact form
- Speaking to a member of our team using our ‘live support’ portal at the bottom right of this screen
Importantly, there’s no obligation to proceed with us, and we are happy to offer free legal advice in a short, informal discussion.
In addition to all the resources on offer in this article, the links below can help you further. If you have any queries or questions on any of the topics we’ve discussed, please don’t hesitate to give our team a call.
Fatal Medical Negligence Claims: Read our guide on claiming for medical negligence that has resulted in death.
Hospital Infection Claims: This guide will help you in the process of claiming if you’ve contracted an infection while in hospital.
Nursing Home Medication Errors: Our guide on claiming compensation for a medication error in a nursing or care home could help you claim if you or a loved one has been affected.
Find a local A&E department: This NHS site will help you find an A&E department close to you.
NICE guidance on medicine management: This page includes guidelines on the prescription and administration of medication in healthcare.
Paracetamol- NHS guide: Paracetamol is a common painkiller in the UK for adults and children. Read this NHS guide for information on paracetamol, including what to do if you’ve taken too much.
Do medical negligence claims always go to court?
As a consequence of medical negligence causing overdose injury, it may be necessary to go to court. However, many cases are settled before this is necessary. Speak to our team to discuss your case.
What is the average payout for clinical negligence claims?
Each case is decided upon individual merit, and compensation amounts are never guaranteed. Therefore, it’s really important to speak to a No Win No Fee lawyer to have your case properly valued.
Is it hard to prove medical negligence?
It can be complex and demanding if you attempt it on your own. With the right legal representation, a medical negligence claim can be much easier to bring forward. You need to be able to show that you were owed a duty of care in order to claim medical negligence. In addition, you need to show that this duty was breached and that the breach resulted in you being injured.
Thank you for reading our guide on making a medical negligence claim for an overdose injury.
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