Last updated on April 8th, 2022
When you visit a GP, you may be prescribed medication to help you recover from any ailments or illnesses. While most people are given the right medication and get better quickly, prescription errors do sometimes happen. These can lead to adverse reactions or mean your underlying condition gets worse because it wasn’t treated properly. In the worst cases, prescription errors could be fatal or mean that an illness becomes untreatable.
In this guide to prescription error claims, we’ll look at what sorts of prescription errors could lead to a claim, when you may be eligible to claim, and what compensation you might be entitled to.
Our claims advisors can help if you or a loved one has been affected by a medication error. We’ll offer a free consultation to start with where everything about your claim will be assessed. During the call, you will be offered guidance and advice about your chances of being awarded compensation. If the case appears viable, we could ask a medical negligence solicitor from our team to represent you. You won’t need to pay for their work in advance because they provide a No Win No Fee claims service. That also means you won’t need to pay them if your claim doesn’t work out.
If you’d like more information on prescription error compensation claims, please read more of this guide. If you’d rather begin your claim straight away, please get in touch on 0800 6524 881 to start the ball rolling.
Table of contents
- Prescription Errors That Can Lead To A Compensation Claim
- Eligibility To Make A Prescription Error Compensation Claim
- Problems That Can Arise From Medication Errors
- Claims Time Limits For Medical Negligence
- How Much Compensation For A Prescription Error Claim?
- Using A Medical Negligence Solicitor For Prescription Error Claims
When you visit a doctor, they might only have a 10-minute appointment to try and work out why you’re ill. As a result, your first appointment might be followed up by further tests or consultations. At some point, though, the doctor is likely to come to a determination and may prescribe medication to try and cure or manage your symptoms. Whilst this isn’t usually problematic, doctors or pharmacists can make mistakes that could result in suffering. Some of the more common prescription errors that doctors could make include:
- Prescribing the wrong medication altogether.
- Prescribing the wrong dose or strength of the medication.
- Giving unclear or incomplete instructions about how to take the medicine.
- Prescribing the wrong frequency or timing for the medicine to be taken.
- Prescribing medication that the patient is known to be allergic to.
- Instructing the patient to take medication that conflicts with other prescribed drugs.
- Failing to check on the patient and altering the dose, frequency, or strength of the medication.
Prescription errors that might happen at a pharmacy include:
- Dispensing the wrong medication.
- Giving the correct medication but at the wrong dosage.
- Giving the patient another patient’s prescription.
If you believe that you or a loved one has suffered because of a prescription error, please call to check if you could claim compensation.
All medical professionals have a legal duty of care to try and ensure the safety of the patients in their care. That means using the correct procedures and taking precautions to try and make sure mistakes are not made.
Prescription errors are a form of medical negligence that breach that legal duty of care. As a result, you might be entitled to claim compensation. To be eligible to take action you’ll need to show that:
- A medical professional was negligent. This means they’ll have acted at a level that was below what could be reasonably expected of a competent practitioner (breach of duty); and
- You were made ill or were injured as a direct result of the breach of duty (causation).
Importantly, both breach of duty and causation must be established when making prescription error compensation claims. That means that even if a doctor was negligent and prescribed the wrong medication, you wouldn’t be able to claim if the mistake didn’t cause any problems.
It can be difficult to prove who was responsible for your suffering. It can also be tricky to demonstrate that your suffering was caused by their mistake. For that reason, we would always suggest that you use a solicitor who specialises in medical negligence cases if you decide to claim.
To find out if a medical negligence solicitor from our team could help you, please get in touch today.
Medication is tested vigorously in the UK to ensure it is safe to prescribe. However, certain drugs should only be used in certain circumstances. Where medication errors are made, they can cause:
- Adverse reactions can cause symptoms like dizziness, nausea, headaches or diarrhoea.
- Allergic reaction to medication if the patient is given a drug containing a known allergen.
- The patient’s underlying condition gets worse because it has not been treated with the correct drug.
Some prescription errors can lead to days, weeks, or months of suffering and could lead to hospitalisation. Some can even be fatal. If you or a loved one has suffered because of a prescription error, please get in touch to let us know what happened.
If you are considering making a prescription error claim, you should act swiftly. That’s because compensation claims for medical negligence have a 3-year time limit. This can either begin from the day you took the medication or from when your resulting suffering was linked to the mistake.
By starting your claim as soon as possible, you’ll give your solicitor the time they need to collect evidence to support your case. Furthermore, they could ask the defendant to pay the cost of private medical care if liability has been decided and it will help you to recover sooner than if you rely on NHS treatment.
Every prescription error compensation claim is assessed on its own merit. The amount of compensation for medical negligence awarded depends on the extent of your injuries and the expenses or financial losses the claimant has incurred because of the injuries.
If your claim is successful, you can expect to be awarded compensation for general damages and special damages:
- General damages aim to compensate you for the pain and suffering the prescription error has caused, and loss of amenity.
- Special damages are awarded to compensate for the expenses and financial losses you incurred because of the prescription error. Under special damages, your medical negligence solicitor could claim for all of these expenses/losses where they apply:
- All medical expenses
- All travel costs related to your medical treatment
- The cost of long term medical treatment and physiotherapy
- Cost of home care
- Cost of adapting your home or vehicle to accommodate your injuries
- Loss of income from being unable to return to work either temporarily or permanently
To help prove how serious your suffering was, the claims process may require you to have an independent medical assessment. This is something your solicitor will arrange if they agree to represent you. Your solicitor will make sure to claim for the maximum amount of compensation due to you under each of the eligible factors.
From our experience, prescription error claims require a lot of time and effort. As well as proving what mistake was made, you’ll need medical evidence to show how the prescription error led to your suffering. If you can’t do this successfully, your claim could fail and you might not be compensated.
We believe the legal experience and skills of a medical negligence solicitor could improve your chances of being fairly compensated. If one agrees to represent you, they’ll handle as much as possible for you.
During the claims process, you won’t need to deal with the defendant’s legal team as your solicitor will answer any queries they might have. Furthermore, they’ll fight your corner if there are any objections that arise relating to liability.
You will know what’s going on though as your solicitor will update you regularly and be there to answer any questions you might have.
Not many people would start a prescription error claim if they thought there was a risk of losing money on solicitor’s fees. That’s why the solicitors on our team offer a No Win No Fee service. By doing so, they allow more people to gain access to specialist legal support that could improve their chances of being awarded compensation.
Any claim that’s taken on is funded by a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). This is a legal contract that explains when you’ll need to pay for your solicitors’ work. Essentially, any solicitor we appoint to your claim will work on it without any upfront payment from you.
When using a CFA, you’ll only need to pay for the work if you are compensated. If that happens, they’ll deduct up to 25% of your settlement figure as a success fee.
If you’re ready to start a claim today, why not call our advisors on 0800 6524 881? They’ll review your options and advise you on your chances during a no-obligation assessment of your prescription error compensation claim.