How To Claim For A Death Due To A Medication Error

Our guide explains when it is possible to claim for a loved one’s death due to a medication error. We provide detailed information about who can seek medical negligence compensation on behalf of the deceased and who could also claim compensation for the effect the death has had on them. 

To help you determine whether the fatal medical negligence claim is valid, we provide some examples of fatal medication errors before discussing evidence you can gather to prove the case meets the eligibility criteria.

Further on in the guide, we go over the compensation that the deceased’s estate and dependants could receive. We also explain how a medical negligence solicitor from our expert panel could help you seek compensation under No Win No Fee terms.

We’re here to provide as much free guidance and advice as you need. You can reach us at any time of day through one of these options:

  • Call 020 3870 4868.
  • Ask about making a claim online and request a call.
  • Use the live support feature available at the bottom of your screen.

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Select A Section nn

  1. How You Could Claim For A Death Due To A Medication Error
  2. Causes Of Death Due To Medication Errors
  3. How Do I Prove A Death Caused By Medical Negligence?
  4. How Much Compensation For A Death Due To A Medication Error?
  5. How Could A No Win No Fee Solicitor Help You To Claim For A Death Due To A Medication Error?
  6. Further Medical Negligence Claim Resources

How You Could Claim For A Death Due To A Medication Error

Any practitioner or healthcare provider that prescribes or provides a patient with medication owes them a duty of care to provide a service of skill and care of that of a competent professional. If they do not uphold this duty and make a medical error as a result, then the patient could suffer harm that was otherwise avoidable. 

The deceased person’s estate could seek compensation for the pain and suffering the deceased suffered before their death as well as any financial losses under the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1934. As with all medical negligence claims, there are specific criteria that would need to be met in order for the claim to be valid. 

For a medical negligence claim for a death due to a medication error to have clear grounds for compensation, these criteria must be satisfied:

  • A medical professional or institution such as a hospital owed the patient a duty of care.
  • This was breached because the care provided was not of the correct standard.
  • Because of this breach, the patient suffered harm that was otherwise avoidable. Meaning that their death could have been avoided.

Can Dependents Of The Deceased Claim Compensation?

If you are a dependant and want to seek compensation for how the death has affected you this is possible under the Fatal Accidents Act 1976 (FAA). Again you would need to prove that medical negligence had taken place in order to hold a valid claim for compensation. 

The following are considered dependants under the Act:

  • Parents or a parental figure.
  • A spouse or ex-partner.
  • A child, stepchild or other descendant. This can also include someone the deceased treated like their child.
  • A sibling, aunt or uncle.

Please note that for the first 6 months following the death, only the estate can bring a claim for both the deceased’s pain and suffering and a claim for the dependents. If 6 months pass and the estate has yet to make a claim, then you could make your own claim as a dependant. However, only the estate can claim for the deceased’s pain and suffering.

For both the estate and dependants, the time limit for starting a claim is three years from either the death or the date of knowledge. The latter covers any situation where it only becomes clear later, for example, during an inquest, that the death was linked to a medical professional breaching their duty of care.

Our advisors can shed more light on how fatal medication error claims work. To discuss the time limit and whether you have the right to claim for medical negligence resulting in death, please call today. 

Causes Of Death Due To Medication Errors

Medical errors are not always a sign that healthcare professionals have been negligent. Therefore, it is important to highlight substandard care and its connection to the death in order to claim compensation. The below examples capture medication and prescription errors that would likely be valid grounds for a medical negligence case:

  • A nurse working in a hospital misinterprets how much medication they are meant to administer. They give the wrong dosage, leading to a fatal accidental overdose.
  • An administrative error in the pharmacy means the pharmacist hands a patient another person’s prescription medication. An adverse reaction to the incorrect medication means the prescription error ultimately causes the patient’s premature death.
  • While prescribing medication, a GP does not check the patient’s medical records and fails to note a penicillin allergy. The patient takes the prescribed medication as advised and then suffers a fatal allergic reaction.

If a loved one has recently suffered harm and died after being given the wrong drug or an incorrect dosage, a medical negligence compensation claim may be valid. Please call today to discuss a potential claim for a death due to a medication error, and an advisor can tell you if there are reasonable grounds to seek compensation.

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How Do I Prove A Death Caused By Medical Negligence?

In order to successfully claim for a prescription or medication error, you must prove third party negligence led to an avoidable death. The evidence you could gather to support a case includes:

  • Notes detailing who provided medical treatment and what medicines they gave to the deceased.
  • Medical records, particularly those related to the treatment provided and the patient’s reaction to medication. Certain qualifying people can access the medical records of someone who has died.
  • The medication itself, including any labels or packaging. This could help identify if the wrong medication was given.
  • Witness contact details.
  • A coroner’s report or the outcome of an inquest.

If you take on the services of an expert solicitor from our panel for a fatal medical negligence claim, you can instruct them to help you gather evidence. Find out more about the professional help you can get in proving medical negligence by calling and speaking to one of our helpful advisors.

How Much Compensation For A Death Due To A Medication Error?

If the fatal medication error compensation claim is successful, then the deceased’s estate will be awarded a compensation settlement. This can consist of general and special damages. General damages will be awarded to cover the deceased’s pain and suffering before their death, and special damages will compensate for any loss of finances they suffered. 

When working out a value for general damages those responsible will look to medical evidence and use a publication such as the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). Within the JCG, there is a list of many different types of injuries, their severities and accompanying compensation guideline brackets. 

The table below features some of these compensation guideline brackets that are noted in the JCG; however, the top line is not part of this publication. 

Fatality Plus Add-On ClaimsUp to £550,000A payout addressing the deceased's pain and suffering as well as payments to affected dependants.
Paralysis - Tetraplegia£396.140 to £493,000Paralysis of the upper and lower body. The award is lowered if the life expectancy is reduced.
Paralysis - Paraplegia£267,340 to £346,890The level of award is affected by factors including life expectancy and age.
Very Severe Brain Damage£344,150 to £493,000The bracket includes cases of 'locked in' syndrome with a substantially restricted life expectancy.
Moderately Severe Brain Damage£267,340 to £344,150Includes cases leading to a permanent vegetative state or minimal consciousness with a severely reduced life expectancy.
Severe Psychological Damage£66,920 to £141,240The affected person suffers marked issues related to factors like their prognosis, which is very poor, and their ability to cope with life generally.
Injuries Resulting in Death With Full Awareness£15,300 to £29,060Full awareness is followed by fluctuating levels of consciousness and intrusive treatment or significant injuries, and then death within a couple of weeks or up to three months.
Injuries Followed By Unconsciousness And Resulting In Death£12,830 to £13,020Excruciating pain followed by unconsciousness after three hours, and death two weeks later.

What Compensation Can You Claim As A Dependant?

A spouse, civil partner or a common-law partner who lived with the deceased for two or more years prior to their death could claim a set £15,120 payment as a bereavement award, according to Section 1A of the FAA. The parents of an unmarried minor can also claim this award.

Otherwise, further types of compensation an estate or dependant could be awarded include:

  • Funeral costs.
  • Dependency payment, addressing the loss of current and future earnings that the deceased would have accrued.
  • Loss of consortium. Otherwise known as the loss of a special person, this payment aims to provide some financial comfort for the pain of losing a companion.
  • A loss of services payment that accounts for help the deceased provided, for example, childcare or home improvements.

You can call us for more information on medical negligence claims payouts and how a solicitor from our panel could help you claim a medication error compensation settlement.

How Could A No Win No Fee Solicitor Help You To Claim For A Death Due To A Medication Error?

Whether you are claiming as the deceased’s estate or as a dependant, you may wish to make the claims process more smoothly with the help of a legal professional. Our panel has years of experience pursuing compensation claims against healthcare providers. A medical negligence solicitor could take on your claim if you have a valid case.

One of the benefits of getting legal representation from one of our panel’s clinical negligence claim experts is that they offer a Conditional Fee Agreement. This means that they do not charge a fee for their work upfront or during the case. As a form of No Win No Fee deal, you would also not pay for the solicitor’s efforts if the case fails.

A percentage of a winning claim’s payout goes to the solicitor as their success fee. However, a clear legal cap on the percentage they take exists because of The Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013. As a result, you are guaranteed to keep the majority of the compensation awarded.

A solicitor writing in a book. An expert solicitor could help you claim for a death due to a medication error.

Contact Us Today

You can call today to get free and impartial advice from an advisor. Furthermore, they can assess the case to see if the fatal medication error claim is valid or whether you have an eligible claim as a dependent. If so, you could be connected to a solicitor, but there is no obligation to start legal action unless you want to. Even if you just have questions about medical negligence compensation claims, we can help.

We’re available around the clock, so contact us at a time of your choosing by either:

  • Calling the free helpline on 020 3870 4868.
  • Writing to us about your claim online and leave a few contact details.
  • Sending a message through the live chat tab below.

Further Medical Negligence Claim Resources

We have many guides related to compensation claims, including these:

These resources could also be useful:

Thank you for reading our guide on how to claim for a death due to a medication error. Please be sure to call if there’s anything we can do to help.