If you have been prescribed the wrong antidepressant dosage due to a medical professional breaching their duty of care, and have suffered avoidable or unnecessary harm as a result, you may have valid grounds to claim medical negligence compensation.
Medical professionals have a duty to provide patients with the correct standard of care; a failure in this duty could lead to harm that could have otherwise been avoided. This can mean medical negligence has occurred.
This guide will give you details on the eligibility criteria for a medical negligence claim.
We will also review what a medication error with antidepressants can look like, as well as the effects this could have, and the compensation that could be awarded in a successful claim to address the impact on your life.
Additionally, we discuss the evidence you could gather to prove your potential claim.
Finally, we will explain how you could find support with the claims process through our panel of No Win No Fee solicitors.
Please speak to our advisors if you would like a free consultation. A team member could assess your case and forward you to a solicitor from our panel if your claim has grounds to proceed.
To get in touch, you can:
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- I Was Prescribed The Wrong Antidepressant Dosage, Could I Claim Compensation?
- Incorrect Dosage Medication Errors
- How To Prove You Were Prescribed The Wrong Antidepressant Dosage
- What Could You Claim If Prescribed The Wrong Antidepressant Dosage?
- Find Out How To Make A No Win No Fee Prescription Error Claim
- Prescription And Medication Error Claims
Your ability to claim for being prescribed the wrong antidepressant dosage hinges on meeting certain eligibility criteria, which are:
- A medical professional owed you a duty of care;
- They breached their duty of care by providing care that fell below the expected standard;
- This caused you avoidable physical and/or mental harm.
These criteria form the basis of a valid medical negligence claim.
A medical negligence claim must begin within the applicable time limit set out in The Limitation Act 1980. Generally, you have three years to start legal proceedings. The limit typically begins when the medical negligence occurred but could alternatively start on the date you became aware of it. The latter is known as the medical negligence.
If you are under 18 years old, your three-year limit only comes into effect on your 18th birthday. Conversely, a claimant who is an adult but lacks the mental capacity to claim has an indefinitely paused time limit. If they recover, the time limit reinstates and would start from their recovery date.
If you are unsure how long you could have to start your claim, please contact our team for advice.
Antidepressants are a type of medication used to treat clinical depression, as well as other conditions, such as generalised anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.
If a medical professional fails in their duty of care and you consequently get the wrong dosage of medication, this could lead to avoidable harm. Examples of how the wrong dosage could be given include:
- A GP fails to listen to all your symptoms and the extent to which they effect your daily life, and prescribes antidepressants for anxiety at too low a dose.
- A pharmacy error occurs where a pharmacist misreads the dosage when sorting your prescription and instructs you to take more than the recommended number of antidepressants, leading to an overdose.
The result of being prescribed the wrong antidepressant dosage could include the worsening of your mental health problems due to a lack of effective medicine or adverse side effects from an overdose.
However, it’s important to note that not all instances of harm sustained from receiving the wrong dosage will entitle you to make a medical negligence claim. Antidepressents have a number of side effects that can be unpleasant, but if they are prescribed in accordance with a medical professional’s duty of care, these side effects would not entitle you to claim compensation.
For further guidance, please call an advisor on the number above.
Evidence you could gather to show you were prescribed the wrong antidepressant dosage, as well as the avoidable harm you experienced as a result, includes:
- Medical records.
- Photographs of the medication you were prescribed and showing the dosage.
- A diary of your symptoms and treatment.
- The findings from an independent medical assessment could also act as useful evidence. You won’t have to organise this yourself.
Additionally, the Bolam test may be carried out. This involves medical professionals assessing your treatment and determining whether or not they think the correct standard of care was met.
If you are unsure how to go about getting proof of medical negligence, speak with our advisors today. They can also let you know whether a solicitor from our panel could help you gather evidence for your claim.
There is no guarantee of the compensation you could receive in a successful claim as several factors are considered when calculating how much you are owed. However, settlements usually comprise of two heads of loss, general damages and special damages.
General damages compensate you for the physical pain and mental suffering resulting from the medical negligence. We have provided the below table using guideline award brackets from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) as a guide to general damages. Legal professionals can use these figures alongside medical evidence to assist them in valuing this portion of your payout.
Please only use the figures as a guide.
|(a) Severe Psychiatric Damage
|£54,830 to £115,730
|The affected person has clear issues with, among other factors, the ability to handle education, work and life. They will have a very poor prognosis.
|(b) Moderately Severe Psychiatric Damage
|£19,070 to £54,830
|Significant problems with several areas of the person's life, but a better prognosis.
|(c) Moderate Psychiatric Damage
|£5,860 to £19,070
|A significant improvement and a good prognosis.
|(d) Less Severe Psychiatric Damage
|£1,540 to £5,860
|The period of disability, as well as the level that sleep and daily activities were affected, can determine the amount awarded.
|(b) (i) Digestive System Damage
|£38,430 to £52,500
|Toxicosis causing acute and serious pain, vomiting, fever and diarrhoea where hospital admission is required. There is a significant impact on the person's ability to work and enjoy life.
|(b) (ii) Digestive System Damage
|£9,540 to £19,200
|Symptoms such as vomiting are short-lived but are serious. There are other symptoms that may persist for a number of years.
|(b) (iv) Digestive System Damage
|£910 to £3,950
|The affected person spends days or weeks experiencing different levels of disabling pain, cramps or diarrhoea.
Can You Claim Special Damages For Prescription Errors?
You could also receive special damages which compensate for the financial losses you experienced due to the medical negligence. For example:
- A loss of earnings;
- Prescription fees;
- Travel expenses, such as a bus fare to a hospital appointment treating side effects suffered following a dosage error.
You will need to keep a record of your losses with documents such as payslips or receipts.
For more information on the potential medical negligence compensation settlement you could receive after a successful claim, please speak with an advisor.
An expert solicitor from our panel could help with your claim under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), which is a form of No Win No Fee contract.
You are unlikely to pay for your solicitor’s services:
- During the claim process.
- If the case ends unsuccessfully.
Otherwise, a CFA means you pay your solicitor a success fee if the claim wins. This is a percentage of the compensation, and has a legal cap applied to it by the Conditional Fee Agreements Order 2013.
Speak To Our Team
There is much to consider when making a claim for being prescribed the wrong antidepressant dosage. If you are unsure how you want to proceed, you can speak to our advisors for a free consultation. A free assessment and a connection to a medical negligence solicitor from our panel could then be arranged should you have valid grounds for claiming compensation.
You can speak to us or arrange a call for a convenient time by:
- Firstly, calling 0800 652 3087;
- Secondly, making a query about a claim online;
- Thirdly, clicking the below live chat pop-up.
For more of our medical negligence guides:
- A guide answering the question: how much could my medical negligence claim be worth?
- Information on claiming if a hospital missed your injury.
- Find out when you can claim if the wrong medication is prescribed.
Here are some relevant resources that could help while you are researching:
- NHS Resolution – Learning from medication errors.
- GOV.UK – NHS Constitution For England.
- Care Quality Commission – Reporting medicine related incidents.
If you have been prescribed the wrong antidepressant dosage and want to know more about whether you could make a medical negligence claim, our advisors are ready to help.
Guide by Ed
Edited by Meg