Medical Negligence Claims For Medication Errors By Nurses
This guide will discuss when medical negligence claims could be made due to medication errors by nurses. We will discuss the duty of care all medical professionals owe and when you could have a valid claim following a medication error.
Additionally, this guide will share examples of how a medication error by a nurse could happen. We will also explain the importance of gathering evidence to support your claim, and provide examples of evidence you could collect. Furthermore, we will share the different heads of claim you could be awarded following a successful medical negligence claim. This guide will end by looking at how a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel could assist you through the claiming process.
If you would like to discuss your specific case, you can contact a member of our advisory team. They can be reached 24/7 via the following methods:
Jump To A Section:
- Claiming For Medication Errors By Nurses?
- What Are The Most Common Medication Errors By Nurses
- How Do You Prove A Nurse Made A Medication Error?
- How Much Compensation Could You Be Awarded For A Medication Error?
- No Win No Fee Medication Error Claims
- Further Guidance On Claiming For Medication Errors By Nurses
All patients are owed a duty of care by the medical professionals who agree to treat them, including doctors, surgeons, and nurses. To abide by their duty of care, they must deliver the correct standard of care.
In order to be able to make a medical negligence claim for a medication error, you must meet the following eligibility criteria:
- A duty of care was owed.
- A medical professional did not abide by their duty of care.
- You suffered unnecessary harm as a result of this breach.
A medical professional breaching their duty of care that subsequently causes someone to suffer unnecessary harm is classed as medical negligence. If a nurse breached their duty of care and this resulted in you receiving the incorrect medication that caused you further ill health you could be eligible to make a medical negligence claim.
However, it is also important to note that there may be instances where a medication error occurs, but a medical professional, such as a nurse, did not breach their duty of care.
How Long Do I Have To Make A Medical Negligence Claim?
You will need to start your medical negligence claim in accordance with the time limit set out within the Limitation Act 1980. This is 3 years from the date the medical negligence occurred or the date you became aware of the medical negligence, otherwise referred to as the date of knowledge. For certain cases, i.e. when claimants are under 18 or lack mental capacity, there are exceptions to this time limit.
To learn what these exceptions are or to discuss your specific case, you can contact our advisors. They can also provide more information regarding medical negligence claims being made due to medication errors by nurses.
There are different ways that a medication error could occur. Here we look at illustrative scenarios of how different types of medication errors could occur:
- While in a hospital, a nurse could give you the wrong dosage of your medication. After reading your notes incorrectly, they administer 10 times the dosage required causing you to fall into a coma and suffer brain damage.
- A nurse in a care home could administer the wrong medication to a patient due to mixing up two patients’ medications. You are not given your heart medication which results in you having a heart attack.
- A nurse prescribes you a medication containing an ingredient you are allergic to, even though they are aware of this allergy. This causes you to suffer an allergic reaction.
However, you must remember that in order to have an eligible medical negligence claim, you must have suffered unnecessary harm due to a nurse breaching their duty of care.
To see whether you may have a valid claim and to receive free advice, contact a member of our advisory team.
When making your medical negligence claim, you will need to prove that a nurse breached their duty of care, and that this caused you to suffer harm that could have otherwise been avoided. This is why collecting sufficient evidence is crucial for supporting your case. Some examples could include:
- A copy of your medical records stating what medication you are taking and any conditions you have been diagnosed with following the medication error.
- The contact details of anyone who witnessed your treatment, as they may be able to provide a statement at a later date.
- A diary detailing any symptoms you have experienced due to the medication error.
- Evidence of any financial costs you experienced due to the medical negligence, such as invoices or bank statements.
These are only a few examples. If you choose to work with a solicitor on your case, they could help you with gathering more specific evidence to help support your claim.
To see if you could work with one of the medical negligence solicitors on our panel, or for more information on the importance of proving medical negligence, you can contact our advisors.
Compensation settlements for successful medical negligence claims made due to medication errors by nurses could include two heads of loss. The first is known as general damages, and it is awarded to all successful claimants. It provides compensation for the unnecessary harm you experienced due to a breach of duty of care.
The compensation guidelines found within the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), alongside medical evidence, could help those valuing your claim calculate a figure for general damages. The JCG provides a list of various forms of harm and assigns them compensation guideline brackets.
We have used some of the amounts stated within the 16th edition of the JCG when creating the following table. Please note that they should only be used for guidance.
It is also important to note that the top entry featured within this table does not appear within the JCG.
|Guideline compensation bracket
|Multiple serious forms of harm plus special damages.
|Up to £500,000+
|Compensation for the pain, suffering and loss of aminity caused by multiple serious injuries and financial losses such as lost earnings, care costs and rehabilitation expenses.
|Very severe (a)
|£282,010 to £403,990
|Some ability to follow basic commands for example recovery of eye opening and return of sleep and waking patterns.
|Moderately severe (b)
|£219,070 to £282,010
|The injured person will be substantially dependent on others and need constant professional care.
|Moderate (c) (i)
|£150,110 to £219,070
|The injured person will suffer a moderate to severe intellect deficit and a personality change.
|(a) Serious and permanent damage
|£169,400 to £210,400
|Serious damage that is permanent to both kidneys, or they have been lost.
|Double incontinence (a)
|Up to £184,200
|(Along with other complications) the loss of control and function of the bowel and urinary function.
|Total loss of natural function (b)
|Up to £150,110
|The injured person will be dependant on colostomy.
|Loss of control (b)
|Up to £140,660
|Complete loss of function and control.
|Serious impairment of control (c)
|£63,980 to £79,930
|Along with incontinence and pain.
|Damage from non-traumatic injury (b) (i)
|£38,430 to £52,500
|Severe toxicosis that necessitates hospital admission for a few days or weeks, significantly impacting the ability to work and enjoy life.
Compensation For Costs And Losses
Special damages might also be awarded to you. This provides you with compensation for any financial expenses you have experienced due to the medical negligence. Some examples of the financial losses you may experience and could be compensated for include:
- The cost of painkillers and prescriptions.
- Loss of earnings due to needing to take time off work.
- Travel costs to get to and from the hospital.
Get in touch with us for more information on what could be awarded in compensation for successful claims for medication errors by nurses.
Our panel of solicitors has vast experience dealing with a variety of medical negligence claims, including those being made for medication errors by nurses. After speaking with one of our advisors, they may put you in contact with one of the No Win No Fee solicitors on our panel. If they agree to take on your case, they then may offer you a Conditional Fee Agreement.
Under this type of No Win No Fee agreement, you will not have to pay any upfront or ongoing fees for the services your solicitor provides. You will also not need to pay their service fees if your claim ends unsuccessfully.
If your claim is successful, your solicitor will take a small percentage of your compensation. This is called the success fee. The law caps this to ensure that you receive the majority of your award.
How To Contact An Expert
If you would like to receive additional information about medical negligence claims for medication errors caused by nurses, you can contact our advisory team. They can also provide you with free advice for your specific case. To reach out to an advisor today, you can:
Similar guides from us:
- Advice on claiming if a doctor prescribed the wrong medication.
- Find out whether you need a medical report to support your medical negligence claim.
- Learn how to claim for medication calculation errors if this type of error caused you preventable harm.
- Royal College of Nursing (RCN) – Duty of care.
- NHS Resolution – Learning from medication errors.
- General Medical Council (GMC) – Patient guides and materials.
Thank you for reading this guide about when medical negligence claims could be made for medication errors by nurses.