Allergic reactions to medication can be scary. The reaction may come on suddenly without any warning when you ingest or come in contact with the allergen, or you might suffer from a delayed reaction. While some allergic reactions may be mild others can be extremely severe and even fatal. Importantly, if you’ve experienced an allergic reaction to medication prescribed by your doctor or dispensed by a pharmacist, you may be eligible to claim compensation.
You can call our team if you’d like specialist advice about making such a claim. We provide a no-obligation consultation where the merits of your claim will be assessed and free legal advice will be provided. If your claim appears valid, you’ll speak to a medical negligence solicitor on our team if you’d like to do so. If they agree to help, their representation will be provided on a No Win No Fee basis meaning legal fees will not be charged unless compensation is paid.
If you’d like to know more about claiming compensation for an allergic reaction to medication, please read on or call 0800 6524 881 today.
Table of contents
- Am I Eligible To Claim Compensation For An Allergic Reaction To Medication?
- Examples Of Negligence That May Cause An Allergic Reaction To Medication
- Evidence To Support An Allergic Reaction To Medication Claim
- How Much Compensation For An Allergic Reaction To Medication?
- Time Limits For Claiming Allergic Reaction To Medication Compensation
- Starting The Allergic Reaction To Medication Compensation Claims Process
Generally, to be eligible to claim compensation for an allergic reaction to the medication you were given, you must be able to prove three things:
- That your allergic reaction was due to medical negligence – For this you must be able to show that the doctor or hospital was negligent in prescribing the medicine despite knowing that you were allergic to one or more of its ingredients.
- That you were physically or psychologically harmed by this negligence – You will be required to show proof of how you’ve suffered.
- That the symptoms you experienced were caused by the negligent act and not some other reason – The proof required for this will depend on the symptoms.
Proving that a medical professional has been negligent is not something solicitors can do alone. Therefore, your claim will be reviewed by a suitably qualified independent medical expert. If they agree that things should have been done differently, your solicitor may agree to pursue compensation for you.
As shown above, the only time you can claim for an allergic reaction to drugs is when the incident was caused by negligence. Examples of when claims might be possible include:
- If a doctor prescribed a drug that was listed as a known allergen on your medical records.
- Where a pharmacist dispensed the wrong medication completely.
- If a medical professional in a hospital gave you medication without checking your medical records or discussing your medical history.
- If a pharmacist gave you somebody else’s prescription because they failed to carry out an identity check.
- If medication is contaminated during the manufacturing process or becomes contaminated due to improper storage or handling.
- If a nurse fails to recognise or respond promptly to the symptoms of an allergic reaction.
Effectively, any mistake that led to you suffering an allergic reaction to medication could mean you’re eligible to claim compensation for the suffering caused. Please call today if you’d like us to check if you might be entitled to start a claim.
Unfortunately, medical negligence when prescribing or dispensing medication can lead to fatalities. While we understand that no amount of compensation will make things better if you’ve lost a loved one in these circumstances, we could still help you to claim compensation.
This may be something you wish to do if you were financially dependent on the deceased or if you’ve incurred expenses (such as funeral costs) because of the medication error.
If you do wish to speak to us about a fatal accident claim, please get in touch. A member of our team will discuss things with you and explain your options. You’re not under any obligation to make a claim so please call for free advice.
Whether you’re claiming against a pharmacy, hospital or a negligent GP, you’ll need evidence to prove what caused your allergic reaction and how you suffered as a result. Your solicitor could use any of the following to substantiate your claim:
- Medical records. Obtain and provide copies of your medical records, including doctor’s notes, prescriptions, medication administration records, and any relevant test results. These documents should clearly indicate the medication you were prescribed, the dates of administration, and any documented allergic reactions or adverse effects.
- Allergy documentation. If you had known allergies prior to taking the medication, provide evidence of this, such as previous allergy test results or medical records indicating your known allergies. This can help establish that the healthcare provider should have been aware of your allergy and taken precautions.
- Photographs or videos. If there were visible physical symptoms as a result of the allergic reaction, take clear photographs or videos of them. This might include rashes, swelling, blistering, or any other visible symptoms that can support your claim.
- Prescription details. If you have the prescription bottle or packaging of the medication that caused the allergic reaction, keep it as evidence. The label can help establish the medication name, dosage, and any warnings or instructions provided.
- Witness statements. If there were witnesses present when you suffered the allergic reaction, such as family members, friends, or NHS staff etc, ask them to provide statements describing what they observed and their understanding of the events.
- Financial records. If you incurred medical expenses, such as medication costs, or expenses related to treatment for the allergic reaction, gather and keep all relevant financial documents as evidence of the financial impact it’s had on you.
- Diary. If you kept a journal or diary documenting your symptoms, pain levels, emotional distress, or any other relevant information related to the allergic reaction, provide these records as additional evidence.
If you’ve got any evidence to support your allergic reaction to medication claim, please let us know when you call as it could improve the chances that your claim will be taken on.
There are various routes to complain if you’ve suffered an allergic reaction after being given the wrong medication. You could use the NHS’ formal complaints procedure, raise concerns with the General Pharmaceutical Council or complain through the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
A complaint may shed more light on what happened and could lead to an apology or changes being made so that others don’t suffer in the same way as you did. However, complaints will not result in you being awarded compensation.
The only way that will happen is if you take legal action and start an allergic reaction to medication compensation claim yourself. Please get in touch if that’s something we can help with.
There’s no fixed amount that’s awarded as compensation for an allergic reaction to medication. Instead, any settlement is calculated on a case-by-case basis.
How much compensation your solicitor would ultimately claim is highly dependent on the type and severity of your reaction, and the impact it has had on your life both physically, psychologically, and financially. Your solicitor will take into consideration factors such as these:
- General pain and suffering.
- Psychological suffering such as distress, anxiety or fear.
- Remedial treatment costs.
- Care costs.
- Travel expenses such as fuel or parking fees linked to hospital appointments.
- Lost earnings.
- Loss of amenity if your normal activities and hobbies are disrupted by your allergic reaction.
- Future reduction of earnings.
- Modifications to your home to make it more accessible if you’re left disabled after your allergic reaction.
When making a medical negligence claim, your solicitor will arrange for an independent medical assessment to help understand how you’ve suffered. This will involve a meeting with a medical specialist who’ll review your medical notes and discuss your symptoms with you. They’ll report back with your prognosis and this will also be used to determine how much compensation for an allergic reaction to medication you might be entitled to.
Your solicitor will try to make sure that you don’t miss out on any compensation you might be entitled to so they’ll review exactly how you’ve suffered in detail before filing your claim.
The Limitation Act 1980 lays out a 3-year time limit for medical negligence claims. Therefore, when claiming compensation for an allergic reaction to a medication, your time limit will usually start on the date of your allergic reaction or the date you found out about it i.e. when a doctor diagnosed what had happened.
Exceptions to this rule are generally claims involving children where the time limit starts on their 18th birthday (so parents can claim before then) and for claimants who don’t have the mental capacity to deal with a claim (meaning there may be no time limit) until a time that they regain the capability to file a claim on their own. In both situations, a litigation friend may be an option.
If you’ve lost a loved one because of an allergic reaction to a medication, you’ll typically have 3 years to claim from the date of their death or from when you found out about it.
To try and ensure you receive compensation when you need it, it’s a good idea to start your claim as soon as you can. Your solicitor will then have plenty of time for evidence gathering and could secure interim payments before the claim is settled if you’ve any immediate expenses to deal with.
If you or a loved one has suffered an allergic reaction to medication and believe you should be compensated, please call 0800 6524 881 today. We’ll review your claim with you and give free legal advice on what you could do next.
If you do wish to claim compensation and a medical negligence solicitor on our team agrees to help, they’ll manage your claim on a No Win No Fee basis. As a result, legal fees will not be payable unless you are compensated for your suffering.
If there’s anything else you’d like to find out about allergic reactions to medication compensation claims, please call or speak to an online advisor.