Am I Eligible To Claim For A Medication Error?

We will examine some of the forms of medication error that can lead to potential compensation claims in this guide. Medical negligence doesn’t always result in harm to a patient. However, if it does, you could claim. The following guide is for you if you have been harmed by a medication error that resulted from clinical negligence.

medication error

A guide to claiming after a negligent medication error causes harm

This page may not answer every single question you have. We can only cover the basics of each claim, since they are all unique in some way. Our claim advisors are available on 020 3870 4868 if you need more information. Alternatively, you can request a callback using our online contact form.

Select A Section

  1. What Is A Medication Error?
  2. How Medication Errors Could Affect You
  3. Who Could I Make A Medication Error Claim Against?
  4. What Should I Do If I Was Given The Wrong Medication?
  5. Calculating Damages For Medication Error Claims
  6. Speak To A No Win No Fee Expert About Your Case

What Is A Medication Error?

Listed below is a list of types of medication errors:

  • The wrong dose is given to a patient – mistakes are made when advising a patient how much medication to take and when to take it.
  • Dispensing errors – such as when the incorrect medication is picked up or packaged incorrectly.
  • Getting the wrong prescription – the wrong medication is prescribed by a physician. For instance, a patient may be wrongly prescribed antidepressants.
  • A drug is given to the wrong patient.
  • A prescribed medication reacts with another and causes harm because the patient’s medical history wasn’t properly checked. Alternatively, a patient may be given a drug that they are allergic to.

What Is Duty Of Care?

All medical professionals have a duty to provide you with at least the minimum standard of care. This includes the operator of the healthcare facility, such as your GP surgery or a hospital.

If a medical professional fails to meet the standard and you suffer as a result, you could make a clinical negligence claim.

How Many Medication Errors Occur Each Year In The UK?

By looking at the NHS Resolution’s annual report for 2020/21, we can make the graph below. It shows the total cost of payments relating to claims across all indemnity schemes.

NHS Claims

How Medication Errors Could Affect You

There are a number of ways that a medication error could have an impact on your health. Below, we have listed a few examples that illustrate this.

  • You could be made ill.
  • An existing medical condition could be made worse.
  • Lack of treatment might cause your health to suffer.

Fatal Medication Errors

In a worst-case scenario, a medication error could lead to death. If a patient is prescribed a dose of a dangerous medication that leads to an overdose, this could result in death. In such cases, dependents of the deceased may be able to claim for a fatal incident if the medication error that caused the harm was due to negligence.

Who Could I Make A Medication Error Claim Against?

If you’re able to make a clinical negligence claim, you’d be claiming against the healthcare institution. If you’re claiming because of substandard healthcare given while you were under private treatment, you may be claiming against the medical professional rather than the provider.  

What Should I Do If I Was Given The Wrong Medication?

It is possible for a medication error to cause significant harm. If medical negligence led to your suffering, you could claim. We have outlined a few steps you might take to prepare for such a claim, with a view to proving the claim is valid.

  • If you were given the wrong medication due to medical negligence, you could report it through the appropriate channels for that healthcare provider.
  • You could see a medical professional for your suffering. As a result, your injury or illness would be recorded.
  • Keep a record of any monetary losses associated with the harm caused. Be sure to keep all receipts, bills, invoices, and travel tickets.

You could also seek free legal advice. Find out how you could file a clinical negligence claim by talking to our claim advisors.

Calculating Damages For Medication Error Claims

A medication error can cause enough harm to justify filing a compensation claim. However, determining how much you could seek can be difficult without all of the appropriate evidence. Claims are valued individually and compensation can vary depending on different factors such as the severity of your injuries.

However, we can give an illustration of potential compensation awards for the pain and suffering. The below compensation table is based on figures taken from the Judicial College Guidelines. Solicitors use these guidelines to help when valuing injuries.

Health Problem Information Compensation
Non-traumatic Injury (i) An extreme case of toxicosis, for instance, can result in symptoms including fever, illness, diarrhoea, and pain. The person may have to stay in the hospital for several weeks. £36,060 to £49,270
Non-traumatic Injury (ii) Despite being serious, this illness does not last long. The symptoms would stop within 2 to 4 weeks, such as vomiting and diarrhea. Some minor symptoms may last longer. £8,950 to £18,020
Non-traumatic Injury (iii) The presence of a high degree of discomfort as a result of an illness. Consisting of symptoms such as fatigue, cramping in the stomach, and bowel dysfunction. A short hospital stay may be necessary. A full recovery will be achieved within a year or two. £3,710 to £8,950
Non-traumatic Injury (iv) It can cause symptoms such as diarrhea, stomach cramps, or debilitating pain. There could be weeks of symptoms. £860 to £3,710
Kidney damage (a) A permanent and serious injury to both kidneys. £158,970 to £197,480
Kidney damage (b) Infections of the urinary tract or other types of kidney impairment are likely to occur in the future. Up to £60,050
Pain disorders Severe (i) Even with treatment, severe symptoms will persist. In addition to not being able to work, the victim may need some kind of ongoing care. £39,530 to £59,110
Mental anguish Knowing that one has a reduced life expectancy, or being afraid that one is about to die. £4,380

Damages Explained

It is possible that you may receive both general damages and special damages from a successful clinical negligence claim for a medication error. General damages compensate you for physical and mental harm, pain and suffering. The compensation table above illustrates potential amounts for general damages.

To prove your physical or psychological suffering, you’d attend a medical assessment as part of the claims process. An independent medical professional would check your injuries and create a report. This report would include an assessment of:

  1. The severity of your injuries.
  2. Whether the injuries are consistent with those that could be caused by the accident.

You could use this report as evidence during your claim.

Special damages compensate you for the financial losses associated with your injuries. These can be past losses or predicted losses. Losses should be documented and supported by proof. The below are examples of potential reasons to claim special damages.

  • Loss of earnings
  • Care costs (such as gracious care by a family member)
  • Travel costs (such as to and from the hospital)

Our advisors can help you determine what types of damages you might be able to claim if you give them a call.

Speak To A No Win No Fee Expert About Your Case

Clinical negligence claims can be made for the suffering caused by a negligent medication error. If your claim is accepted, a lawyer from our panel would offer you a No Win No Fee agreement. This means that if the claim loses, you wouldn’t need to pay the lawyer a fee.

If the claim wins, you’d pay them a success fee. This is a percentage of the compensation and it’s capped by law.

What’s more, under No Win No Fee, you don’t have to pay any upfront or ongoing lawyer fee.

Our claim advisors can assist you if you have any further questions. They can also help with any other questions you may have about claiming for a medication error. Please contact them using the information below.

Related Services And Guides

Here are some similar guides.

Claiming Compensation For an Operation Gone Wrong

How to Report a Doctor For Medical Negligence

Claims Against The NHS For Medical Negligence

Here are some useful websites.

Prescription Errors – A Report

Homepage For NHS Resolution

The Medicines Act 1968

If you have any more questions about the steps you could take after a medication error, get in touch today.

Writer CE 

Checked by HT