Whether you’re feeling under the weather or if you’re facing emergency surgery, you’re likely to need some form of medication. This could anaesthetic, painkillers, or antibiotics to prevent infection. Usually, the drugs that are prescribed successfully fulfil their purpose. However, giving a patient the wrong medication does sometimes occur. If this has happened to you, and you suffered because your pharmacist or GP was negligent, you could seek compensation for the harm caused.
In this guide to claiming compensation for being given the wrong medication, we’ll look at the types of negligence that could result in a claim, how to make a claim if you’re eligible, and how much compensation for wrong medication errors could be paid.
We’re here to help you if you are considering taking action. At the start of the claims process, we offer a no-obligation review of your case. Along with free legal advice, we’ll explain your chances of winning your claim. If your case appears to be feasible, we could ask a medical negligence solicitor from our panel to represent you. If your case is taken on, they’ll represent you on a No Win No Fee basis. That means that they won’t ask you to pay them for their work unless you receive a compensation settlement.
Are you ready to claim compensation for being given the wrong medication error right away? If so, call our team now on 0800 6524 881 to find out more. Alternatively, if you’d like further information, please continue reading.
Table of contents
- Negligence That Could See A Patient Given The Wrong Medication
- Am I Eligible To Claim Compensation For Being Given The Wrong Medication?
- Consequences Of Being Given The Wrong Medication
- Evidence To Support A Wrong Medication Claim
- How Much Compensation For Wrong Medication Could I Claim?
- Time Limits For Claiming Wrong Medication Compensation
- Starting A Wrong Medication Claim
Medical professionals will always owe their patients a duty of care when treating them. That means that as well as following the correct procedures and using the correct equipment, they should also ensure the right medicine is administered.
However, despite years of training, nurses, doctors, paediatricians, anaesthetists, and pharmacists do make mistakes from time to time. If that’s the case, you could claim compensation if you took the wrong medication and you suffered as a result. Some examples of when this might be the case include:
- Where a doctor prescribed the wrong medication to a patient.
- Where a pharmacy has been negligent by dispensing medication that is different to what was prescribed.
- If the wrong medication was administered whilst in hospital.
- Where a care home resident is given another patient’s prescription.
- If your condition is misdiagnosed which means the medication you’re given is ineffective.
- Where you’re been prescribed a drug that you’re known to be allergic to as its details are listed on your medical records.
In the next section, we’ll explain what needs to be proven if you are to receive compensation for the wrong medication.
If you’re a patient given the wrong type of drug, medical negligence is likely to have occurred. To test if you have a valid claim for medical negligence, your solicitor will try to confirm whether:
- The medical professional responsible acted in a way that was below what could reasonably have been expected. This is called negligence or breach of duty.
- If any illness or injuries you’re claiming for were caused as a direct result of negligence. This is called causation in negligence claims.
The two criteria listed above must both be proven if you’re to claim compensation for the wrong medication. Only if you are made ill (or are injured) could you claim compensation for a medication error. If no harm results from the mistake, you might expect an apology and for things to change but you shouldn’t expect to be compensated.
It is not really your job to check that you’ve been given the correct medication. However, it’s not really a bad idea as nobody is perfect. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to check the labels on prescription bags and individual medicine boxes. This could help to show if there is a problem with:
- Who the drugs are for.
- Whether the right drug has been dispensed.
- If the wrong dosage has been prescribed.
In some circumstances, though, you won’t get the opportunity to check. For example, if you are undergoing some form of surgery on the NHS, the medical professional who’s looking after you will be responsible for what medication is administered. Therefore, it is down to them to check and cross-check whether the medication you’ll receive is correct. If they fail to follow the correct procedures, and you suffer from the wrong administration of medication, you might have grounds to claim compensation.
If you are given the wrong medication, some of the consequences you could potentially suffer from include:
- An allergic reaction.
- Minor reactions such as fatigue, nausea, or vomiting.
- Fits or seizures.
- Organ damage including problems with your bladder or bowels.
Another consideration is that your underlying illness will not have been treated properly if you’re given the wrong drugs. Therefore, compensation for the wrong medication could be based on any worsening of your symptoms that results.
Would you like us to check if you’ve got grounds to begin a wrong medication compensation claim? If so, please call our specialist advisors today on 0800 6524 881.
As with any type of wrong medication claim, you’ll usually need evidence to show who was responsible for your suffering and what went wrong. This can be achieved in many ways. Some forms of evidence that might help include:
- A copy of your medical notes. This can be a good way to check what medication was prescribed and what medication was actually administered. Your records could also explain what suffering was caused because you were given the wrong medicine.
- The prescription. If the prescription error occurred at a pharmacy, your prescription could be used to show what should have been dispensed.
- Product boxes, bottles and packaging. This is a good way to prove what dosage of medication was supplied to you. It could also be used if your medication was out of date or if any seals were broken.
Wrong medication errors can be tricky to prove. Even if you can show that you were given an incorrect drug, you’ll still need to prove how it caused you to suffer. We strongly believe that you have a better chance of winning a claim if your case is handled by a medical negligence solicitor.
To see if one of our specialists could help you, please call today.
Rather than plucking a compensation figure out of the air, solicitors use two different heads of loss to work out how much compensation for the wrong medication you could claim. These are:
- General damages. This element looks at what pain and suffering the medication has caused. It can also cover the loss of amenity caused if you can’t participate in hobbies as a result of your suffering.
- Special damages. Here you can try to claim back any expenses or losses your injuries have caused. Examples of what you could claim include care costs, lost income or travel fees linked to your injuries or illness.
One thing to bear in mind is that you will need to show the extent of your suffering. Therefore, the claims process dictates that you may need a medical assessment. During an appointment that can usually be held locally, an independent medical expert will review your injuries from being given the wrong medication and discuss how they’ve affected you. Once the meeting has concluded, they’ll provide a report for both parties in the claim to explain your prognosis.
Wrong medication compensation claims are bound by a 3-year time limit. The limitation period will either start from the date you were given the wrong medicine or from when your condition was diagnosed if later.
It’s important to claim within the time limits as there are very few exceptions that allow for an extension. The sooner you begin, the sooner you could be compensated and start to put things behind you.
For claims involving children under 18-years of age, a litigation friend could claim for them before they reach their 18th birthday. The process is explained on the government website here.
Please do get in touch if you’d like us to verify how long you’ve got left to claim.
Our team are ready to review your wrong medication claim and offer free legal advice right away. There’s nothing to lose by calling as we’ll explain your options whatever you choose to do. Our claims advisors can be contacted on 0800 6524 881.
If you’ve read this guide and would like to know more about how much compensation for the wrong medication you could claim, please get in touch. If your claim is accepted, you’ll benefit from specialist legal representation from one of our team of solicitors. What’s more, you won’t have to pay for their work unless you receive a compensation settlement.