This guide will explain the criteria of eligibility that must be met to claim compensation for harm caused by medication dosage errors. Upon diagnosis of an illness or injury, a medical professional, such as a doctor, could prescribe you medication. Various medication errors could cause you harm, such as the dosage of the medication you take being too high or too low.
Medical professionals owe their patients a duty of care. This means that they are responsible for providing the correct standard of care. If your doctor or another healthcare professional failed to meet this standard of care, leading them to prescribe you the wrong dosage, which caused you avoidable harm, you could be eligible to claim compensation.
Continue reading to learn more about the amount of compensation that could be awarded for the harm caused by medication errors. Additionally, contact us today to speak to one of our advisors for free, confidential advice.
Please contact our team at Medical Negligence Assist using the details below:
- Call us on 0800 652 3087
- Claim online by filling in our form
- Write to an advisor using our live support feature
Select A Section
- What Are Medication Dosage Errors?
- Types Of Medication Dosage Errors
- Medical Professionals’ Duty Of Care
- How To Claim For A Medication Dosage Error
- Average Settlements For Errors In Medication Doses
- No Win No Fee Medication Dosage Errors
Medication dosage errors could occur if a healthcare professional prescribes a patient the wrong dosage. A patient could be prescribed a dosage that is too low or too high. Also, a medical professional could provide negligent medical advice. This might mean that they advise the patient to take medicine too frequently or infrequently.
A study by the British Medical Journal found that around 237 million medication errors are estimated to be made during the medication process in England annually. 66 million of these errors are considered potentially clinically significant.
It is important to note that not all of these medication errors will have been caused by a medical professional not meeting the correct standard of care. There are instances where medical professionals could do everything in their power to treat a patient, but harm is still caused. For example, you could be given medication that you have an unknown allergy to.
Contact our team of advisors if you would like to talk about the harm a medication dosage error has caused you. They may be able to connect you with a solicitor to work on your claim.
A medical professional could make the following types of medication dosage errors:
- The dosage of medication is too high or too frequent. Therefore, this could put the patient at risk of poisoning from a drug overdose. A drug overdose could be serious and life-threatening.
- The medication dosage could be too low or too infrequent, which could cause the drugs not to work properly or treat the problem.
If patients take too low a medication dosage, their condition may not improve and potentially worsen over time. For example, if you have a progressive disease and do not take an adequate medication dosage, your condition could progress, meaning that you need more intensive treatment.
Medical professionals, such as doctors and nurses, must provide a minimum standard of care when treating patients. In other words, they owe their patients a duty of care and should act in a way to prevent unnecessary harm.
If a medical professional provides the patient with care that does not meet this standard and, as a result, causes a patient avoidable harm, this is defined as medical negligence.
In claims for medication dosage errors, the following will need to be proven:
- Firstly, the medical professional, such as the GP or doctor who prescribed your medication, owed you a duty of care.
- Secondly, a medical professional breached this duty of care. For example, they make a mistake on the prescription, and the dosage amount is incorrect.
- Consequently, you are caused avoidable harm, this could include becoming ill, suffering a worsened prognosis, or aggravating a pre-existing condition.
- Finally, you need to show that you are within the time limits to start a medical negligence claim. This is generally three years from the date that medical negligence harmed you or three years from the date you connected the harm to negligence. However, exceptions can apply.
If you would like help determining whether you could be eligible to claim medical compensation, please call Medical Negligence Assist to speak to an advisor.
Medication dosage errors could cause harm. Therefore, you should immediately seek the appropriate medical attention if you experience one, for your safety. When a doctor diagnoses and treats the harm that was caused, the incident will be recorded. Consequently, your medical records could be used to support your claim.
You should collect evidence to provide proof of medical negligence if you intend to make a claim for compensation. Here are some examples of evidence you could collect:
- A prescription from a doctor showing the error.
- The medication package that a pharmacist dispensed to you.
- Receipts for any purchases you made relating to your injuries.
- Photographs of any visible symptoms you have.
- Copies of your medical records, which will detail your injuries and any treatment required.
Finally, please call Medical Negligence Assist to enquire about making a medical negligence claim. An advisor could assess your case to see if you could be eligible to make a claim. If they find that you have enough supporting evidence to make a valid claim, they could connect you with one of the solicitors from our panel.
Medical negligence compensation could be awarded if medication dosage errors caused by a medical professional breaching their duty of care caused harm. In a successful claim, there are two types of damages that could be awarded:
- General damages – Compensates for the pain and suffering the harm resulting from medical negligence has caused.
- Special damages – Compensates for the financial losses caused by the harm, such as necessary medical expenses or loss of income. It is important to provide evidence proving any special damages, such as payslips or bank records.
Legal professionals, such as medical negligence solicitors, use the Judicial College guidelines (JCG), updated in April 2022, to help them value general damages in medical negligence compensation claims. The table below uses the JCG to supply guide compensation brackets for different kinds of harm you could be caused by a medication dosage error.
|Notes On This Injury
|Kidney Injury (a)
|The loss of, or permanent and serious damage to, both of the person's kidneys.
|£169,400 to £210,400
|Kidney Injury (b)
|The person will suffer the loss of their kidney's natural function.
|Up to £63,980
|Kidney Injury (c)
|The person will have lost one kidney but there will be no damage to the other.
|£30,770 to £44,880
|Bladder Injury (a)
|Cases include the loss of natural function of the bowels and bladder. There will be double incontinence as well as other effects.
|Up to £184,200
|Bladder Injury (b)
|The person will have completely lost the function and control of their bladder.
|Up to £140,660
|Loss of natural bowel function and requirement for a colostomy.
|Up to £150,110
|Impaired function of the bowels which required the person to have a temporary colostomy.
|£44,590 to £69,730
|Digestive System - Non-Traumatic Injury (b)(i)
|The person may have severe toxicosis with diarrhoea, fever, vomiting and pain. They will require admission to hospital.
|£38,430 to £52,500
|Digestive System - Non-Traumatic Injury (b)(ii)
|Diarrhoea and vomiting that diminishes over two to four weeks, meaning it's serious but short-lived.
|£9,540 to £19,200
|The person will have lost their spleen and there will be a continuing risk of disorders and internal infection due to the impact on the immune system.
|£20,800 to £26,290
The details of every claim are different, therefore, the amount awarded varies. Please call our helpline to discuss the details of your case with an advisor.
You could be eligible to use a solicitor working under a Conditional Fee Agreement, a type of No Win No Fee agreement, for your medical negligence claim. This means you will generally not be charged any upfront or ongoing fees for the services of your solicitor. Also, you will usually not pay for your solicitor’s services if your claim is unsuccessful.
If you are awarded compensation, your solicitor will receive a ‘success fee’. This is a small legally capped percentage taken from the compensation.
Please contact us today to see if you could be eligible to claim for harm caused by medication dosage errors with a No Win No Fee agreement in place. Our advisors are available 24/7 to talk at a time convenient for you.
Read More About Medication Errors
If you want to claim compensation for a medical error that harmed you, please take a look at more guides on our website:
Also, take a look at some external sources for further reading:
NHS advice on when to use 111
The General Pharmaceutical Council’s standards for pharmacy professionals
An NHS guide to prescriptions and pharmacies
We hope that you have found this guide to medication dosage errors helpful.
Writer Hana Clarke/Jess Olsen
Publisher Fern Stiles