If you have taken the wrong medication or dosage due to a prescription error and become ill as a consequence you may be eligible to make a prescription error compensation claim. It could be the fault of your GP, or the pharmacist dispensing the medication to blame. Whoever is at fault for the prescription error, taking the wrong medication can have serious consequences to your health.
Headaches, dizzy spells, blurred vision, nausea, seizures and liver damage are just some of many side effects of taking the wrong medication. A patient who is allergic to the medication prescribed could go into anaphylactic shock. Patients who experience even more dangerous side effects may end up being hospitalised and given even more medication to counteract the effects.
If your prescription error was due to medical negligence, you should explore your legal right to file a claim for compensation.
Can I Claim Prescription Error Compensation?
Getting medical treatment is rarely a one-step process. After the initial diagnosis, your doctor may need to perform further diagnostic tests depending on your specific symptoms. Depending on the outcome of the tests, the doctor might prescribe certain medications and give you detailed instructions for taking them. You then take the prescription to the pharmacist to pick up the medication. It seems pretty straightforward and most times it is. Sometimes however, the doctor or the pharmacist may make a mistake, which could have an adverse effect on your health.
These are some of the more common scenarios of prescription errors that a doctor can make where you may be able to claim compensation:
- Prescribing the wrong medication
- Prescribing the wrong dose or strength of medication
- Prescribing incorrect timing or frequency of doses
- Providing incomplete information on the prescription
- Failure to check the patient regularly and change the dose, strength or frequency of the prescribed medication
- Prescribing medication to which a patient may be allergic
- Prescribing medications in a combination that may be toxic when taken together
Common prescription errors attributed to pharmacist negligence might include:
- Dispensing the wrong medication
- Dispensing the right medication in the wrong dosage
- Substituting medications when the prescription medication is not available
Regardless of how or why the prescription error happened, it should be unacceptable. All medical professionals have a legal duty of care towards their patients. To comply with this duty of care, doctors and pharmacists are required to take every precaution possible to protect the health and safety of those under their care. Making a mistake when prescribing or dispensing medication contravenes the legal duty of care requirement. If you suffered the consequences of this negligence, you may have a right to pursue a prescription error claim for compensation.
The biggest obstacle you may encounter after a prescription error is determining who is to blame for the negligence. Did the medical practitioner or pharmacist make the mistake that caused your post-medication illness? Even if you do determine who was responsible for the error, initiating legal proceedings when you are ill can be a huge challenge. If you think you have legal grounds to pursue a claim for prescription error compensation, the best thing to do is to contact a medical negligence solicitor.
Contacting A Medical Negligence Solicitor
Having a medical negligence solicitor dealing with your prescription error compensation claim can benefit you in many different ways. First and foremost, you will benefit from their knowledge and experience in this field. A medical negligence solicitor will know exactly how to put together a strong claim on your behalf. They also have access to medical experts who can provide their professional expertise to help support your prescription error claim. All of this increases your chances of winning compensation.
Another huge benefit of having a medical negligence solicitor who works on a No Win No Fee basis is that you won’t have to pay any upfront fees. Essentially a No Win No Fee agreement would mean you won’t pay any legal fees at any time before the claim has been settled. You only pay a fee if you win your prescription error claim, if your claim was lost you wouldn’t pay anything.
With a No Win No Fee agreement, you benefit from the solicitor’s expert knowledge and experience without any taking any financial risk.
How Much Compensation For A Prescription Error Claim?
Every prescription error compensation claim is assessed on its own merit. The exact amount of compensation 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 are awarded for pain, suffering and loss of amenity resulting from the injuries caused due to the prescription error.
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
Your solicitor will make sure to claim for the maximum amount of compensation due to you under each of the eligible factors.
If you think you may have a prescription error compensation claim due to GP negligence or a pharmacists negligence and would like to speak with a medical negligence solicitor, please contact us today to arrange a free consultation for expert advice.