Can I Claim Compensation For Drug Errors?

In this guide, we will look at claiming compensation for harm caused by drug errors. All healthcare providers owe their patients a duty of care. They are expected to act in a way that avoids those under their care from coming to unnecessary harm.

Given the wrong medication because of a drug error

Drug errors claims guide

Taking the wrong medication can be dangerous. You may experience harmful side effects or unwanted effects. Furthermore, if you’re not taking the medication that you are supposed to, then this could make your original condition worse than it would have been otherwise.

If a patient receives the wrong drug as the result of a breach of duty of care, this is classed as medical negligence. If you’ve experienced harm as a result, you could claim.

You can get in touch with us today for more information on whether you have a valid claim. You can contact us by:

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How Do Drug Errors Occur?

There are a number of different kinds of errors with medication that patients could experience. However, it’s important to note that not all instances of drug errors will be grounds for a claim for compensation.

In order for you to claim for the harm caused by a drug error, it must have been caused by negligence. Sometimes, you can be harmed by medical treatment even when the right standard of care is administered.

For example, you might be prescribed the wrong drug because you experienced a misdiagnosis. You could be misdiagnosed even if the healthcare provider provided an appropriate standard of care. This could occur if the symptoms you are exhibiting are not typical of the condition you’re suffering from.

In order to determine whether or not you experienced medical negligence, something called the Bolam Test will be administered. This is where a panel of medical professionals in the relevant field are asked whether or not the care was of the right level. If they determine that it was not, then you could be entitled to claim.

However, you must have been caused harm by a drug error in order to make a claim. If you experienced a drug error but this did not have a negative effect on your health, then you would not be able to claim compensation.

You can claim compensation for harm caused by negligence in a number of different areas of medicine. For example, you could claim for dental negligence as well as negligence from a doctor or in a hospital. You can also claim against the NHS or a private hospital or institution.

Get in touch with our team for more information on claiming for harm caused by errors in prescriptions.

Why Do Drug Errors Occur In Nursing, General Practice And Pharmacies?

Below, we’ve listed some of the different kinds of medication errors that can occur and some potential causes:

  • Over or underprescribing the amount of medication. If you’re given too high a dosage of a medication, this could cause you harm. Furthermore, if you’re given too low a dose, this could cause your condition to worsen more than it would have if properly treated. This kind of error could occur due to a momentary lapse of judgement or a lack of knowledge on different dosage amounts (for example, milligrams versus micrograms)
  • Prescribing the wrong medication. If a prescription error occurs, this could make you ill and cause a delay in treatment for your condition. This could happen for a number of reasons, for example, because you were misdiagnosed or because the doctor mixed up the names of two similar-sounding medications.
  • Providing medications that cause an adverse interaction. Some drugs cannot be taken in combination with other drugs. If they are, they might cause negative health effects or stop working. Your doctor might prescribe you two drugs that cause an adverse interaction if they fail to check your medical records.
  • Prescribing medications that cause allergic reactions. If you’re prescribed a drug that you’re allergic to, then this could be dangerous. A doctor might prescribe a patient a medication that they’re allergic to if they fail to check their records or ask the patient about any allergies they’re aware of.

For more information on compensation claims for harm caused by drug errors, speak with one of our advisors today.

How To Claim For Medication Errors?

To make a successful claim, you will need to prove that medical negligence occurred. You’ll need to show that:

  • You were owed a duty of care by the healthcare professional in question
  • The healthcare professional acted negligently.
  • You were injured because of this negligence.

You will also need to provide evidence in support of your claim. This could include medical records, witness statements and the incorrect prescription that you were given initially.

It’s important to note that there is generally a three-year time limit to claiming for harm caused by negligent drug errors. Exceptions can apply, however; speak with an advisor for more information.

Calculating Compensation For Drug Errors

In compensation claims for harm caused by drug errors, there are two different kinds of damages that can be awarded. General damages compensate you for the harm and loss of amenity caused by your injuries. Special damages is the part of your claim that covers you for financial losses incurred as a result of your injuries.

Below, we have included a table showing some guideline compensation values. These cover general damages only.

Bladder (a) Up to £172,860 These cases will involve loss of both natural urinary and bowel function.
Bladder (c) £60,050 to £75,010 Bladder control has been seriously impaired. There is incontinence and pain.
Bowel (a) Up to £140,870 Total loss of natural function. They will depend on a colostomy.
Bowel (d) £41,850 to £65,440 This includes severe abdominal injuries which lead to impaired bowel function.
Spleen (a) £19,510 to £24,680 Total loss of the spleen. Additionally, the person is at risk of developing an infection due to immune system damage.
Spleen (b) £4,080 to £8,110 Cases where the risks outlined in the higher bracket are either minimal or are not present.
Eye Injury (c) (i) £90,100 to £168,730 The category is for loss of sight in one of your eyes as well as reduced sight in the other eye. There is a risk of the eye which still has vision deteriorating further.
Digestive System (i) £36,060 to £49,270 Severe toxicosis which results in severe pain, vomiting and diarrhoea that requires hospital admission for days or weeks.
Digestive System (iv) £860 to £3,710 Degrees of disabling pain, cramping and diarrhoea for some days or weeks
Mental Anguish (e) £4,380 Where there is the fear of reduction in expectation of life or where there is fear of impending death.

We used guidelines from the Judicial College to list the amounts of compensation in the table. However, your compensation payout may vary. Get in touch with our team for an assessment of your claim that is more specific to your circumstances.

You can claim the following costs back as part of special damages:

  • Loss of earnings
  • Healthcare costs
  • Travel costs
  • Mobility equipment costs
  • Home adaptation costs
  • Specialised care costs

However, you will need to provide evidence of these such as receipts and invoices.

For more information on what can be included in compensation claims for drug errors, get in touch with our team today.

Get In Touch To Begin Your No Win No Fee Claim

If you choose to make a claim with legal representation, you might be concerned about the upfront costs this could incur. If this is the case, a No Win No Fee agreement could benefit you.

In this kind of agreement, you won’t be asked to pay your lawyer upfront. You also won’t be asked to pay them anything as the claim progresses or in the event that it fails.

In the event of a successful claim, a legally-capped percentage of your compensation will be deducted by your solicitor. This success fee will be agreed upon beforehand.

To see if you have a valid clinical negligence claim, or for more information on claiming for drug errors, please get in touch with us today using our contact details:

Quick Claims Links

Here is more information about medical negligence claims.

How Do Dental Nerve Damage Claims Work? 

Can I Claim Compensation For The Misdiagnosis Of A Stroke?

How To Claim Compensation For Unnecessary Surgery

NHS guidance on prescription and medication errors

Find a pharmacy on the NHS website

The General Medical Council’s report into the causes of prescribing errors

Thank you for reading our drug errors compensation claims guide.

Writer AL

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