Medication Error Claim – Could I Claim Compensation?

Are you wondering what steps you need to take to make a medication error claim? If you have suffered harm as a result of medical negligence, you may be eligible to receive compensation.

medication error claim

Medication error claim guide

In this guide, we will discuss what evidence you must provide in order to make a valid claim. Additionally, we will share examples of compensation you could receive for a successful claim. 

We understand that you may have questions about making a medication error compensation claim that this guide doesn’t cover.  If so, our friendly advisors can answer any questions you may have regarding your potential claim. Our team are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to assist at any time that suits you.

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Select A Section

  1. What Is A Medication Error Claim?
  2. Why Do Medication Errors Happen?
  3. Medical Practitioners’ Duty Of Care
  4. How To Make A Medication Error Claim
  5. What Could Your Medication Error Compensation Claim Be Worth?
  6. No Win No Fee Medication Error Compensation Claims

What Is A Medication Error Claim?

All medical professionals owe their patients a duty of care. When a medical professional fails to uphold their duty of care to a patient, resulting in harm, this is an example of medical negligence.  

For example, if your GP failed to listen to your concerns and symptoms and provides you with the wrong medication, you could suffer various side effects such as migraines or vomiting. We will discuss what duty of care a medical professional owes you later in this guide.

Medication errors can happen in various environments, including the hospital, pharmacy or in a care home. Additionally, different kinds of medical practitioners could be responsible for medication errors, such as a doctor, nurses or pharmacists.

In order to make medication error claims, you must be able to prove that you suffered harm as a direct result of medical negligence. Later in this guide, we will discuss the potential evidence you could use to prove this.

If you have any questions while reading this guide, why not reach out to our team? Our advisors can offer you free legal advice to help you start your medication error compensation claim.

Are Medication Errors Common?

The NHS Resolution released a report on medication errors between April 2015 to March 2020.  They revealed that during this time period, they received 1420 claims relating to medication errors. Additionally, they report that out of those claims:

  • 487 were settled with damages paid.
  • 438 were without merit.
  • 495 of those claims remain open.

Furthermore, the report revealed that the majority of medication errors occur at the administration phase, with the least errors occurring in transcribing.

Why Do Medication Errors Happen?

There are many potential causes of medication errors. Some examples include:

  • Your GP misdiagnosed you, as they ignored some of your symptoms, causing them to prescribe you the wrong treatment.
  • A pharmacist provided you with the wrong prescription due to taking the wrong medication off the shelf.
  • A nurse in a care home giving a patient someone else’s medication due to mislabelling.

However, not all instances of medication errors would form the basis of a valid claim. For instance, if you suffer from an allergic reaction after taking medication that you didn’t know you were allergic to, you would not be able to make a claim. However, if your doctor is aware of your allergies and prescribes you that medication anyway, you may be eligible to make a medication error claim for the harm that you are caused.

Taking the wrong medication can result in various consequences. These can range from relatively minor, such as stomach cramps and vomiting, to serious repercussions such as death caused by the wrong medication

Remember, to make a valid medical negligence claim, you must prove you suffered avoidable harm due to a medical professional breaching their duty of care to you.

For free legal advice regarding medication errors, why not call our advisors today?

Medical Practitioners’ Duty Of Care 

All medical professionals owe you a duty of care, regardless of whether they work in the private or public healthcare sector. According to this duty, they must ensure that you are receiving the correct standard of care. If a medical professional were to breach this duty of care, resulting in you becoming harmed, this would be classed as medical negligence.

Remember, you must prove that a medical professional breached the duty of care they owed you and that you were harmed as a result in order to make a medication error claim. Not all medication errors are the result of a breach of duty.

Additionally, you must ensure that you start your claim within the relevant time limit, as stated in the Limitation Act 1980. Generally, these time limits are:

  • 3 years from the date you were harmed as a direct result of medical negligence.
  • 3 years from the date you realised (or would have been expected to know) that your worsening condition was caused by negligence.

If you would like some free legal advice regarding your potential medical negligence claim, you can contact our advisors today.

How To Make A Medication Error Claim

It is important to gather as much evidence as you can to prove medical negligence was the cause of your suffering. Evidence could include:

  • Communication with the medical institution responsible for the error, particularly if you complained to them directly.
  • Your medical records stating you were prescribed the wrong medication.
  • Medical records stating your symptoms and further treatments following the medication error.

If you discover that you have been taking the wrong medication, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Additionally, if you decide you want to pursue a medication error claim, you may want to seek out some legal advice. Our advisors can provide you with free legal advice regarding your specific claim. Call us today.

What Could Your Medication Error Compensation Claim Be Worth?

When making a medication error claim, your settlement could include general and special damages. General damages aim to compensate you for the harm caused by medical negligence. Whereas special damages aim to compensate you for the financial losses you have accrued due to the harm you have suffered as a result of medical negligence.

Special damages can include travel expenses, lost wages and the cost of paying for medical treatments. In order to successfully claim for either of these damages, you must provide evidence. For general damages, this could include a copy of your medical records. For special damages, this could include your payslips, invoices and receipts.

We’ve provided a table below displaying potential compensation you could receive for general damages. We have taken these amounts from the 16th edition of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). Legal professionals use the JCG to help them assign value to injuries for claims. Please note that these figures are a guideline. How much you may receive will depend on your specific claim.

InjuryDescriptionCompensation Amount
Kidney Injury(a) Permanent and serious damage to both kidneys. Or both kidneys are lost.£169,400 to £210,400
Kidney Injury(b) There is a significant risk of developing urinary tract infections or other issues with kidney function.Up to £63,980
Bowel Injury(a) Medical complications such as complete loss of natural bowel function and loss of bladder function.Up to £184,200
Bowel Injury(b) The injured person will rely on a colostomy bag and the bowel will have completely lost its natural function.Up to £150,110
Bowel Injury(c) Faecal urgency remains after surgery, causing distress and embarrassment.In the region of £79,920
Epilepsy(a) Established Grand Mal epilepsy.£102,000 - £150,110
Epilepsy(b) Established Petit Mal - Amount awarded will be affected by several factors, including whether attacks are controlled by medication and the prognosis.£54,830 - £131,370
Brain and Head Injury(d) Less Severe - A good recovery will have been made. However, there may still be some persisting issues such as poor concentration and mood swings.£15,320 to £43,060
Spleen Injury(a) Damage to the immune system causes risks of internal infections. The spleen has also been lost.£20,800 to £26,290
Spleen Injury(b) Minimal risk of internal infections or the spleen being lost.£4,350 to £8,640

Call our team today for further guidance on starting a medical negligence claim.

No Win No Fee Medication Error Compensation Claims

If you’re interested in being legally represented, a medical negligence solicitor from our panel may be able to help with a kind of No Win No Fee agreement called a Conditional Fee Agreement in place. These terms mean you are usually not required to pay anything upfront or for the duration of your claim to your solicitor. Additionally, if the claim is unsuccessful, you will generally not be obligated to pay them for their services.

At the end of a successful claim, you will pay a success fee to your solicitor from your compensation. This is subject to a legal limitation, meaning you can’t be overcharged. 

For more information on No Win No Fee agreements or how to start your medication error claim, contact us today. Our team of advisors are here 24/7 to offer you free legal advice concerning various medical negligence claims.

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Where To Read More

For similar articles by us:

Some helpful links that may support you after suffering from medical negligence.

Contact us today if you would like more information on how to start a medication error claim.

Guide by Jessica

Edited by Fern