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A Guide To Wrong Medication Negligence Claims – How To Claim Compensation For Wrong Medication

By Mark Ainsdale. Last updated 7th July 2021. Welcome to our wrong medication claims guide.

When you visit your GP or a hospital, you have to put faith in their expertise. You have to trust that the treatment they provide will be beneficial and suitable. Also, you have to trust that the medication they prescribe is correct. Wrong medication negligence claims could be made if a medical professional provides you with the wrong medication, and that causes you to suffer. Therefore, in this guide, we’re going to look at when you could claim for being given the wrong amount of medication, the wrong medication dosage or the wrong type of medication.

wrong medication claims

wrong medication claims

Legal Expert specialises in helping with personal injury claims, including those for medical negligence or medical malpractice. Our advisors provide a no-obligation assessment of your claim and also provide free legal advice on your options.

To discuss your wrong medication claims right away, please call us on 0800 073 8804. If your claim is strong enough, you could be connected to one of our No Win No Fee solicitors.

If you’d rather find out more on how much compensation could be awarded for the wrong medication being given, please continue reading.

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A Guide To Making A Wrong Medication Negligence Claim

Welcome to our wrong medication claims guide. If making any form of personal injury claim, you need to be able to show:

  • That you were caused to suffer (an injury, illness or worsening of a condition).
  • Somebody who owed you a duty of care caused the suffering through negligence
  • And that the suffering was caused by a negligent act that could have been avoided.

Also, you’ll need to claim within the personal injury claims time limit. In normal circumstances, this is a 3-year period from the date of the incident that caused your suffering. However, with wrong medication negligence claims, you might not actually realise it was the incorrect medication that caused you to suffer until a review is carried out and the mistake is spotted. Therefore, in these cases, the time limit could begin from the date you found out what caused you to suffer.

Throughout this guide, we’re going to look at when compensation could be claimed for medication errors. We’ll look at doctor negligence, hospital negligence and also pharmacy negligence. We’ll try to answer the following questions:

  • What happens if a pharmacy gives you the wrong medication in the UK?
  • What happens if you are given the wrong medication?
  • Can you sue a pharmacy for giving you the wrong medicine?

We’ll also review the types of medication errors that could happen and their effects on patients. Then we’ll review your patient rights and what amounts of compensation you could be entitled to.

After you’ve completed this guide, if you believe you have a valid compensation claim, why not call the number at the top of the screen to begin your claim? Our advisors won’t put any pressure on you, and there’s no obligation to proceed even after we’ve provided you with a free assessment of your claim.

What is negligence?

Negligence is when somebody that owes a duty of care fails to meet this need. Now, this may not always be intentional; it could be totally accidental. Furthermore, it could be that other circumstances have a knock-on effect that causes an organisation to show negligence. However, the fact remains that you may suffer some form of harm, injury, or illness due to their negligence.

And this would allow you to consider making a compensation claim. Now, you do need to prove that those demonstrating negligence would hold some responsibility for your wellbeing. In this case, that could be a doctor or a nurse that should provide you with the correct medication. But if their actions neglect your circumstances to the point that you receive the wrong medication, then there is a problem. And if you can prove that their actions are at best an oversight and at worst harmful, you could claim. So, please continue reading for further details, but this summarises what negligence is about a compensation claim.

What Is A Medication Error?

It’s important to point out at this stage that being given the wrong medication doesn’t automatically entitle you to make wrong medication claims. For instance, if the medication was incorrect but caused you no harm and didn’t make your existing condition worse, then you might not be able to claim.

However, the cases we’re looking at are where a medical professional gives the wrong medication, and that mistake leads to some form of avoidable suffering. This could be the negligence of a doctor, a pharmacist, nurse negligence or a mistake within a hospital.

How Commonly Is The Wrong Medication Given Out?

You might think that medication errors are rare and not likely to happen to you. However, according to an article by Manchester University, researchers claim that over 237 million medication errors happen each year in the NHS in England. The article estimates that 712 deaths occurred to an adverse drug reaction (ADRs). They also claim that ADRs contributed to between 1,700 and 22,303 deaths.

The NHS has, in fact, carried out its own study into prescription errors by GPs. They reviewed just over 6,000 prescriptions in a 12-month period. The study took place in 15 GP surgeries from three areas of England,

Their results found, amongst other things, that:

  • 1 in 20 prescriptions written featured an error.
  • 1 in 550 prescriptions had a severe error.
  • 18% of prescribing errors were connected to dosage or the strength of the medication.
  • 11% contained incorrect timing of dosage.
  • 42% of errors were minor, 54% moderate, and 4% were severe.

Please continue reading for more on wrong medication claims.

Potential Causes Of A Patient Being Given The Wrong Medication

There are several different ways in which you may receive the wrong medication. So, scenarios potentially leading to a prescription error claim include:

  • Prescribing the incorrect drug.
  • Giving the wrong dosage (strength) of medication.
  • Receiving somebody else’s medication.
  • Incorrect labelling on the prescription in comparison to what a doctor should dispense.
  • Administering drugs in the wrong way.

If you suffer because of any of the above, you may make wrong medication claims. And some of the examples above could allow you to claim prescription error compensation. Try and keep hold of any packaging or labelling to use as evidence to support your claim.

Wrong Medication Negligence By A GP

GP’s have a small amount of time, usually around 10-minutes, to assess, diagnose and treat each patient. While many patients receive good levels of care, if mistakes happen, they could cause ill effects on a patient. Some scenarios in which a GP could be liable for your suffering include:

  • If a doctor provides a prescription for medicine that you’re allergic to.
  • Alternatively, if a doctor prescribes medication that’s not suitable for your illness, this could mean you suffer side effects. It could also mean that there’s a lack of treatment for your underlying condition, thus causing additional suffering.
  • If the GP gives you medication that reacts to other medication you’re already taking.

Even if these mistakes are made due to time pressure, a claim could still be possible if you suffered somehow, and liability could be proven. Please call to discuss your options on wrong medication claims with one of our medical negligence experts.

Wrong Medication Negligence By A Hospital

When visiting a hospital for any form of treatment, medication of some form might be required. This could include anaesthetic during surgery or antibiotics to clear up an infection. If medication is required, it must be the correct medicine for you. If there’s a mistake with a prescription, it could potentially be life-threatening.

Here are some ways in which hospital negligence could lead to prescription errors:

  • When a nurse administers somebody else’s medication.
  • If you’re given the wrong dosage of anaesthetic during surgery.
  • When medication is administered intravenously instead of intramuscularly.
  • If medication isn’t given at all because of inaccurate record keeping.

Again, when any type of negligence leads to your suffering because of a breach in the duty of care owed to you, you could claim compensation against the hospital by making wrong medication claims. Medical records can be used to help prove what happened. You could also ask any witnesses who saw what happened or heard what was discussed for their contact details if a statement is needed in the future.

Wrong Medication Negligence By A Pharmacy

Even though a pharmacist doesn’t necessarily treat you for your ailments, they are still medical professionals. The dispensing of any drugs is an essential part of the treatment chain, and any mistakes could cause you to suffer. Therefore, it could be possible to claim against a pharmacist if their negligence causes any form of illness or avoidable suffering (wrong medication claims).

The types of negligence by a pharmacist that could lead to a claim include:

  • Dispensing the wrong drug.
  • Labelling errors where the bottle promises one drug but the contents are different.
  • Dispensing the wrong dosage from what is on the prescription.
  • Transcription errors where the doctor’s handwriting is hard to understand. This type of error is less likely with computer prescriptions.
  • Poor advice from a pharmacist about over the counter medications.

It is possible to sue a pharmacy even if it was their staff who make a mistake. That’s because they have a duty of care towards you. Therefore, if a staff member dispenses incorrectly, the pharmacy could still be liable for any mistakes that cause you to suffer.

Impact Of Medication Errors And Negligence

In some cases, a medication error can lead to serious and life-threatening conditions such as anaphylactic shock. This could be the case if a patient receives a drug that they’re allergic to. In other cases, symptoms can be much milder. For instance, side effects could include headaches or tiredness. In between, there could be vomiting, diarrhoea, fever and stomach cramps.

As well as the immediate symptoms, it’s unlikely that the medicine is even treating the underlying illness. This could mean that the patient’s condition gets worse. They suffer more than they had to had the negligence not occurred.

For more on wrong medication claims, please keep reading.

Your Rights As A Patient Or Customer If Given The Wrong Medication

Again, if you receive the wrong medication, which leads to you suffering further health problems, your rights include making wrong medication negligence claims.

This means you could claim if you receive the incorrect medication or the wrong dosage. It could also mean that the wrong medication has caused your underlying condition to worsen and led to additional suffering.

To discuss your options, please call one of our friendly advisors. They will happily review your evidence on a no-obligation basis. If they believe you have a strong enough case, they could introduce you to one of our personal injury lawyers who work on a No Win No Fee basis.

Our team of solicitors are specialists in personal injury claims, including wrong medication claims. They know what evidence is necessary to make a successful claim and will always be honest with you about your chances of winning compensation. To learn how to make a claim, please read on.

What Should I Do If I Have Been Given The Wrong Medication?

If you believe the wrong medication causes your suffering, there are several things you could do. And each of these could do to help if you decide to make wrong medication claims. So, these include:

  • Taking photographs of the prescription.
  • Photographing the label on the bottle.
  • Keeping a sample of the medication in case you need a test.
  • Reporting the mistake to the pharmacist, doctor or nurse. They will need to record the incident. Their record can support your claim.
  • Providing witness details.
  • Visiting a doctor or A&E to have any side effects treated. Medical records could be evidence of your suffering.
  • Writing down the exact suffering due to the pharmacy giving you the wrong medication.

When you have as much evidence as possible, you could call our advisors to see if you need anything else to begin your wrong medication claims.

Wrong Medication Negligence Compensation Claims Calculator

In this section, we will consider how much compensation might be payable for wrong medical negligence claims. The personal injury claims calculator provides figures from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This is a document used by solicitors, insurers and courts in England and Wales to base compensation settlements on.

Updated July 2021.

Claim TypeCompensation RangeFurther Information
Illness£36,060 to £49,270Non-traumatic injuries such as adverse side effects that cause severe toxicosis leading to acute pain, fever. Hospitlisation may be required up to a few weeks and there will be an impact on the ability to work.
Illness£8,950 to £18,020A non-traumtic injury (like side effects to the incorrect medication) leading to symptoms like vomiting and diarrhoea which clear up over 2 to 4 weeks but with some discomfort over a few years.
Illness£3,710 to £8,950Illnesses caused by medication errors that cause significant discomfort. Hospitalisation is likely for a few days and symptoms will last for a few weeks. Complete recovery will happen within a year or two.
Illness£860 to £3,710Illnesses that last for a couple of days to a few weeks.
Psychiatric Damage£1,440 to £5,500Less severe - cases falling short of phobias
Psychiatric Damage£5,500 to £17,900Moderate - marked improvement
Psychiatric Damage£17,900 to £51,460Moderately severe - significant issues but optimistic prognosis
Psychiatric Damage£51,460 to £108,620Severe - marked problems and poor prognosis
Mental Anguish£4,380

It’s important to note that it’s impossible to provide a true estimate until our advisors have assessed your claim. A full settlement amount will consider other factors that the table doesn’t cover, such as loss of earnings, medical costs, travel costs and so on.

To try and ensure you receive the right level of compensation for your wrong medication claims, our solicitors insist on a medical assessment by an independent doctor. This usually happens locally so you don’t have to travel too far. All of these steps will help your chances of receiving maximum compensation.

Special Damages Included In Medical Negligence Claims

If making wrong medication claims, your solicitor can ask for general damages as well as special damages. The table in the previous section covered general damages. This is compensation for pain and suffering. In this section, we’re going to look more at special damages. This is compensation for financial costs you incur as a result of prescription negligence. The types of elements special damages claims can consist of include:

  • Medical Costs.
    While most people receive free treatment on the NHS, prescription costs can build up. Also, you could include the cost of over the counter medicines and other treatments not under the NHS.
  • Care Costs.
    Should you require the assistance of a carer while recovering, you could claim back any costs you incur. This could be a professional carer’s fees or for the time of a family member who’s looked after you.
  • Travelling Expenses.
    You may have to travel to medical appointments on various occasions while recovering. Therefore, you could claim back the cost of fuel and car parking associated with these trips. Furthermore, if you’re unable to drive while you’re recovering, it might be possible to include the cost of other travelling arrangements.
  • Lost Earnings / Future Lost Earnings.
    In some cases, you may need to take time off work to recover or for medical appointments. If that means you lose income, you could claim the loss back. For injuries that affect your ability to work in the long-term, you could claim for future lost income too.

We advise that you keep hold of any receipts that help prove your expenditure. Also, if you’re unsure whether a cost is claimable, check with your solicitor before committing to it.

No Win No Fee Wrong Medication Negligence Claims

Some medication negligence claims can indeed be tricky to prove. Therefore, some claimants might worry about the cost of hiring a lawyer. However, there’s no need to worry if you use Legal Expert. That’s because our solicitors work on a No Win No Fee basis for any claim they handle, including wrong medication claims.

They do so to allow as many people to claim as possible without worrying about the cost of doing so. No Win No Fee reduces the financial risk and stress when making claims.

When we assess your claim, you receive a conditional fee agreement to sign if the solicitor is happy to proceed. This is your contract. It has lots of information within it, including two key points:

  • A statement that says you don’t have to pay your solicitor’s fees if you lose the claim.
  • The level of success fee payable when you receive compensation.

Success fees pay for the solicitor’s time and effort in claiming a percentage of your compensation. Should the claim win, the solicitor simply deducts the success fee before you receive your compensation.

How We Could Help Victims Of Medical Negligence

We’d really like to work with you on your wrong medication claims for pharmacy negligence. Here are some reasons why we believe you should use Legal Expert to make your claim:

  • Our solicitors work on a No Win No Fee basis for every claim they handle.
  • The advisors on our claim line offer free legal advice. They also offer a no-obligation assessment of any claim.
  • Our claims line is open 7-days a week and 24-hours a day.
  • We have received excellent feedback from previous clients.
  • Our team of solicitors have up to 30 years experience of in making personal injury claims.
  • The solicitors work hard to try and ensure the claim doesn’t drag on. They’ll also keep you updated throughout your claim.
  • Also, our solicitors always aim to ensure you receive the correct level of compensation for your injuries.

Wrong medication claims FAQs

Can you sue for the wrong medication?

Providing you suffered as a result of third party negligence, you could have grounds to claim.

How long after a medical mistake can you sue?

Personal injury claims have a 3-year time limit within which you must claim.

Can I claim on behalf of a loved one that can’t claim themselves?

Claimants that can’t claim for themselves, whether they’re under 18 or mentally incapacitated, you could make. claim on their behalf as their ‘litigation friend’.

What is a No Win No Fee agreement?

No Win No Fee agreements do what they say. Simply, there is no fee if your lawyer fails to win you your compensation.

Should I take my first settlement offer?

If you choose to work with us, we handle all aspects of your wrong medication claims, including advising you on settlement offers.

Where can I find a law firm?

Rather than perusing your local high street, you can simply call us at Legal Expert today from the comfort of your own home!

How can Legal Expert help?

Legal Expert can provide a claims management service, helping you get the compensation that you deserve. We have a panel of personal injury lawyers with over 30 years of experience ready to handle your case on a No Win No Fee Basis.

How can I contact Legal Expert?

Please take a look through the contact information in the next section.

Start Your Wrong Medication Negligence Claim

We hope that you’ve found this guide helpful. Furthermore, we hope you’d now like to use Legal Expert to help you with your claim. If so, here’s how to contact us:

wrong medication claims

wrong medication claims

When you reach out to us, our advisors will start by assessing your claim. They’ll review the evidence and provide free advice on your options. You’re under no obligation to proceed with any wrong medication claims at this point.

However, if they believe your claim is strong enough, they could connect you to one of our personal injury solicitors. They’ll offer a No Win No Fee service if they take your claim on. You can begin your claim at any time because our claim line is open 24-hours a day, 7-days a week.

Supporting Information

Now that you’ve reached the end of this guide about wrong medication negligence claims, we’ve provided you with links to some more of our guides that you might find helpful.

Hospital Negligence Claims – Information on how to make a personal injury claim when injured by hospital negligence.

GP Negligence Claims – This guide looks at the different types of personal injury claims that might be possible if a GP’s negligence leads to suffering.

Medical References

Finally, here are some links and guides from external sources that you might find useful:

NHS Medication Errors – A response to a freedom of information request in 2017. It shows the number of reported medication errors that led to fatalities.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) – The body responsible for reviewing hospitals and NHS trusts.

General Pharmaceutical Council – The body that inspects and regulates pharmacists in the UK.

Written By Brett

Edited By Melissa.

Thank you for reading our guide on wrong medication claims.

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